I've tried vinegar and wd40 and would really appreciate any helping hand for this noob here!

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  • 1
    Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Sep 14, 2021 at 17:45
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    if you open the valve shightly it will be slightly easier to turn.
    – Jasen
    Sep 15, 2021 at 4:40
  • If you used an open ended wrench, next time use a ring wrench, or if it's a bit chewed already, a socket that's got a hexagon inside, not 12 points
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 15, 2021 at 9:40
  • In order for vinegar to work, you have to let it soak in for quite a while. I'm assuming it's vinegar soaking the paper towel in the pic, but you might want to try leaving the vinegar soaked rag on overnight, if you haven't already. WD-40 and others don't really work well on calcium, but CLR, toilet cleaner, "scrubbing bubbles", and other bathroom cleaners work wonders on it, but they take time, too. Sep 15, 2021 at 17:04

4 Answers 4


Heat can do wonders here, even at just boiling water temps. The housing will expand more than the cartridge threads, possibly breaking it loose but more likely just easing friction.

Either drizzle boiling water on it or heat it with a heat gun, hair dryer, or plumber's torch. Obviously be careful with the latter to not scorch the finish or any nearby objects.


I've often found that PB Blaster™ will work where WD-40™ will not. Also a pair of locking pliers (like Vice-Grip™) clamped down really hard might get you a grip where all those corners have been rounded off.

You may end up having to replace parts because the serrated jaws of the pliers will tear that up. Of course, as rounded as those corners are, you'll probably want to replace that anyway. If you try to reinstall that, you'll end up not getting it tight enough because of the rounded corners, or, if you do, you'll have this struggle getting it off next time.


At some point it is not worth it and get a new faucet. That being said, for a Moen shower/tub valve, I had to drill a 5/16 hole in the back, put a 1/4 punch through the hole and hit it with a hammer to remove the old cartridge. Then ground the back of the valve flat and soldered a copper patch on it. Worked fine for a few years until I moved.


You,or someone else, have done a great job of massacring the threads on that valve stem. At this point all I can suggest is getting a pipe wrench and trying again to turn it counter clock wise. If that doesn't loosen it up, you'll probably be stuck replacing the faucet.

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    If at first the pipe wrench does not turn it, get a bigger pipe wrench.
    – crip659
    Sep 14, 2021 at 19:44
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    @crip659 And if the bigger one doesn't do it, put a three foot pipe over the handle of the wrench... lol
    – JACK
    Sep 14, 2021 at 20:19

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