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I am trying to replace the faucet and valves in my bathroom sink, but I can't figure out how to remove the old valves.

This is what the valve looks like above the sink. above

This is what the valve looks like below the sink. below

I can screw the red collar up and down. I can also turn the handle a quarter turn. Other than that, everything seems to be fused into one piece. When I wrench on anything, the whole assembly just spins around in the hole.

I suppose I could try to clamp the part above the sink, then turn the part below the sink with a wrench, but I'm not sure that will work, and I don't know how I can possibly get a good grip on the part above the sink anyway.

I don't mind wrecking the old valve. I could maybe take a hacksaw to it, but there must be a better way.

Any advice?

P.S. I've read several other posts on this forum about how to remove a valve, but every situation seems to be different!

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  • 1
    Just guessing here - is it possible that the cap on the end of the porcelain handle unscrews? I'm wondering if the handle might be held on with a grub screw inside..?
    – Lefty
    Sep 30, 2021 at 7:29
  • A "strap wrench" is a typical way to get a non-marring grip on things like that. Vise-Grips® or other locking pliers are an alternate way when you don't care about marring it, or you can try padding the jaws with rubber to make it more like a strap wrench. But start with longneck's answer.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 30, 2021 at 14:13

5 Answers 5

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If you're replacing the entire faucet and you don't care to save this one, simply cut the threaded brass threads above the added fitting. Whether above or below the plastic nut/washer is entirely up to you.

  • Using a hacksaw would likely be a royal pain but is doable.
  • An oscillating saw with a metal cutting blade should make quick work of the relatively soft brass.

As an addendum to isherwood's excellent answer, locking pliers would work as well. If you can't find any thin enough to grab the threads that are currently exposed, remove the black (plastic? foam?) washer. If you need even more space, cut off the red plastic nut. Of course, if you're cutting that nut off, you're probably in the realm of power tools, in which case, just cut the pipe...

You'll definitely want eye protection with either tool and I'd strongly recommend ear protection if you're using a power tool - you'll have your head crammed up under the vanity to see what you're doing and the sound will reverberate inside a small space. Plus, oscillating saws tend to have a rather shrill sound.

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  • This is what worked in the end – I cut through the threaded part of the fixture with an oscillating saw. The blade went through easily, but it was difficult to control and I put a couple of divots in the countertop.
    – awlman
    Oct 9, 2021 at 22:57
  • So long as it was the underside of the counter, @awlman, you should be OK. And so long as the gouges aren't too deep...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 10, 2021 at 1:36
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That style of handle is installed up from the bottom. Pop the H off the top of the handle. Remove the screw under it, and remove the handle. There might be a nut retaining the piece below the handle, or that piece itself is threaded on to the stem.

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    The chrome trim probably screws off, which might be a challenge with all that corrosion.
    – JPhi1618
    Sep 29, 2021 at 20:52
  • I've got one of those. Lost my H because it went flying when I popped it off and I never found it.
    – rtaft
    Sep 30, 2021 at 14:09
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Plan A: Looks like someone added a fitting with an extra nipple for some other use--maybe there's a bidet nearby. Grab the upper threads with a locking pliers or similar, and then turn that fitting off with a wrench.

Plan B: Try removing the handle and looking for a nut on top, tight against the counter. Pop the little cap off with a soft tool. Loosen the Allen screw or whatever's under it.

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  • That nipple goes to the faucet. It is the outlet controlled by the valve. There isn't much room to grab the upper threads. I don't have any locking pliers thin enough to do that. Are super-narrow locking pliers a thing?
    – awlman
    Sep 29, 2021 at 19:14
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    @awlman Try screwing that red nut back on as tight as you can and have someone hold the faucet while you turn that fitting counterclockwise. You might have enough threads below the red nut to grasp them with a pair of Channellocs.
    – JACK
    Sep 29, 2021 at 19:22
  • @awlman The thin locking pliers are called needle nose, about 3/8 inch thick/wide jaws.
    – crip659
    Sep 29, 2021 at 19:26
  • 3/8-inch is probably too big; I estimate that I have 1/4-inch to work with. Maybe I can gain a little space by breaking off the rubber washer. Anyway, I'll go to the hardware store later today and see if I can find needle nose locking pliers.
    – awlman
    Sep 29, 2021 at 19:32
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It does look like there is an extra fitting that will need to be removed, and, and you certainly have some corrosion that will make it more difficult. If you are limited on space, and that's usually the case, the basic tool that you need is called a basin wrench. They are available online or at most plumbing and building supply stores.

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    Welcome to Home Improvement. Since the OP explained that turning the brass fitting on the bottom simply makes the whole assembly on top spin, can you explain how a basin wrench would help in this situation?
    – FreeMan
    Sep 30, 2021 at 11:33
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I have a similar-looking faucet - although it's a part of an assembly, and the handles are removed using an Allen wrench in an access hole just below the handle a bit,on the housing right below. The hole is on the opposite side as the handle. Loosen the screw, and the handle with that housing should lift off, although if it's old it will take a lot of wiggling and force, and may break.

Once that's off, the valve itself is normally removed with a wrench or pliers.

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