It's still in the casing, as I didn't want to remove the whole faucet. I tried lots of WD-40 and trying to tighten a little and then loosen. Someone told me to use a hair-dryer on it to heat it up a little. The thing just won't budge. I think I may have ruined the "nut." I'm obviously an amateur, but I don't want to be a failure.

stuck valve

Click for full size image

  • 3
    you may need to remove the clip first and lift (what looks like) the locking ring Dec 3 '13 at 15:45
  • the clip just spins around, so I couldn't see how that was affecting it. In watching YouTube videos, it seems it is all one big piece that unscrews from beneath.
    – Shari T.
    Dec 3 '13 at 15:56
  • and if you apply force from both sides of those prongs that stick out Dec 3 '13 at 16:12
  • I've heard (twice) that sometimes they have a "reverse thread". This is a Kohler. Does anyone have experience with that?
    – Shari T.
    Dec 3 '13 at 16:41
  • 1
    It looks like you used an open-end wrench and it rounded off some of the head of the nut. I don't think you should keep trying that approach. You really should have started with a deep socket that fits snug. But now its kind of iffy whether a deep socket will slip. The next tool to use if it doesn't come off with a deep socket is a pipe wrench, one with a handle about 12" to 14" long. You need the long handle for leverage. You will also need to protect the sink trim from damage. I'd put several layers of duct tape over the trim.
    – getterdun
    Dec 4 '13 at 2:30

My cold side cartridge needed replacement. (My valve assembly has manufacture date of 2007.) I have a number of same Kohler Lavatory sets and have had to replace a few valve assemblies a few times. Kohler has sent me entire retrofit valve set because many times, as was described in prior comments, it's difficult to break the seal of the top nut to get at and replace the cartridge. I decided to get brave after reading the ideas from comments and decided to try to get at the cartridge.

This is what worked for me. I used a vice grip and attached it right below the threads of the assembly (just above where the water line attaches to the assembly). It's machined there to accept a wrench and the vice grip secures perfectly. I took my ball pain hammer and tapped the nut area all around to hopefully break the seal. I attached a 5/8" socket and ratchet wrench to the cartridge top nut (You do not have to take off that cotter pin). I then placed the valve assembly on the garage floor with the vice grip attached. I then secured the 5/8" socket to the top nut and used one foot to make sure the valve set doesn't move and used my other foot to apply leverage to the socket wrench and with a few stomps on the ratchet handle the nut loosened and the cartridge came out of the assembly.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Jan 14 '20 at 19:47

Mine is a centerset type bar sink faucet that had been in place for about 22 years. The cartridge nuts are recessed into the base, so not accessible except with a socket wrench. I didn't have a deep socket so I tried a spark plug wrench. It fit. The first try was not successful, so I soaked the treads with WD40 for a few minutes. Then I attached the spark plug wrench and tapped the top end a few times with a hammer. After that the threads released with moderate force.

  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. May 29 '20 at 22:39

It is not reverse thread, and if it hasn't budged you just need to crank on it more -- don't worry about the retaining clip, it doesn't need to come off. I would use a channel-lock wrench for this but a small pipe wrench will make the job a bit easier only because you won't have to squeeze the wrench while turning. You can try rapping on it with a hammer (not too hard) to break it loose also. It is possible that you have to remove the entire valve assembly from the faucet first, because even when you crack it loose that cartridge might not come out of the top like you are planning; it might make your job easier as well. You could also opt to get a new valve assembly if you really can't budge that cartridge.

Edit: Here's a vid to give you an idea of what you are going for: youtube video


You should stop using your pliers to try and remove it as it looks like you've made things worse with that approach.

Get a deep socket in precisely the correct size for this nut. If that doesn't fit anymore you may want to try some seriously tight vise-grips.


I have Kohler bathroom faucets with separate handles, and the only way I was able to remove the cold cartridge, was to remove the cold water valve assembly.

Kohler GP77005-RP Hot Ceramic Cartridge | Kohler GP77006-RP Cold Ceramic Cartridge

I removed all the tubing, handle, chrome, nut, washers, until I had just the valve assembly with the cartridge at one end. I took a roll of masking tape and wrapped the valve body threads several times. I found my ratchet wrench with a 5/8" spark plug socket (or deep socket will work too) and took these tools and the valve to Home Depot. In the plumbing department, I found a 2 foot pipe wrench and a 2 foot section of steel pipe. This rather large pipe wrench goes around the valve body, (masking tape protects the threads), and I put my socket over the cartridge and the piece of pipe over the ratchet handle. Then it's just a matter of applying enough force to remove the cartridge from the valve body. I have had to replace my cold water cartridges several times, due to all the Kohler faucets in my place, and it has worked every time for me. Thanks to Home Depot for letting me borrow their stuff. (Even though they were unaware, lol)

Alternately, you can buy the complete valve assembly as a part, but it will have half the flow rate of the pre-2010 Kohler valves. (And costs 3x more)

Kohler 1131482 Cold Ultraglide Complete Valve Assembly

Kohler 1131481 Hot Ultraglide Complete Valve Assembly

I got the cartridge off Amazon, since Home Depot doesn't sell Kohler parts. I have yet to replace a Hot cartridge, it seems only the cold ones leak at my place


I have replaced a few of these but run into the same issue. Each time I had to dismantle the whole thing, drench the assembly in liquid wrench, put it in a vice grip, use a closed box wrench with leverage and they come out.


An electric impact wrench worked wonders for me!!

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Feb 23 '20 at 18:13

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