Tub Spout difficult to remove

grasswhispererMarch 12, 2009

I have a squealing shower diverter - in the tub spout. This is an American Standard faucet/spout.

I would like to simply replace the tub spout to try a new diverter. I am having difficulty getting the existing spout off. There is no set screw underneath, so I assume the spout can be removed by literally unscrewing. An attempt by hand got me no where - so I began trying with large pipe wrench and/or large adjustable pliers. However - I'm afraid of doing some damage to the copper fitting/pipe behind - this puppy does not seem to want to budge!

So 1) I assume this is a screw-on since there is no set screw. 2) Is there such a thing as a slip-on without a set screw? Either way - I almost don't care so much if I need to destroy the existing unit to get it off - it's mostly that I don't want to disturb the copper pipe/fitting through the wall by turning what seems to be way too hard.

I don't want to give up on this because it seems like such a simple replacement - any advise greatly appreciated!

PS - at Home Depot the folks pretty much insisted that all tub spouts are "plastic metal" - that is - they are plastic. Is this true? My existing spout (assume American Standard) seems to dent, like metal (from trying to twist off).

Thanks much -

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I forgot to mention - the existing spout is only about 6 years old (lest anyone think the reason I could not remove it was due to old age.)

Perhaps 6 years is indeed long enough to seize up the fitting, but I wouldn't think that the case.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 2:52PM
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Use a small mirror to be sure there's no set screw - it could be recessed, i.e. there might be a gap/hole to insert a hex wrench. If there's no gap, then turn it off (counterclockwise), and yes, it could be on tight. If you were to unscrew a nipple in the wall, you would just have to reinsert that with a few wraps of teflon tape or pipe dope and pliers (channel locks or small pipe wrench).

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Also, look for the set screw further out. I think some slip-on types have the screw out a bit more. If this is what it seems to be, you would twist and pull at the same time to slide it off.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 5:17PM
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Thanks homebound.

It's good advice, because I didn't think of checking further out - but really I don't see ANY set screw or any signs of one anywhere on the spout.

Therefore, I assume the only other option is to twist this guy off. I haven't given it full strength, as I was hesitant to avoid breaking off any copper plumbing (not that I'm that strong of course, I just don't know what the limits are and I assume I'll be generating a fair amount of torque with a huge pair of channel locks.

For what it's worth - I'm trying to post pictures of the spout in case anyone knows the details of this particular one.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:44PM
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Then it's probably screwed on. I would stick the handle end of your wrench up into the spout and use it as leverage to turn - carefully, of course.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:32PM
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I thought of that tactic, too, but I cannot quite figure out how to remove the diverter assembly from the spout. I can remove the "pull-up" knob and rod, but the plastic assembly within seems to be completely secured to the spout, and thus blocks me from sticking anything up there.

I think I will plan to try and protect the spout itself, but crank on the base of it with large channel locks. I really don't see any other way.

Any other advice greatly appreciated - thanks much!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:26PM
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Have you inspected a similar fixture at a store? It looks like a metal spout. Does it sound like metal when you tap it with a tool? Try to pull dental floss up or down between the spout and wall until you are down to the copper pipe.If the spout won't loosen, can it be made tighter by even a very small amount? A large amount of force shouldn't be necessary to rotate a normal screw on spout. If it can't be moved I would do some exploration like drilling out the diverter to get a look up into the spout and drilling a few holes just through the top of the spout housing closer to the wall and poking around with a wire to see if someone has filled it with silicone sealant or something.

Quite a mystery! Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:45AM
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I, too, have an American Standard tub/shower faucet with the diverter on the spout. I could no longer raise the pull-up knob all the way and hot water came out of the shower with the cold running on my feet. American Standard is WONDERFUL about sending replacement parts. One call & a few minutes on the phone and the parts were in the mail a few days later. I could NOT get the tub spout off, the same as the original poster. Channel locks and a pipe wrench didn't get the thing to budge. Rather than drilling out the spout, I removed the pull-up thing (insert a small flat-head screw driver to pop off the decorative cover & unscrew it.) My spout is the screw on type close to where the water comes out of the spout. I used a small foam paint brush soaked in a product called CLR (Calcium/Lime/Rust remover) & shoved it into the spout, "painting" the interior of the spout/copper pipe until the product was dripping from the spout. I let it soak overnight and the following morning was able to unscrew it by hand. The mineral deposits had fused the threaded sections together & this product melted them off. I hope this helps others save hours of frustration!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 11:51AM
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As far as "most" tub spouts being "plastic metal" - that is patently untrue. Many of the big brands you see at the box stores are moving to plastic pieces - they're lighter, cheaper, and (here's the marketing) rust-proof! However, if you step up toward the Grohe, or any of the up and coming "decorative" type brands like Jaclo or Danze, or even old favorites like Hansgrohe, all you'll see is real metal, often brass, and then the pretty decorative finishes. So, if you want a metal tub spout, you can definitely still get one.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 8:26PM
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