Srew turns but won't come out

calgardenergirlMarch 8, 2007

IÂm seeking help trying to figure out why a screw will turn but wonÂt come out.

The screw is inside the handle of an exposed shower valve. It needs to be removed in order to get the handle off so that I can replace the ceramic disc valve (dripping shower). The screw is about 1 inch inside the base of the handle, so you have to peer into the handle base to see it. After some difficulty I have figured out that the screwhead is a combo Phillips slotted. I have the right size screwdriver; it is a Phillips since I couldnÂt find a combo screwdriver. ItÂs supposed to work.

The screwdriver will fit into the head slots and you can see the screw turn. IÂm being careful to turn only counterclockwise. After about a thousand turns (really) the screw has loosened about 1/8 inch. As best I can figure out the screw is screwed into the ceramic disc valve (that part is under the valve shroud so you canÂt see exactly what the screw is attached to).

Why isnÂt the screw coming out? What can I do?

Thank you!

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Sounds like whatever the screw is biting into is stripped and I am no plumber by any means but that loose screw may be your whole problem???? I honestly have no idea what your refering to so I can't say for sure. However, you might try putting a flat blade screw driver behind what ever this screw is holding on and ever so slightly pull on it with a little force (I.E. prying a bit) while turning the screw and see if it starts to back itself out. Don't over do it, just use enough force to apply some pressure to the screw head to help it back itself out.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 11:56PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

That or a pair of needle nosed pliers.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 7:17AM
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Or take the other side and it's seat out, go to the plumbing supply or hardware and get two new stems, two new seats and the right sized drill bit to drill out that stubborn screw or its head.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 9:06AM
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Thanks a lot for answering. The problem is, this is a shower on a tiled wall. There is no way to get behind the shower valve without ripping out the tiles. And this darn screw is set an inch inside the handle base in a little tiny hole just larger than the screw, so that I don't see how to get pliers into it. And finally, there is only one handle, not two- and no stems. The handle attaches directly ( with this little screw) to the ceramic disc valve, which attaches to the water pipe. A different thingee handles the hot/cold mix. Won't drilling out the screw ruin the shower? Any more ideas? This link is to a pdf file of the valve- Mine is all exterior, it doesn't have the concealing plate.

Here is a link that might be useful: shower specs

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 11:19AM
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You need to pull the handle out while turning the screw. If you have withdrawn the screw 1/8, there should be that much room to pull or pry the handle. This effort should allow the threads to re-engage themselves in the valve stem. If this fails, I'm afraid you'll have to cut off the handle so the screw can be withdrawn by other means. (pliers, drilling out, heat)
In all likelihood, you should be able to find a similar if not identical replacement for the handle. The inside threads of the valve stem may need to be chased with a tap before putting in the new screw.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 11:37AM
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Hello, I have had that problem with Moen Faucets with plastic knobs. An Example, if the stem shaft is square the handle will have a shaft with a square hole to turn the knob. If the plastic shaft breaks the valve wont work correctly and when you try to remove the screw, the stem shaft will turn inside the handle. So cut the plastic handle off the hold the stem and remove the screw.
Good Luck Woodbutcher

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 7:09PM
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I'm with sombreuil_mongrel, pull out the handle while you're removing the screw. If that doesn't work it's time to cut the handle off and replace it.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 1:00AM
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Thank you everyone. The update is that nothing seemed to work until I drilled the head off the screw (took me 5 hours). As soon as that happened, the screw fell off easily, and with it, the handle. I put in a new ceramic disc assembly and- no more leaks! I found this to be a very difficult project, and never did figure out why the screw would turn but not come out. I appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 1:35PM
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I was having problems with tiny screws that turned but wouldn't come out the whole way on the bottom of a laptop. Started researching it online some and most who had success with this said if you could get something underneath the screw you could gently pry it upward while turning, my problem was similar to this but not such a deep hole, so I used thread and floral wire to get underneath the screws...the one that was really tricky I used the thread. It was a little more time consuming to get the thread the entire way around the screw and it came off the first time so I decided to tie the thread around it the next time around. Then I did just gently pull it out while using the screwdriver a little more. I know this post was years ago but i was linked to it today so Hope this helps anyone else who has this kind of a problem. (on the other side of the plastic there were strange little washers that kept me from gaining access, I think they are there in order to keep the screws attached to the plastic so they don't get lost?)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:52PM
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