Bath Sink Faucet removal

I have a pair of bathroom sinks with the same faucets installed.
http://www.designtool.kohler.com/us/detail.jsp?item "7602
and a matching tub faucet.
one valve stem appears to be leaking, as water comes out the top just under the T-bar across the top. the tapered piece is screwed onto a threaded insert, but about 1/2" up from the base where it abuts the sink.
of course, we have extremely hard water and it's probably full of mineral deposits, because i've been working for a couple days trying to get it off.
there's nothing to grab onto because of the taper. i've been smacking it with a hammer trying to vibrate it a bit to break it loose. there's no way to get vinegar into the inside threads. i've tried putting vinegar soaked towels around the bottom, to try to hold some acid in, but there's a pretty good seal on the bottom (there's no water leakage out the bottom from the leak).
i've managed to get a single non-leaking one off (out of the 6) so that i could see how it's constructed. these are original to the house, about 10 years, installed by the contractor. there is no other mechanism (such as setscrews) holding the valve cover on besides the (very fine) threads on the inside of the cover.
i've tried rubber coated gloves to get a grip on the tapered section. the T handle can't be used as a lever arm, because it's slipped onto a ridged part of the top of the valve, and the valve is of course not moveable.
is there some special tool that can be used to grab something like this part (tapered, polished chrome) or do i have to destroy the village to save it? that would be a major expense, having to then destroy all the others that aren't coming off to replace all 3 sets, along with ripping a hole in the tiled wall to get to the tub deck (since the d*mn contractor didn't leave an access hole to get to the bottom of the tub faucets).
thanks, charlie
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You might be able to grab it near the top using a small strap wrench. Harbor Freight has a set of 3 of them I think for <$10. Or you could buy one at HD, etc.
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There is also the draw liner material that you can pick up at Walmart, BedBath Beyond or similar that's used for refrigerator drawers and similar. Same idea. It's an open weave, rubbery kind of material. In a refrigerator the idea is you use it in the veg drawer so there is some air circulation under the vegs.
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Remove the whole sink assembly(s) and take it to your workshop. Upside down on the bench supported by 2 x 4's your can attack the frozen bottom retaining nuts with Kroil or your favorite penetrant and the proper size wenches. For the tub, now is the time to make a proper rear access panel for this and future repairs.
Joe Since 10 YO fixtures are involved, replacement my be your best recourse.
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On 2/22/2012 3:03 PM, Joe wrote:

the bottom nuts aren't frozen. the nut that is frozen is internal to the cover over the faucet on the top side of the basin.
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email.me:

I'm a bit surprised that you're doing that.
I just spent a bit of idle time noodling around on the the Kohler site, starting with the link you posted above. Kohler has some pretty detailed diagrams showing the construction of their products. It's decent technical illustration, but if it were me doing it (tech illustration is part of my job), I'd somehow indicate the continuity with related components on other pages, to show how they connect.
It /appears/ as though the lavatory handles are held on by screws from underneath. And it /appears/ as though the bath handles are held on by spring-clips which are accessed by levering the trim plates away from the tiles, then using a slim hook of some kind to pull out the clip.
--
Tegger

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On 2/22/2012 8:23 PM, Tegger wrote:

i'm not sure what you're looking at.
i've already taken one off, so i know exactly how it's attached. the valve remains attached to the basin via a nut under the basin, and one on top of the basin under the covering i'm trying to remove the top nut that has both internal threads (that the valve screws into, and external threads (that the covering screws onto).
the cover simply screws off counterclockwise. one holds the T handle in place and twists the cover. the T handle is attached via a swiveling interface to the cover, and is not removable. it slips onto the ridged top of the valve, and there is no attachment to the valve besides a slip on press fit.
the problem is that the external threads that connect the nut and cover most probably have mineral deposits, and there's no way to get vinegar into the inside of the cover, so the cover won't rotate.
there are no trim plates or clips of any kind.
see part # 59425 in <http://www.kohlerserviceparts.kohler.com/ServicePartsPage.aspx?DocumentIDk98dfbc1de946ad871337c4bda3bd3d&ModelID~26edaf142d4ddfb180746107cfb600
it's the middle part explosion of the 3 on this page.
as to the other suggestions:
* I'll have to try a strap wrench. it'll have to be plenty strong though * i used those ridged rubber coated gloves that allow one to open things (jars, etc). it's pretty much the equivalent of using the rubber waffle matting. that didn't work at all on these stuck ones, although it did allow me to remove the only one that did come off. i could try putting a thick piece of leather over the rubber gloves and trying a wrench, but it's high polished chrome, and really slippery. i doubt that would give enough purchase until the wrench teeth bit into the metal. at that point, i might as well destroy it to remove it. * the basin is really a pedestal sink top mounted to the top of the vanity. there's no access under the values to remove them without ripping holes in the countertop. to remove the basin would require removing a large part of the tiled countertop.
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Stop using a hammer.
check out
http://www.kohlerserviceparts.kohler.com/ServicePartsPage.aspx?DocumentID=07cb0919737f42d9b83fb37fa9b0c157&ModelID=7e26edaf142d4ddfb180746107cfb600
the diagram is a bit generic but it does help some
Remove attachments from below the sink. Remove nut that holds valve assembly in place.
If you cannot turn it...cut the nut with multi-tool or dremel mini rotary rasp.
Once you've removed the nut you'll be able to lift out the valve assembly and work onto on a bench.
cheers Bob
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On 2/22/2012 8:35 PM, DD_BobK wrote:

http://www.kohlerserviceparts.kohler.com/ServicePartsPage.aspx?DocumentID cb0919737f42d9b83fb37fa9b0c157&ModelID~26edaf142d4ddfb180746107cfb600
the way the basin is mounted to the counter, there is no access to the bottom nut. i would have to destroy the counter to get to it.
it isn't exactly how i would have built this, but i'm stuck with it.
this was a 10 minute 'honey can you pop a new o-ring into the faucet' job that has morphed into rehabbing 2 counters and the tub deck. i might as well rip it all down to the studs and start over, at this point, which is a new raised bar for short jobs turning into major house projects. usually i can get them done with only 3 trips to home depot.
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If there is no access to the bottom nut then you should consider Joe's suggestions
"Remove the whole sink assembly(s) and take it to your workshop. Upside down on the bench supported by 2 x 4's your can attack the frozen bottom retaining nuts with Kroil or your favorite penetrant and the proper size wenches."
You need the valve assembly free some the since so you can soak it in something to get rid of the hard water deposits.
When everything is new & clean those cute tapered covers just spin on & off by hand. After 10 years of hard water......not so easy.
If there is no access (maybe it;s possible just not easy?) then how will you replace the valve when they need replacing?
The original installer must have mounted the faucet & then glued the counter top in place?
cheers Bob
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