Can't tighten shower handle

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Our 15-year-old shower handle is loose. A 3/32 hex wrench fits in but I can't turn it. It may be rusted. Is there a way go get the hex nut loosened, or what does it take to fix it?
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On Wed, 12 Dec 2012 23:43:35 -0500, Jan Philips

My hex wrench is one of the little L-shaped ones. Will one that has a handle like a screwdriver be strong enough to get it working?
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On Wed, 12 Dec 2012 23:46:12 -0500, Jan Philips

In that case it's called an Allen wrench. Before, I thought you meant the wrench went around a nut instead of into a hole into what's probably a set screw.

Maybe but first I'd try penetrating oil or Liquid Wrench. Put a few drops in the hole. Let it sit for a while,maybe even an hour, tapping or hitting it a little harder than that once in a while with something hard like a center punch and a hammer. The vibrations help the LW to seep into the crack between the threads.
Also if this is the hot water, maybe running the water will heat the parts up and that will help. If you have plastic handles like I do, you can't heat it up with a torch, but if you have all metal, I think a propane torch on the screw, not the handle, can do wonders. That's how I got my motorcycle apart, which had never been wroked on since it was made in 1969 .
If someone contradicts me, probably take him seriously.
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On 12/13/2012 12:01 AM, micky wrote:

He could also try heating it with a hair dryer before squirting Liquid Wrench in there. I use a torch to heat assemblies that will tolerate it and the LW seems to wick into the threads a lot better. I remember my dad bringing Liquid Wrench home from the steel mill 50 years ago and me experimenting with it. I discovered that the lawnmower would run on Liquid Wrench. ^_^
TDD
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On Dec 13, 4:31 am, The Daring Dufas <the-daring-du...@stinky- finger.net> wrote:

I repair machines that use allen screws and heat up to 300 degrees. I absolutely HATE when they get stuck:( the worst are customers who proudly say I know the allen is tight when it goes click click click when turned..........
thats means the allen is stripped and likely can never be removed by anything short of drilling it out......
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Buy them a better quality allen driver?
Allen screws too small to slot with a Dremel, and a cut off wheel?
You're reminding me of my Harbor Freight flare nut wrenches, that were guaranteed to round off flare nuts. I got a set of flare wrenches from my parts house, and never had that problem any more.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
news:5385fe21-4dd9-4a9a-b267-
I repair machines that use allen screws and heat up to 300 degrees. I absolutely HATE when they get stuck:( the worst are customers who proudly say I know the allen is tight when it goes click click click when turned..........
thats means the allen is stripped and likely can never be removed by anything short of drilling it out......
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On 12/13/2012 7:55 AM, bob haller wrote:

Yep, tear it up trying to save money rather than call you to start with. It happens to me all the time when someone tells me that they know a guy who does it cheaper. I get the call to repair what Billy Bob fixed and it winds up costing Mr. Thrifty twice as much. ^_^
TDD
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On 12/13/2012 7:55 AM, bob haller wrote:

I just remembered a screw extractor set I had that was stolen and I must replace but it's the best screw extractor I've ever seen. The extractors can be dressed with a grinder if you break the end or wear the ribs out. The bottom link goes to a picture that can be blown up so you can see details. The extractor slides through a collet so it can be turned with a wrench. I'm going to have to cruse the pawn shops to see if I can find a used one in good shape before buying a new set. ^_^
http://preview.tinyurl.com/aejeuoe
http://preview.tinyurl.com/afpqbt9
TDD
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Speaking of experimenting with Liquid Wrench, I caught my uncle drinking it. This was about a week after I caught him smoking the tow rope for the dozer.
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On 12/13/2012 1:57 PM, Ss wrote:

He drank the LW because he was constipated and thought it would loosen his bowels. Of course everyone knows that rope smokers suffer from constant constipation. ^_^
TDD
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micky wrote:

Liquid Wrench is good, but I've had great success with PB Blaster, available in a spray can at the auto parts store, about $3-4 dollars. Your other suggestions - letting it soak and tapping on the parts - are also appropriate.
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wrote:

Thanks. It is stuck on so I don't see any way of letting it soak.
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On Wed, 12 Dec 2012 23:43:35 -0500, Jan Philips

I found some T-shaped hex wrenches by Klein and by Eklind (and others). Shoud one of those be strong enough to get it going?
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On Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:51:56 PM UTC-5, Jan Philips wrote:

NO.
The wrench is not your problem. The set screw is STUCK. A bigger wrench will only wreck it quicker.
You need to soak it with a penetrant like PB'laster, or Liquid Wrench.
Turn the water off and rotate the handle so the screw is pointing up. Fill the hole with your penetrant of choice. Allow to soak. Refill the hole if it drains out. After a few hours, try your L-shaped wrench.
Worst case you may have to drill out the screw and replace the entire handle. Most handles can be replaced off the shelf at your local hardware store.
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Soak at least a day in some type of rust-busting concoction, before trying to bust the set screw loose. This job is dicey at best. I got my 30-year old handle off, but it wasn't easy. You're at least as likely to strip the head of the set screw, or round off the driver, as you are to loosen the set screw.
Your standard L-handle wrench is your best option, if you have room to operate it. Put the short end into the set screw, that gives you the most leverage.
The T-handle might do it, or the screwdriver type, but DO NOT use a "ball" type driver, which might be found on any style of allen (hex) wrench.
If you've got a cheap hex wrench, go get a good one before doing this job. You've only got one shot to get it right, then you're going to be drilling the screw out.
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wrote:

Soak is good. If you can't get the hole to point up. find some bag that doesn't fall apart with the rust-buster (some plastic bags may dissolve but others might work), and put enough in to cover the secrew head. I read t his here but haven't tried it yet.

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I tried both types. No metric would fit. The 3/32 did fit, but I got a message back from Moen today saying that it is actually 7/64.
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On Thu, 13 Dec 2012 12:47:58 -0500, Jan Philips

I think most replies here are valid especially squirting some penetrating oil regardless of position of the screw. I think Moen will give suggestions too so you might want to call them back and ask for advice tho I doubt it will be much different than here. Or think of it this way.... you got so many replies here and most are telling you similar advice so can they all be wrong or right?
One other thing you should think about.... if you mess up the screw after trying to get it out, what will you do then? You might want to leave this to a plumber to begin with. Yeah I know you are trying to save money but will you, if you mess it up? In other words, don't be penny wise and dollar foolish (and no, I'm not a plumber). And if you do hire a plumber, watch and learn and maybe the next time you will know how to do it without asking here or calling a plumber again.
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Your best bet is to soak it first with a penetrant. Then make sure the socket of the bolt or set screw is free of all debris. Next take take a "hardened" hex wrench and grind the end perpendicular so you have sharp edges. Tap the sharp ended wrench in to the socket to assure full depth contact. Hold the wrench in place and with one mighty blow of a hammer smack the wrench handle. Do not turn the wrench just smack the wrench. You don't want the wrench or the socket to have the opportunity to strip. This is why you use a hammer. The bolt will either come lose or break off. It will not strip.
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On Wed, 12 Dec 2012 23:43:35 -0500, Jan Philips

Thanks, I got it.
I got Bolt Off and turned the handle upside down, sprayed that in there and left it for a few minutes. I got a Husky Allen wrench set in a handle, which I thought would give me more torque. However, that gives less dexterity than the L-shaped one and I couldn't feel how to get it in properly. (I can't see it in there so I have to go by feel.) But I tried the L-shaped wrench again, and the Bolt Off loosened it up and I fixed it.
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