old shower valves - removing handles

The hot water valve for my shower leaks, which is probably just the stem washer. But... I can't get the handle off! The shower assembly probably dates from 1953, when the house was built.
I took out the screw that goes through the center of the valve, expecting to then pull the handle off, like every other old faucet I've encountered. The dumb thing will not budge. (I've yanked on it pretty hard, but can't really put great leverage on it, since that would probably crack the tile behind it.
Either the thing is REALLY stuck or I'm missing some little trick. There's no brand name on this unit, but it's just the usual hot and cold valves with the diverter in between.
Thanks in advance Bill
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It could be calcified up, try lime away or CLR
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bill wrote:

Run out and buy a faucet "handle puller". No guarantee, but it almost always works.
If still no go, apply heat (small torch) to the metal handle. Have the handle puller in place, ready to tighten. Stick a metal heat shield behind the work to protect anything exposed and WEAR safety glasses.
Jim
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try tapping it straight onto the shaft with a hammer to break the crust. i said TAP not, hit, bang, smash. dont try to bend it off, just tap it free.
randy
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xrongor wrote:

There is a special tool to do this. It's like a gear puller with a small pin in the center that fits in the screw hole and legs that grip the backside of the handle. Maybe you can find a plumbing repair guy that will pull it for you or borrow one somewhere..
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Inspector D wrote:

Try heat, but it may discolor it.
As a last resort you can hacksaw it off and get another valve. If another valve isn't available, you could still fix the old one.
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