Stubborn valve stems

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Here's a couple of photos of the two valve stems I'm trying replace. Both are starting to leak. I'm having a heck of time getting a wrench on these suckers.
I haven't tried soaking them with anything yet, but some kind of penetrating fluid or Lime-Away come to mind. I tried putting pressure on them and tapping with a hammer but can't budge either one. I also thought about hitting them with a torch but I'm a little worried about catching wood on fire and not being able to get a wet rag being the tile -- or having to spray water inside the wall and creating another problem.
Anyway, I hate to call a plumber for something that should be a Joe homeowner job but may end up doing that. Any ideas on what else to try first?
They were put in about 17 years ago when I had the galvanized piping replaced with copper. Never leaked until just now.
You all know what these things look like, but just for fun, here they are...
http://imageshack.us/a/img33/3793/glqx.jpg
http://imageshack.us/a/img32/4475/ew2b.jpg
Guv Bob
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On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 22:45:18 -0700, "Guv Bob"

Can't you get a long socket over them? Last time I had something like that I had to chip out the surrounding tile/grout/plaster to give me enough room to get a socket over the "nut" on the valve so I could unscrew it.
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wrote:

Liquid Wrench sounds good to me. Lime away is for hard water deposits, and I really don't know if that has anything to do with these nuts being tight. Seems to me the water wouldn't get in there, like it does on the bottom of the sink when the faucet drips. .

Tap after the Liquid Wrench too, as the instructions say.
And try tightening a bit too. If it moves a micron, an angstrom, that helps free things up.

The percentage risk is small but the possible loss is too high! You don't want to be the last story on the evening news.

They have special plumbing sockets, for just this purpose. You can buy a set or some places have individual ones, since the whole house probably just uses the two sizes (the one at each end.) Not expensive either. Home depot has a set of them, which also take up a lot of space for all but one I will never use. Not sure where I bought the single one.
I had automobile deep sockets and they weren't deep enough.

Yes. At first I thought his second picture was the same valve with a bigger hole chipped out, but it's a different valve.
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On 10/20/2013 12:45 AM, Guv Bob wrote:

Is this what you need?
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41dtVDjTvyL._SY300_.jpg
I'd hit it with WD4 if it's stuck
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on these suckers.

on them and tapping with a hammer but can't budge either one. I also thought about hitting them with a torch but I'm a little worried about catching wood on fire and not being able to get a wet rag being the tile -- or having to spray water inside the wall and creating another problem.

first?

Thanks. I'm probably being way to careful, but if I break something the lovely wife will either kill me or move out. Hmmmmm.... where did I put that sledge hammer? LOL!!
Butt seriously.... I've got one of those wrenches. Wish I could see inside a little better. It looks like there are 3 pieces and I'm not sure which one to try and remove. I marked them on this photo. The outermost one looks like it has reverse thread marks. Not sure if I should just remove this or what looks like another bushing behind it. Or is that part of the fixture?
http://imageshack.us/a/img856/5656/15tz.jpg
I'm sure it is obvious to someone who has done it before, but that ain't me.
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It's been a while since I tore out that style of valve and installed a single handle, anti-scald valve, but...
If memory serves me correctly and this image is correct, you want to remove the nut that you labeled as a "bushing", which it is not.
http://images.meredith.com/diy/images/2009/02/p_SCP_075_08.jpg
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On Monday, October 21, 2013 4:53:27 AM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Yup, that's it. Stem nut or bonnet nut.
But there's no way he's going to turn his with just a screwdriver for leverage. These things are in tight, usually with some pipe dope that's turned to concrete by now.
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On Sun, 20 Oct 2013 18:07:10 -0700, "Guv Bob"

I think the "bushing" is to replace the packing around the stem and the ? is to replace the washer. And that to replace the washer, you don't have to unscrew the so-called bushing. But I could easily be wrong.
Unless someone says the same thing more convincingly, go to HD or Lowes, find such a valve and take it apart. When you have your answer, put it back together and back in the box. If you have to cut the strap that is around the box, I give you permission, as long as you put everything back nice. If the box won't stay shut anymore, show it to a clerk, or bring some big rubber bands, or twine.
Sometimes when you've removed the ? and try to put this all back together, the stem and the washer will hit bottom before the ? is completely screwed in. Then you have to "turn on the water", back out the stem so you can screw the ? in farther.
The "threads " are the threads the ? screws into.
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Sometimes you have to have the right words to explain to the experts what you want.
I've just disassembled mine and I had a similar problem, though my hardest part was getting the handle off.
At any rate, there are two nuts: packing nut, and bonnet nut.
It looks to me like maybe your packing nut already came off. Sometimes they stick to the escutcheon.
Your bonnet nut is the one you've labeled bushing. That needs to unscrew. Mine needed the special tool from the hardware store, and the first one (multiple size) didn't fit, I had to go back and buy the set.
You need to get the right size. If you round the bonnet nut, you're done. You have to break open the wall and start over.
The tool (like a long deep socket) comes with a bar to turn it. They are never long enough. You always need a cheater bar for the leverage.
Good luck.
Uh, did I mention turn off the water first?
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Air tool oil is finer and tens to work better/faster
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On 10/20/2013 1:45 AM, Guv Bob wrote:

Also, Deep Lube worked for me on a similar plumbing job. Spray on the threads, and do the job the next day after the lube soaks in. Looks like a deep socket would be useful, but they don't make em that deep. Might have to remove some drywall, and use an offset box wrench.
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On 10/20/2013 4:09 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

gonjah posted a picture of the socket wrench invented by some feller who probably came across the same problem. I've had one of the darn sets in my ton of tools someplace but haven't laid my hands on it in a very long time. The set of wrenches is inexpensive enough for me to purchase another instead of spending $500 of my time looking for them. That's the criteria I use for buying replacements but I always remember where the frigging thing is right after I destroy the packaging for the new tool. o_O
http://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraft-Steel-Shower-Valve-Socket-Set-T141/100015414
http://tinyurl.com/o8vyr45
TDD
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On 10/20/2013 12:45 AM, Guv Bob wrote:

Both are starting to leak. I'm having a heck of time getting a wrench on these suckers.

I don't know how you could check, but I think I remember that one is right hand thread and the other left hand.
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Are you sure you're not thinking of sinks (maybe tubs and showers) with one piece fixtures and one handle that turns one way and the other handle turns the other?
I have that in my bathroom sinks, and after 28 years, I finally have to change the washers. When I'm done, I'll know if the inside is like that too.
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wrote:

For this one, they're both the same - right to shut off the water.
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On 10/20/13 8:59 AM, DanG wrote:

clockwise and other counterclockwise, but the stem housing themselves are both normal CCW to loosen, CW to tighten.
When buying just 1 replacement, you need to know if it is for hot or cold to get the correct turn.
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On 10/20/2013 12:45 AM, Guv Bob wrote:

Before you do anything else...are you positive you can get replacements?
I've found that in such cases the original parts are not always available.
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on these suckers.

on them and tapping with a hammer but can't budge either one. I also thought about hitting them with a torch but I'm a little worried about catching wood on fire and not being able to get a wet rag being the tile -- or having to spray water inside the wall and creating another problem.

first?

You ain't just a whistling Dixie, Philo! Bin there dun that. I'll take the photos done to the "real" plumbing supply tomorrow. From the end of the stem to the lip of that bushing is 2-3/4 inches. All the houses around here were built about the same time, so I'm hoping they'll recognize it.
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wrote:

Crows foot wrench is no good it would round of nut then you deffinatly would have big problem he needs good socket wrench there plumbing supply shoud have one to your need

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On 10/20/2013 11:55 AM, Oren wrote:

If not, it shouldn't be hard to make one from one of the spark plug type w/ the formed back for a wrench. A 1/2" drive should let the faucet handle stud go thru altho a 3/8" might as well...
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