Unscrew Kohler faucet handle - help...


I am trying to unscrew my Kohler faucet but it just not giving in. Do I need to use a strap wrench or something? I don't want to scratch the chrome surface. I took 3 photos. It's the one in photo2.jpg.
Thanks
http://sopmedia.com/sopguest/kohler/photo.jpg
http://sopmedia.com/sopguest/kohler/photo2.jpg
http://sopmedia.com/sopguest/kohler/photo3.jpg
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On Mon, 12 Apr 2010 22:03:47 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com"

Key words: "set screw"?
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Oren wrote:

--
My Kohler faucets look almost identical, and are from the Kohler
"Revival" series. There is no set-screw!
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Smarty wrote:

--


Ain't no stinkin' set-screw....... this is what mine looks like:
http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/5270/dscn1136t.jpg
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I am going to get a strap wrench today and see if I can unscrew it. I already got the replacement cartridge from Kohler. Do I just pop off the old cartridge using a screwdriver or something? Let me know if you have a suggestion. Thanks again...
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Glad to help you. I had a bear of a time with mine.
The top escutcheon and faucet handle are removed as one assembly by unscrewing them, as I stated earlier. It would help, if, as someone else suggested, you could loosen the hex nut holding the faucet in, from below the cabinet. It takes an oversized basin wrench since the standard basin wrench (at least in my case) did not have a large enough jaw to grab the oversized hex nut. I was able to remove mine without loosening the nut, but you may still need a large basin wrench to tighten it after you put it back together.
Once the escutcheon is screwed off, the valve stem and a surrounding smaller hex nut are exposed. This smaller hex nut needs to be removed.
I first attempted to loosen it with a crescent wrench, and then a hex socket and ratchet. In both cases, the valve body started to twist / turn, putting the plumbing lines into a stresses condition. I was absolutely unable to loosen the hex nut holding the cartridge in place without removing the entire faucet valve from the countertop.
I took the vale I removed to my Kolher parts department expert, and showed him the valve, asking him how to extract the cartridge. He told me that he has had many people come in over the years with the same issue, and that the factory installed cartridges are tightened in extra tight. He put the valve body in a vise (holding it by the bosses built into the body itself) and spun the hex nut off with a ratchet / socket and long lever arm. He warned me to pack the valve stem with plumbers grease to avoid the same freezing situation when the valve needs to be replaced again a few years from now.
Yours may be looser and easier to remove. I hope so.
I swore I would never buy another Kohler faucet / fixture after this experience. Very expensive, short life on the cartridge (6 years), a pain to service.
The basin wrench I ultimately bought to tighten the large hex nut underneath the counter was made by Rigid. It was the only way I could successfully grasp and hold the hex nut to tighten it from beneath the counter. The standard size wrench just is not big enough.
Good luck,
Smarty
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Loosen the nut from UNDER the sink. This will relieve the tension, and then you should be able to do it by hand. If that does'nt work due to corrosion, overtightening, or whatever, then you'll need PB Blaster and a nice RIDGID brand strapwrench.
HTH, Lefty

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wrote:

To make things easier, why not shut off all water valves, disassemble the drain system and simply remove the whole sink from the counter top? This has been a pro trick for years, and eliminates the need to struggle with a basin wrench. This procedure takes a only a matter of minutes and the resulting work is much tidier than the typical DIY struggle. Good luck. Joe
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I bought a strap wrench yesterday from HD for $30 and tried to unscrew the faucet handle, but it is not moving at all. The chrome is really slippery. I put a rubber sheet on the chrome to try to get more traction, but it is still not moving. Any idea how I can unscrew it?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

As was previously suggested, a basin wrench can be used to loosen the hex nut which lies immediately beneath the threaded valve body as it passes through the countertop. You will need to get underneath the vanity / cabinet, and apply whatever torque is neccesary to loosen this hex nut, thereby relieving the pressure / force currently preventing the upper escutcheon from rotating.
As I also mentioned earlier, the Kohler faucet uses an oversized hex nut, and the standard basin wrench claw (at least on the two basin wrenches I own) is NOT large enough to grasp it. I therefore needed to purchase a Rigid extra large basin wrench, which has a considerably larger claw, and can grasp this hex nut. The same wrench is indespensible when you eventually get to the point where you need to tighten this same nut.
I suggest you might want to go back and read the prior replies where I and others have made these suggestions since they offer a bit more clarification.
Also, the approach to removing the entire counter top including the Kohler faucets was recommended as another approach. It sounds pretty radical, and may not work in some cases, but it may be a great solution for you also. It makes getting to the lower hex nuts far, far easier, without buying another $50 tool (the Rigid extra large basin wrench) as I did.
In my case, the countertop has two sinks, two drains, four faucets, requires two men to lift, and has a molded backsplash which runs up the wall to expensive wallpaper. Removing it would have cost a fortune, and the $50 wrench and some grunting and muscle were all I ultimately needed. In my case, the escutcheon came off without loosening the bottom hex nut, but I did need it to tighten the nut when re-installing the valve to prevent the entire vale from turning whenever the handles were operated on the valves.
Smarty
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Smarty wrote:

This is the specific basin wrench which works with the Kohler faucets. Notice that the smallest size it handles is 1-1/4 inch and that it goes up to 2 and 1/2" capacity. None of the others I found can go to this large size, which the Kohler faucet requires (at least my Kohler Revival widespread faucets need this extra large size).
Amazon sells it for $42. I paid $50 at a local plumbing supply store.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) W77E6
Smarty
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Smarty wrote:

Same web link, but shortened to make it work right on some newsreaders:
http://tinyurl.com/y22tzrw
Good luck with your Kohler faucet! Next time mine fails I am putting in Deltas.....!
Smarty
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wrote:

Don't rule out a Moen. A fine piece of equipment.
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Oren wrote:

Very good suggestion! My kitchen has a Moen faucet. It has been trouble-free for 15+ years!
--


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Thanks everyone for your insightful input. I really appreciate it...
Just one question... if you take a look at the photos that I had attached to the original question, there is a brass piece that is resting on the countertop surface. This piece does not come off when I unscrewed the chrome handle off the other faucet handles. So I don't get how undoing the hex nut below the countertop will help relieve pressure on the chrome piece that I am trying to unscrew. I guess my Kohlor faucet design is a little different from yours in the sense that yours does not have this extra brass piece that is separate from the rest of the faucet handle. So in your case, it would be good to unscrew the hex nut at the bottom of the countertop.
Thanks again
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I once again went back and looked at the 3 photos you have originally posted, and your faucet looks the same as mine exact for the handle shape which is slightly different. I am pretty confident that we both have the same valve and trim design. Please see the Kohler exploded parts drawing I have taken from the Kohler web site and then labelled further to make it easy to explain to you what is involved. I suggest you print a copy of this jpeg for reference. See:
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/7205/kohlervalveexplodedview.jpg
On the right of the drawing are all the stuff that sits above the countertop, including the escutcheon Part "A" which is threaded into a collar Part "B". This upper Escutcheon assembly is unscrewed leaving Part B still remaining on the top of the countertop. In my case the Part A escutcheon screwed off with a lot of force being applied, breaking the silicone caulk seal at the base of Part A where it met the collar, Part B. You may not be able to do so, and this is why the undercounter removal approach was also offered.
On the left side of the drawing is the valve body Part D and the large hex retaining nut, Part E. By loosening the hex nut, pressure being applied upward on the valve body which is pulling the part B collar down from the top of the countertop is relieved, making it much easier to unscrew the escutcheon. It may be neccesary for you to loosen this nut using the large sized basin wrench I recommended. In my case, I did not need to do so, but it may be required in your case, depending upon how tight the nut is fastened and how corroded / stuck / caulked the escutcheon actually is. Even if you do not need the wrench to remove the escutcheon, you WILL need it to tighten it after re-installing it.
The actual leaking cartridge you are trying to replace is labelled Part C. It can only be accessed once the escutcheon is screwed off. To remove it requires yet another trick, to loosen and remove the special nut holding it in. As I mentioned earlier, I eventually had to take my valve body to a Kohler dealer who used a vice and socket / ratchet to get this other unlabelled nut (part number 46115 on the drawing) to come out. He said it is very common for this part to get corroded / frozen in place, particularly on factory installed valves which are usually over-tightened (according to him).
I have described and illustrated the Kohler vanity faucets such as you and I have (widespreads) in a very detailed manner. Kohler also provides such information on their website.
Please let me know if I can help you further, and best of luck...
Smarty
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