My shower faucet handle is stuck

Written by steve smith
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My shower faucet handle is stuck
Stuck handles often indicate a build-up of lime and sediment. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Removing any stuck appliance or part is a challenge, but removing a stuck faucet handle is really a test of skill and patience. Most faucet handles stick because sediment and lime accumulate in the pipes and fixtures. Attacking this issue first will solve most stuck faucet dilemmas. If you still can't get the faucet handle off, you'll have to resort to other measures. No matter how bad your handle is, however, there is a remedy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Allen wrench
  • Sediment-dissolving cleaner
  • Large pliers
  • Faucet handle pulling tool

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  1. 1

    Turn off the water to the faucet.

  2. 2

    Attempt to remove the handle by loosening the screw at the base. If this doesn't work, completely remove the screw. Sometimes this solves the problem.

  3. 3

    Spray the handle with a sediment-dissolving cleaner like Lime Away or CLR and allow it to soak in to break up sediments. Attempt to remove the faucet handle after a few minutes by pulling it back off the fixture.

  4. 4

    Attach a faucet handle puller, available at a hardware store or faucet parts supply, to the handle by sliding the tongs over the handle and screwing the rod into the handle. Turn the knob to pull the handle off the shower. Repeat this process until the handle begins to slide off the fixture. Do not use too much force on the handle puller as it may damage the shower pipes.

  5. 5

    Clean the end of the cartridge stem. Spray some sediment-dissolving cleaner over it and let it work for a minute or two. Wipe away the remaining residue. Install a new handle on the cleaned cartridge stem and operate the faucet. This fixes most stuck faucet handles, because it allows the stem to move freely.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase a sediment-dissolving cleaner at home improvement centres.

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