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How to remove stuck shower cartridge (old Price Pfister)

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Plumb Newb

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Hi all,

I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this. We recently bought a house built in the 90s and it seems like this shower cartridge might be original too. And it is has been leaking for...who knows how long. We've got replacement parts (based on recommendations from Price Pfister service), but when I went to start doing the replacement, I got stuck trying to remove the old cartridge. My strategy was to use needlenose pliers and try to pull/twist it out....but its really stuck. I'll attach a pic of what I'm dealing with. If anyone has any tips or advice, I'd be glad for it.

Thanks!
Plumber Newb
 

Riickk

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Looks to me like a it may be a Delta clone.
Did you first remove a stainless (or plastic) ball with a short lever ??
 

Jeff Handy

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I am not very familiar with Price Pfister, but it looks to me like your valve might have broken in half while being pulled out.

Everything inside that outer brass body should have come out.
Even that bluish green outer core.

If that is correct, then try to grab the guts with a pair of channel lock type pliers and twist and pull.

If there is nothing to grab, then call Price Pfister and describe what you have stuck in there.
It has probably happened before, so they should have a procedure for getting that chunk out of there.

Maybe inserting a flat screwdriver in one of the cavities between that blue/green core and the black inner module, and tapping it at an angle with a hammer, to twist and rock everything free?

Post a few pics of the part you already pulled out, from different angles.
 
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Jeff Handy

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Is this what your shower valve looked like, when you got the trim cover off?

Does this cartridge look like yours did?

 

Plumb Newb

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Is this what your shower valve looked like, when you got the trim cover off?

Does this cartridge look like yours did?

Thanks for the responses! I will post a pic of the other side of this thing. To answer your question here, ours did not look like the one from the video (or any video I've been able to find). The rep from Price Pfister said that what we have looks like an old "Bodyguard" style valve/stem assembly, which they don't make anymore. He did give us the specific parts we'd need to make it work with a new handle though, and those parts do look like what's in the video. Actually he left one part out (stem assembly or the part with the white bit), we are now waiting on that from Amazon before our next attempt.

Thanks for the advice on getting it out. I will try a couple of those things next time I get back in there.

Posting the pic of the other side below....sorry for the poor angle, its the only one I took of this piece. Note this is the back of the piece, that butts up against the cartridge. The part with the turning mechanism is on the other side (not visible). When it turns, the middle metal ring in the pic below turns.
plumb2.jpg
 

Jeff Handy

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You are lucky you have the built in water supply stops, so often the builder cheaps out and buys the same valve but without those handy shutoffs!

Not very familiar with Price Pfister valves, but what is still stuck in your valve body looks like a pressure balancing module.

Maybe yours broke off from the front part, or possibly it used to be a two part system which now is unified into one longer cartridge.

I would try grabbing it, yanking it, or loosening it anyway possible, but DO NOT scratch up the insides of the brass body, or punch through the stuck part and gouge up the back of the body.

You could try CAREFULLY drilling a few pilot holes in the solid plastic of that stuck part, maybe 3/4 inch deep, then hand drive in some screws, and yank on the screws with vice grip pliers.

Refer to the video to see how deep that valve body is when empty.
Gouging the back wall with a drill bit might ruin it.
 

Plumb Newb

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You are lucky you have the built in water supply stops, so often the builder cheaps out and buys the same valve but without those handy shutoffs!

Not very familiar with Price Pfister valves, but what is still stuck in your valve body looks like a pressure balancing module.

Maybe yours broke off from the front part, or possibly it used to be a two part system which now is unified into one longer cartridge.

I would try grabbing it, yanking it, or loosening it anyway possible, but DO NOT scratch up the insides of the brass body, or punch through the stuck part and gouge up the back of the body.

You could try CAREFULLY drilling a few pilot holes in the solid plastic of that stuck part, maybe 3/4 inch deep, then hand drive in some screws, and yank on the screws with vice grip pliers.

Refer to the video to see how deep that valve body is when empty.
Gouging the back wall with a drill bit might ruin it.
I think you're right that it was a two part system in the past. Now it seems like they do sell it either as one longer cartridge, or you can still buy the 2 part unit as well (which we did), these two parts:

https://www.amazon.ca/Pfister-9742910-974291-Replacement-Part/dp/B0029PK3QA/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1SWJ0YMAKTF1O&keywords=pfister+974291+replacement+parts&qid=1580016511&s=hi&sprefix=pfister+974291,tools,220&sr=1-1

https://www.amazon.ca/Pfister-9712500-Valve-Stem-Assembly/dp/B002C0CYLY/ref=pd_sbs_60_2/147-9097332-5130224?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B002C0CYLY&pd_rd_r=a78a4de7-8515-4bf4-b017-db005d2e4cc2&pd_rd_w=1U4v5&pd_rd_wg=hzhBe&pf_rd_p=dbebb38c-0e3d-4a67-ac15-432d7c7a2789&pf_rd_r=JMNJ9DM5QNE6TSVYAC9Z&psc=1&refRID=JMNJ9DM5QNE6TSVYAC9Z

(if I had to do it again, I'd order the all-in-one version, originally I thought it best to keep things as much the same as I could.)

If I have to, I'll try the screw method, that's a good idea.

Thanks for the help.
 

Jeff Handy

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12 in. Tongue and Groove Pliers

https://www.homedepot.com/p/100002119

I think if you can grab onto that with pliers like these, you can twist it loose, then pull it out.

You can try it with the jaws pointed right at it, jammed into some recesses.

Or lay it almost flat against it, and pinch down on whatever is protruding.

Twist to break free, then yank out.

Be sure to clean out any crud stuck inside the brass valve body, minerals or old rubber, whatever.

Some vinegar on a scotchbrite pad is perfect for that.
Then wipe to rinse with plain water.

Then goop everything up with a very thin coat of plumbers’ silicone grease.
Especially at all o rings and seals.
Buy a tube of it.

1 oz. Plumber's Grease

https://www.homedepot.com/p/203489444
 
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Plumb Newb

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12 in. Tongue and Groove Pliers

https://www.homedepot.com/p/100002119

I think if you can grab onto that with pliers like these, you can twist it loose, then pull it out.

You can try it with the jaws pointed right at it, jammed into some recesses.

Or lay it almost flat against it, and pinch down on whatever is protruding.

Twist to break free, then yank out.

Be sure to clean out any crud stuck inside the brass valve body, minerals or old rubber, whatever.

Some vinegar on a scotchbrite pad is perfect for that.
Then wipe to rinse with plain water.

Then goop everything up with a very thin coat of plumbers’ silicone grease.
Especially at all o rings and seals.
Buy a tube of it.

1 oz. Plumber's Grease

https://www.homedepot.com/p/203489444
Thanks for the tips. I'll let you know how it goes when we try it again!
 

Plumb Newb

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Thanks for the tips. I'll let you know how it goes when we try it again!
PS: The pliers did the trick. I had to get a bit destructive on the cartridge to get a good hold (had to pry out the round bits on the front), but once I could get a grip, I was able to wiggle it out. Thanks for the tips, fixed the leak!
 

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