How to Remove A Stripped Screw from Shower Faucet

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When replacing a part of the shower faucet, you need to remove the screws first. The parts such as the shower valve, cartridge, pan use a set of screws to hold them steady. The worst part to handle with bathroom repair work is stripped screw heads.

Stripped screws are caused because of utilizing incorrect tools or being always in a hurry without enough care. Also, wrong holding of a screwdriver or using the wrong size drill bit damages the screw heads.

The problem with stripped screws is they lack in getting a good grip once it gets bored out. Unscrewing damaged screw heads without proper knowledge and guidance involves the risk of damaging the fixture. Or the worst part is when it becomes no longer removable.

“To get a stripped screw out, you will need to drill out the center of the stripped screw. With the right tools, the process is relatively easy,” Says Ryan Womeldorf.

In this post, you will walk through step-by-step instructions to remove a stripped screw from the shower faucet or handle. But before diving into the “How-to” guide, let’s identify the type of screw your shower faucet is using.

Types of Screws Used In Shower Faucet

Allen head or Phillips head screws commonly hold parts of your shower faucet or handle. You can identify each of them by looking at its head as both have different structures.


Allen Screw, How to Identify?

To identify an Allen Screw (also known as hex screws), look at its head. It will be having a hexagonal socket design on its head. Usually, these types of screws are removable using hex-key wrenches.


Phillips Screw, How to Identify?

To identify a Phillips Screw (also known as crosshead screw), look at its head. It will be having a cross-shaped design on its head. Usually, these types of screws are removable using a Phillips screwdriver.

Getting Ready With Right Tools

To unscrew a stripped screw, get yourself ready with the right tools. You will need two main tools to make this process smoother. Let’s check each of them.

  • Drill Machine: A Drill machine is effective in comparison to key wrenches and screwdrivers. They are handy and preferred by most plumbers to drill out stripped screws much faster. However, you’re going to need a drill that has high torque power to complete the process precisely. If you’re looking for one to purchase, the DEWALT Max Cordless Drill will fairly work.
  • Drill Bit: Drill bits are designed to create holes in different materials. For this process, you’ll be using a drill bit to drill through the shower faucet or handle until it reaches the inside diameter. If you’re looking for one to purchase, the DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set will help.
  • Screw Extractor Kit: Next, you’ll need some specific bits to extract the damaged or stripped screws out. For that, get yourself a screw extractor kit as the bits available in screw extractor kits have left-handed thread; designed to work in reverse to cut into the head of the bolt. If you’re looking for one, get this set of screw extractor kit.
  • Adjustable Wrench: Keep an adjustable wrench handy as it will help in holding screw extractor bits when removing stripped screw.

How to Remove A Stripped Screw from Shower Faucet

Step 1 – Prepare the Drill Machine

First, you have to prepare the drilling machine before you begin the drilling process. Identify the type of screw your shower faucet is using; can be either u003cstrongu003eu003cemu003eAllen or Phillips Screwu003c/emu003eu003c/strongu003e. Once you identify, select the correct size drill bit, which must fit the stripped screw comfortably without stretching the gap.

Step 2 – Start Drilling A Hole

While holding the drill machine steady, place the drill bit on the screw head, making an angle of 90 degrees. Once all set, start drilling through the center until it reaches the rear end of the screw, then remove the drill bit carefully.

Step 3 – Drill Out the Screw Head

Now, switch the current drill bit to a new one. Make sure it matches the screw head’s diameter for great results. Again, place your drill and start drilling out the screw head until you sense you’ve reached inside diameter.

Step 4 – Insert the Screw Extractor

You’re Almost Done!u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIt’s time to select the right-sized screw extractor bit from the kit and insert it into the hole we did. Ensure if the screw extractor bit fits perfectly into the drill hole. In some cases, you’ll need to drill the hole a little bigger; if the screw extractor bit doesn’t fit.

Step 5 – Finally, Remove the Screw

Take out your adjustable wrench and attach it to the screw extractor bit. Hold tightly and rotate the bit counterclockwise. You’ll notice the stripped screw finally getting off from the shower faucet. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eWell Done! Now you can continue replacing the parts or whatever reason you were trying to remove the stripped screw.

Additional Tips to Remove A Stripped Screw

Use A Rubber Band

Rubber bands are popular for removing a stripped screw. It works perfectly in filling the gaps caused by the stripping of screw heads. The concept is when you add a rubber band to the head, it adds extra traction (grip), making the removal much easy.

Here’s how you can make a rubber band work in stripped screw removal:

  1. First, place the rubber band on the top of the screw head. In doing so, you’re creating friction between screw and removal tool (could be screwdriver or drill).
  2. Start unscrewing with a rubber band in place. The grip created due to the place rubber band will help get the stripped screw out.

For Phillips Screw Heads

If you’re dealing with a Phillips screw head also known as crosshead screws, then use a flat head screwdriver along with a rubber band placed on the top.

Doing this introduces enough grip for your screwdriver. By applying a little force downward and rotating it counterclockwise will get it removed.

Bond Allen Key to Screw Bolt

This bonding method works perfectly for Allen head screws. The concept says – “If the screw head is an Allen type, you can bond an Allen key to the stripped screw head to remove it.”

For this process, get an Allen key that you won’t regret throwing after usage. It doesn’t need to be a high-quality Allen key, you can find cheap Allen keys in the market that can come in handy for situations like this. Also, the process does require strong adhesive glue.

I recommend using Araldite Strong Adhesive Glue which is a two-part formula, so take a little amount from each tube and mix them to get the final mixture.

Bonded Allen Screw with Allen key Using Adhesive Glue
Bonded Allen Screw with Allen key Using Adhesive Glue

How does it work?

  1. Take Araldite adhesive glue’s mixture and fill the head of the screw with it.
  2. Stick the Allen Key on top of screw head and wait for it to settle down.
  3. Leave it overnight so that it gets really hard.
  4. Once a strong bond is created, you can turn the Allen Key to get your stripped screw removed.

See Also: 7 Ways to Remove A Stripped Screw

Here’s How to Avoid Stripping the Screws Again

Here are a few tips to avoid stripping a screw:

  • Do not apply too much pressure when working with drill machines.
  • Always make a 90 degree angle while drilling.
  • Make sure the tip is fully seated into the screw head before screwing or unscrewing.
  • Use correct screwdriver of appropriate size and design.
  • Use correct size drill bit.

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