Sometimes, faucet manufacturers seem to be in a competition to develop the most baffling handle design, and Grohe is one of the current leaders. It isn't the operation of the handles that's puzzling, but the procedure for removing Grohe bathroom fixtures when you have to make a repair. Fortunately, the puzzle is easier to solve than you might expect.
Grohe Bathroom Faucet Handle Removal
Typically, faucet handles from other manufacturers have a set screw, although it may be cleverly camouflaged behind a cap or hidden underneath the lever. Try as you might, though, you won't find a set screw on the handles on some Grhoe models, including the Seabury, a two-handled bathroom faucet, and the Blue, a designer kitchen faucet with a built-in filter.
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Since removing the handle is sometimes necessary, the absence of a set screw must mean you can simply pull off the handle. If this is your thinking, you're right, but you'll have a difficult time confirming this in any of Grohe's diagrams or literature. One contractor lamented on Terry Love's plumbing forum that he thought he was supposed to pull the handle off a Grohe Classic, but he wasn't sure. He didn't want to force it for fear of breaking it, so he asked for advice from experienced plumbers.
It turns out that his intuition was correct. To remove the handle, you simply grasp it and pull, and if it doesn't come off right away, you simply pull harder. The handle is press fitted onto a plastic bushing, and the bushing sometimes offers resistance, which is why you may have to put some muscle into a Grohe bathroom faucet handle removal.
Grohe Seabury Handle Removal
The Seabury is a widespread bathroom faucet with lever-style handles. To remove either handle, you simply grip it and pull upwards. If it doesn't come off, wiggle it back and forth a bit while you pull harder.
If you can't muster enough strength to lift it, you may need to use locking pliers. When it comes to this, be sure to wrap a rag around the handle to protect it from the pliers. You might also have some luck by wedging a pry bar underneath the decorative conical collar and prying upward.
Some Grohe faucets, such as the Blue, have a handle that is mounted sideways to the faucet body, and you remove this the same way — by pulling. In most cases, it will come right off. It's rare for it to be stuck on so tightly that you need pliers.
Grohe Seabury Cartridge Replacement
Once you've completed your Grohe Seabury handle removal, you'll see that valve assembly will look the same as that on most other faucet models. There's a set screw on the top of the valve stem, and when you remove that screw with a screwdriver, it releases the ribbed plastic handle holder. You can then unscrew the retaining nut holding the cartridge, using your locking pliers, and pull out the cartridge.
Other Grohe models aren't the same as the Seabury, so be sure to check carefully for a set screw before assuming the handle is press-fitted. Like other faucet makers, Grohe usually hides the screw behind a cap that you have to pry off first. If you can't find a cap or a set screw, you can confidently use as much force as needed to pull off the handle, because it's designed to come right off.