Mineral deposits can accumulate on the inside and outside of the kitchen and bathroom faucet over time. It is just one of the many problems associated with hard water that we face. Fixtures such as faucets or aerators get stuck when one or more of the nuts holding the fixture together gets stuck due to caked-on minerals.
The problem wouldn’t bother you unless you are in the mood to replace the old faucet with a new one. You’ll have to remove the old faucet completely before you can attach the brand new one in its place. This is when you’ll encounter the locking nut holding the faucet to the base that won’t budge.
Don’t worry, it’s not a major plumbing problem and doesn’t need a plumber right away. By understanding how to remove a stuck faucet nut, you should be able to handle the problem nicely.
What you’ll need
Here’s what you’ll be needing. Since there are multiple solutions to remove a stuck nut, first try the ones which can be performed with the tools that you already have at home. If these tools fail to set free the plumbing nut, you may have to visit the hardware store to find something else.
- Adjustable wrench
- Basin wrench
- Penetrating oil
- Acid-based cleaner
- Wire brush
Procedure to follow
Follow the procedure to learn how to remove a stuck faucet nut.
Shut off the valves
If you haven’t done so already before beginning to remove the faucet, do so now. Look below the sink. You will find two valves supplying water to the hot and cold handles of the faucet. Turn both these valves clockwise to cut off the water supply. If you can’t find these valves, you will need to turn off the main valve supplying water to the entire house.
Use a wrench
- The straightforward approach, if you haven’t tried it already is to use an adjustable wrench adjusted to the correct size to remove kitchen faucet nut.
- You can also use a basin wrench if the space under your sink is too tight. Chances are that it won’t even budge.
- Next, try to tighten it with the same wrench. Yes, you read that right! The objective is to move it, no matter what the direction. If it moves, consider that some progress!
- If there’s no progress, hold the plumbing nut with the wrench and strike it with a hammer. Be careful not to hit the parts around it. The blow may help loosen some of the deposits around the nut.
Heat it up
If the wrench and hammer don’t work, don’t give up just yet. There are plenty of other solutions we can try. Did you remember learning in science class that solids expand when heated? Heating up the rusty nut can expand it a little bit, possibly enough to break it free from the housing.
- A hairdryer will do the job. Turn it on and let the warm air from the hairdryer blow around the plumbing nut for several minutes and then check if it has broken loose from the rest of the faucet.
- You can also try a propane torch to heat the nut to higher temperatures but make sure you cover any flammable components in the vicinity with flame-resistant fabric before you start the flame. Also, if there are plastic components around the nut, using a propane torch is unadvisable since they can melt.
Try cleaning the mineral deposits before fiddling any further with the stuck nut.
- Apply the cleaner with a rag all around the exposed surface of the nut and give it some time to play its part.
- Use a wire brush to loosen the mineral deposits around the nut.
- Wipe off any remaining residues with a rag.
- Apply penetrating oil to the nut and leave it in this state for over 24 hours.
- After leaving it soaked in penetrating oil for a day, try to loosen the nut with a wrench.
Cut if off
In most cases, one of the above-mentioned tricks will accomplish the task. However, if all else fails, you are left with no other option but to cut it loose using a hacksaw. You can also use a reciprocating saw for the purpose but be careful with the tool, especially if this is your first time.
- Set yourself in a comfortable position.
- Turn on the hacksaw or reciprocating saw.
- Make a vertical cut starting from the top of the nut, going all the way to the end.
- Turn off the saw.
- Now you may use a set of pliers to break and pull out the stuck plumbing nut.
Resume dismantling the faucet
Once the problematic nut is out of the way, the rest of the faucet will dismantle easily. It was the stuck nut that was holding the faucet in place. One of the methods that you tried in the previous steps will have removed the nut. The rest of the faucet will be simple to work with. If you find another difficult nut in your way, repeat the steps above to break it free from the faucet housing.
These plumbing fixtures are continuously exposed to hard water with high mineral concentrations, high pressures and high temperatures from the hot water valve. All these fixtures can be tackled easily once you know just how to remove a stuck faucet nut. Be very careful to take all the preventive measures, especially when handling dangerous tools such as a hacksaw or propane torch. Protect yourself and the plumbing components around you from any harm to handle the stuck nut conveniently.