The easiest way to remove a stuck faucet is to tightly apply a wrench and then strike it with a hammer. Applying heat or an acid-based cleaner can aid in the loosening process until the nut starts to turn.
Due to the hardness of the water, high pressure, temperature, and mineral deposits, faucets need to deal with a lot. Water can also accumulate inside and outside the faucets, causing corrosion. With all these potential problems, it’s common for faucet nuts to get stuck.
The big problem arises when you decide to change the faucet and find that the nut won’t budge. Before you install a new faucet, you need to tackle this nut issue.
Instead of calling a plumber and wasting your money, you can easily do this by yourself. Here we will look at the things you will need to open a stuck nut and the different methods you can try.
Before Removing the Nut
Close the valve
Before deciding to remove the nut and changing your faucet, it is imperative that you close the water valve. If the valve is not closed, depending on the method you use, the pipe can burst, or you will have water splashing out and making a mess.
The water valve can be found beneath the sinks, on the left or right side. Turn the valve clockwise until it can no longer turn. Alternatively, you can also switch off the main water valve of the house. After closing the valve, open the faucet to make sure there is no excess water in the pipes.
Clean the faucet with a metal sponge
You need to clean the faucet and the area around the nut with a metal sponge. The collected mineral and calcium deposits will have made a thick brown, orange, or creamy coating around the area of the nut. It is best to scrub this coating off, with a sponge or blunt knife, to make loosening the nut easier.
Methods to Remove a Stuck Faucet Nut
There are different methods you can use and below we’ve listed them in the order that you should try. Depending on the severity of the corrosion and rusting, it is possible for it to open with the first method.
Using a wrench
The easiest and fastest method to unstick a faucet nut is by using a wrench.
- Place the wrench on the nut and turn it in the opposite direction, tightening it. Movement in any direction is good. After it moves in one direction, alternatively move it clockwise and anticlockwise, loosening the nut and releasing it from its crusted state.
- This can be done with a regular wrench or if the sink is too low, with an adjustable wrench.
- It’s probable that you’ve already tried this but your technique may have been wrong. Pull your wrench at the furthest point on the handle away from the nut. This may give you enough leverage to move it.
Force with a hammer
If the nut does not open with just a wrench, then you can force it open with a hammer.
- Put the wrench carefully around the nut you want to unscrew.
- Hit the wrench with the hammer in the direction that the screw opens.
- Move sure to keep your hands at a safe distance.
- The blow to the wrench or nut, might shake the calcium deposits off and cause the nut to start moving.
When a metal is heated, it expands. The nut can also be loosened by heating it up. Before using the heating method, you need to make sure that there are no plastic components near or around the facet, as the heat would cause the plastic to melt and cause damage.
- Use a hairdryer and heat the nut. After heating for a few minutes you can check if the nut has expanded.
- If the nut still seems stuck, then you can use a heat gun or a propane torch. Make sure to cover anything flammable with flame-resistant fabric. When the metal expands, use a wrench to start to open the nut. You need to use the wrench while the nut is still hot.
Using acid-based cleaner/vinegar and penetrating oil
You can use an acid-based cleaner/vinegar and penetrating oil to break apart the residue around and inside the nut. For better results, you should use them together, one after the other.
- Put the acid cleaner on a rag and rub it all over the nut and the surrounding area. Alternatively, you can pour vinegar over the nut.
- Let it set for a few minutes. Use a metallic sponge to scrub against the nut, hopefully loosening it. If you still can’t remove the nut, move on to the next step.
- If this doesn’t work then put some penetrating oil on it. Let it soak in the oil for 24 hours.
- After the 24 hours have passed, try to loosen the nut with a wrench. It should start to open.
Cutting the nut off
The above methods should work well enough in removing even the most hardened and calcified nuts, but if it is not the case, then you only have one option left, which is to cut the nut loose. This can be done with a hacksaw or a reciprocating saw.
- Make sure that you are sitting on a stool, eye level (or as close as possible) with the nut.
- Wear protective gear just in case.
- Turn on the saw and make sure to cut from the top to the bottom of the nut.
- Use pliers to take apart the two pieces of the nut and remove them.
FAQs On How To Remove A Stuck Faucet Nut
Why is my faucet nut stuck?
Rust, fluctuating temperatures, and mineral deposits can all contribute to a faucet nut being stuck.
What’s the easiest way to remove a stuck faucet nut?
The easiest way is to use the hammer and wrench method. If this doesn’t work, you can start applying heat or penetrating oil.
Should I break a stuck faucet nut?
Faucet nuts are cheap to replace but you risk damaging the sink/tub if you try and break them. Breaking the nut should be the last resort.