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Repair guides and support for sinks, taps and faucets in your kitchen or bathroom.

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How can I undo the faucet - it is too hard to unscrew

I'm trying to change a tap washer, but the tap is too stiff to take apart. Any hints, please?

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@suzanne_michael post some pictures of where you are stuck and what you are trying to acomplish. I think the variation of terminology is getting us confused. Adding images to an existing question



Thanks for your response. I've now found a picture online which shows how that tap comes apart, and I think I can now work my way through, with the help of penetrating oil.

I appreciate your taking the trouble to contact me.



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Tap washer? That could mean various different things. Older faucets and hose bibs actually had replaceable washers which were held in place with one screw that usually broke before it came out. So I'd have to replace the whole thing. But you'd have to unscrew a big nut first to get the mechanism apart: a big adjustable wrench might work for that, or vice grips with a rag around the nut, or even a pipe wrench - same rag.

All these threaded parts are going to be totally gummed up with hard water deposits that will need to be dissolved with some kind of penetrating "oil", like PB Blaster, or even WD-40. Put a bunch on and let it sit for 1/2 hour. It sometimes helps to tap on the nut with two hammers simultaneously on both sides. Work your way around if there's room.

Once that's off you can unscrew the washer holder out to get at the washer. Do you have washers?

Again, unless you've got all the proper tools, washers, replacement washer holding screws, etc. it's easiest and cheapest to replace the entire faucet. But getting it out might require other tools like a basin wrench or even soldering equipment.

Just be sure you can turn the whole thing off when you have to go to the store or get some help.

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Thanks for this detailed answer. However, it seems that it refers to the inside of the tap; whereas I can't even unscrew the outside cover.

Do you have any further comments, please? I really appreciate your help.


The penetrating oil and wrench worked a treat, so that the outer casing is now free. Should the top of the tap now lift off? It is an older tap. I can't see any other screw or fitting that could be undone.

Thanks again.


I'm making progress. I found a picture online showing how the tap is taken apart, so I now know what I should be aiming for. Your advice is very helpful, so many thanks for that. I'll just keep working my way through now.


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If you are having trouble unscrewing a faucet, there are a few things you can try:

  1. Use a pair of pliers or a wrench to grip the faucet and turn it counterclockwise. If the faucet is stuck, you may need to apply a lot of force to loosen it.
  2. Try heating the area around the faucet with a blow dryer or heat gun. The heat may help to expand the metal and loosen the faucet.
  3. Apply penetrating oil or a lubricant to the faucet. This can help to loosen any rust or debris that may be causing the faucet to stick.
  4. If the faucet is still stuck, you may need to use a pipe wrench or other heavy-duty tool to get a better grip on the faucet. Be sure to use caution when using these tools, as they can cause damage if used improperly.

If you are still unable to loosen the faucet after trying these steps, it may be best to seek the help of a professional plumber. They will have the tools and experience to remove the faucet safely and efficiently.

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Suzanne Waller will be eternally grateful.
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