Crane box — the main element that is responsible for supplying and regulating the flow, as well as the temperature of the water due to the rotation of the valve. In mixers with one or two levers, brass fittings are installed, which over time give in to plaque and rust, which greatly complicates the process of dismantling and repairing a failed crane box.
In such a situation, it becomes almost impossible to unscrew the threaded connection for restoration or replacement. The main mistake of many homeowners is that they take the key in their hands without thinking twice and try to unscrew the axle box with effort.
However, brittle brass can not withstand pressure and crumble. Repairs can be complicated and take time, or the mechanism will have to be completely changed.
Therefore, you should properly prepare for the repair. Performing it, you first need to arm yourself with the appropriate tool, basic knowledge of dismantling methods.
Main causes of malfunctions
The kitchen faucet, as well as in the bathroom, is actively used by households many times a day. Not everyone treats it the right way. For example, it is not uncommon for a flywheel to be twisted in sudden movements with excessive force. This leads to the punching of the rubber gasket, and then to the failure of the device.
It is also prone to penetration of abrasive materials (sand or other hard fine particles), which settle on surfaces and make it difficult to rotate, and in the worst case, lead to the destruction of the ceramic ring.
Most often, kitchen single-lever mixers break. This is due to the fact that they are under pressure with a vengeance. Such actions lead to the fact that the brass part is crushed, and it will not be easy to repair such a crane box.
There are three options for solving the problem:
- Change the mixer to a new one;
- Replace broken item
- Repair the broken part.
The least expensive is the third of the listed ways to fix the breakdown, but one of them should be used based on the specific situation.
To carry out the work you will need the appropriate tool. It is preferable to prepare it in advance in order to reduce the time interval for restoration work, during which the house will be left without water. Preparing the right tools ahead of time will allow you to carry out repairs calmly and without fuss.
First of all, you need to have a spare part available. This is necessary if it turns out that the old element cannot be repaired. But in this way it will be possible to quickly install a new one in its place.
For immediate troubleshooting, you will need the following tools:
- adjustable or pipe wrench;
- open-end or cap wrenches for faces of different sizes;
- flat, curly screwdriver;
- electric drill with a milling cutter and drills for metal.
Pay attention! A wide choice of spare parts from China on the market often leads to the fact that at the most inopportune moment a discrepancy between keys and materials from the Middle Kingdom is found. For this reason, it is better to play it safe, having a set of keys of different sizes on hand.
Before proceeding with the dismantling process, it is necessary to turn off the water supply to the riser, and then find out the reason why the water drips spontaneously. Often this can be due to worn valve stuffing box.
If it turns out that the faucet box is still leaking, then you need to proceed directly to the procedure for disassembling the valve. On the side of the lever, remove the cap, carefully prying it with a knife, trying not to damage its coating. If the handle is solid, without a plug, then just unscrew it. After that, it is necessary to remove the plastic rings and the valves themselves. To do this, unscrew the bolts with a flat screwdriver.
However, sometimes the question arises: what to do if the crane lever does not scroll? With this option, it is recommended to fill the inside of the armature with vinegar or lubricate with a WD-40 solution, which you can buy at any auto shop. This simple procedure will soften hardened deposits within a few hours. After that, the valve should be easily dismantled, and then you can proceed to the next step.
Effective tips on how to unscrew the stuck crane box
You can dismantle the crane box in one of several ways. This diversity allows you to choose the most appropriate option based on the specific situation:
- Chemical. Implementation is simple as the world. The part is generously lubricated with an acid solution (WD-40, Cilit plumbing or vinegar), and after a few hours it will be possible to try to dismantle it. In difficult situations, you should try to pour the chemical into the problematic connection (for example, with a syringe). In addition, experts recommend trying to boil a completely removed device for 20 minutes in a soda solution — this often helps to turn a stuck valve.
- Thermal. It is necessary to apply in the case when the above method did not bring the desired result. It is based on the fact that the crane box itself and the parts of the mixer with which it comes into contact are usually different. Accordingly, they have a different degree of expansion. Processing is carried out with a building hair dryer, with which the thread is thoroughly heated until the bolt moves.
- Tapping. Usually helps with the dismantling of an alloy crane box that is leaking. It is carried out with light repeated blows of a hammer or mallet on the body along the threaded connection. Limescale and rust should be removed, and the jammed part should be easy to dismantle.
- Jumper swinging. It is used in those situations when the edges of the jumper «sticked together». It is necessary to tightly grasp the bolt with a pipe wrench and try to break it by swinging. In this case, it is important not to apply excessive force — this is fraught with thread breakage and breakage of the part.
- Drilling. It is considered the most radical way; used when others have failed. The protruding part of the jumper is cut off with a hacksaw, after which the parts remaining inside are drilled with a suitable drill. Instead of a drill, you can use a cutter. Then the thread will have to be cut again.
Recommendations of the masters and possible difficulties
Plumbing equipment requires regular inspection. If the crane box is firmly stuck, and the problem needs to be urgently solved, then you will have to intervene with your own hands. This is especially true in cases where the services of a specialist are too expensive or late.
The following are guidelines that will help make the job easier when you do it yourself:
- If it is possible to turn off the water in the house for a long time, then it is advisable to go shopping for a new part only after dismantling the old one, taking the latter as a sample. Sales consultants in the store will help you choose an identical spare part or its suitable analogue.
- The modern plumbing market offers faucet-box repair kits made of rubber and ceramics. Plumbers note that with long-term use of the mixer, the entire locking mechanism becomes unusable. Therefore, it is better to buy a new device entirely.
- Some valves are equipped with locks. They need to be removed first.
- A wide range of Chinese parts requires wrenches of different sizes.
- Not only will the use of an open flame speed up the repair, but it may also expose the plastic parts of the faucet to the risk of melting. It should be borne in mind that the shiny surface of the case can also burn.
- Before removing the boiled faucet box, it is necessary to dismantle the mixer completely and boil it in a solution with the addition of 2 tablespoons of soda for about 20 minutes. After that, you need to dry the threaded connection and try to unscrew the part.
- Before doing work with your own hands, you should familiarize yourself with the model design of the crane box.
Dismantling the crane box is not an easy task, which can be difficult to complete. However, studying the design mechanism, working methods, and following the advice of experts will help solve even the most difficult task.