Effective tips on how to unscrew a sticky crane box


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.

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.

Sticky crane box


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:

  1. Change the mix­er to a new one;
  2. Replace bro­ken item
  3. 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.

Required Tool

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.

Set of tools


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:

  • pli­ers;
  • 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.

Preparatory work

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.

Leaky faucet

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 a sticky crane box
  4. 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.
Dis­as­sem­bled mix­er
  • 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.


Leave a Reply

You May Also Like