How to unscrew the tap with your own hands


You don’t have to be a plumber to be able to fix a bro­ken faucet. This is quite with­in the pow­er of any man and even a woman, if they have the right tool and the nec­es­sary knowl­edge on how to remove the faucet in the bath­room or in the kitchen.

water faucet

Some­times the terms faucet and valve are con­fused. A valve is a valve con­trolled man­u­al­ly or through an elec­tric (rarely hydraulic or pneu­mat­ic) actu­a­tor, which is installed in a sec­tion of a pipe and serves to shut it off. The­o­rists call the tap the ter­mi­nal con­sumer device for draw­ing water. Sim­ply put, the faucet is installed above the sink, bath or show­er. On one side, it joins the inlet pipes of the water sup­ply, on the oth­er hand, a spout (spout) or show­er head. In the mid­dle is a mech­a­nism that reg­u­lates the flow of water. A device that allows you to mix hot and cold water to obtain the required tem­per­a­ture is called a mix­er. It con­tains either two sep­a­rate cranes, or a sin­gle inte­grat­ed one.

Features of the device, principle of operation

In mod­ern life, sev­er­al types of faucets are used. Their design and dis­man­tling rules dif­fer.


The out­dat­ed design has served man faith­ful­ly for more than a cen­tu­ry. Main com­po­nents:

  • Frame. Cast from steel or bronze and milled. Below is a thread­ed inlet pipe. A thread is cut from above to screw in the crane box.
  • On the left is a spout through which water flows into the sink.
  • Crane box. The most com­plex knot, con­sist­ing of sev­er­al parts. Inside it, a rod moves up and down along the thread. From below, a rub­ber gas­ket is fixed on it, block­ing the flow of water.
Fig­ure 1: Sec­tion­al view of the bush­ing
  • A han­dle in the form of a wash­er or a steer­ing wheel is fixed on top. By turn­ing the han­dle, you can move the stem up or down, open­ing and clos­ing the water. For full open­ing, you have to make two to four turns of the han­dle.
Fig­ure 2: Gen­er­al scheme of the worm crane

The faucet has two sep­a­rate bush­ings for hot and cold water.

Fig­ure 3: Mix­er with two worm taps

Such devices have two inlet pipes.


This is a more mod­ern design, it is much more con­ve­nient to use.

Fig­ure 4: Gen­er­al lay­out of a ball valve


Instead of a brass box and a rub­ber gas­ket, a plas­tic car­tridge is placed in the body. This faucet has two inlets for hot and cold water. A slot­ted ceram­ic ball is mount­ed inside the car­tridge. Win­dows are also made in the body. When closed, they do not match. The ball through the con­trol rod is con­nect­ed to the han­dle, which moves in three direc­tions.

As the ball rotates, its slots align with the win­dows and open up more or less water flow. The high­er the han­dle ris­es, the more the win­dows fit togeth­er and the greater the water pres­sure. The posi­tion of the han­dle rel­a­tive to the mid­dle — (left or right) — deter­mines the pro­por­tion in which hot and cold water are mixed. Thus, with a sin­gle move­ment of one hand, you can set both the desired pres­sure and the tem­per­a­ture of the water. Such struc­tures are sup­plied with an aer­a­tor that enrich­es the water with air.

Such a mix­er is much more expen­sive than a worm mix­er. The car­tridge costs ten times more than the gas­ket. But the ser­vice life of the car­tridge is also ten times longer than that of the gas­ket.

Application area

Taps are used in domes­tic and out­door water sup­ply sys­tems — wher­ev­er it is required to man­age water con­sump­tion. In a house or apart­ment they are installed in the fol­low­ing places:

  • sink in the kitchen;
  • Sink in the bath­room;
  • bath or jacuzzi;
  • show­er cab­in;
  • util­i­ty room — for a set of water for clean­ing.

On site cranes are used for:

  • water­ing green spaces;
  • sink in the sum­mer kitchen;
  • gar­den show­er;
  • car wash con­nec­tion.

In the bath, mix­ers are also mount­ed in the wash­ing (show­er) and in the steam room for fill­ing con­tain­ers with water.

Causes of failure of cranes and the need to dismantle for replacement

Each type of cranes has its own typ­i­cal break­downs. Repair steps also vary

These break­downs appear, as a rule, very sim­i­lar — the tap does not close com­plete­ly, water flows out of it


Cause Actions
Wear of the work­ing pad Remove bush­ing and replace gas­ket
Worn gas­ket Remove bush­ing and replace gas­ket
Thread wear Remove the bush­ing and replace it entire­ly
Valve seat wear Remove the entire faucet and replace it
Hull destruc­tion Remove the entire faucet and replace it


Cause Actions
Car­tridge wear Remove the car­tridge and replace it
Worn gas­ket Dis­as­sem­ble the hous­ing and replace the gas­ket
Hull destruc­tion Remove the entire faucet and replace it


To remove the mix­er or its parts you will need:

  • Gas wrench or set of sock­et wrench­es. You can also use adjustable tongs used in weld­ing.
  • Robust cloth for unscrew­ing chrome and nick­el-plat­ed sur­faces
  • Flat and Phillips screw­drivers
  • Knife.
  • Tweez­ers for remov­ing thin pads.

If you need to remove the faucet body from the sink locat­ed in the kitchen sink, then a flash­light and a mir­ror will come in handy.

How to unscrew a faulty faucet in the bathroom or in the kitchen


When dis­as­sem­bling the mix­er, the sequence of actions is as fol­lows:

  • Turn off the water.
  • Twist and pull out the plas­tic plug on the han­dle.
  • Loosen the screw secur­ing the han­dle.
  • Remove the faucet han­dle from the faucet by pulling it towards you.
Fig­ure 5: Remov­ing the han­dle from the axle box


  • Using an adjustable or sock­et wrench, unscrew the axle box from the hous­ing.
  • Remove the seal and inspect it.
  • Hold­ing the axle box with an adjustable wrench or adjustable pli­ers, unscrew the gas­ket fas­ten­ing screw with a screw­driv­er and remove it.

After replac­ing the worn gas­kets, assem­ble the device in the reverse order. Before screw­ing the axle box, its exter­nal thread must be wrapped with FUM tape or oth­er sealant. Do not apply exces­sive force to avoid dam­ag­ing the threads.

If replac­ing the gas­ket gave only a short-term effect, you will have to change the entire mix­er.


The dis­man­tling of the ball valve is car­ried out in the fol­low­ing sequence:

  • Turn off the water.
  • Place a piece of plas­tic or cloth in the sink so that it cov­ers the drain hole. This will help pick up small parts if they fall off.
  • Use a screw­driv­er or a sharp object to remove the two-col­or plug under the han­dle.
  • Care­ful­ly unscrew the small screw from the opened hole with a nar­row flat screw­driv­er. In some mod­els, you will have to use a hexa­gon.
  • Pull the han­dle up and remove it. She sits pret­ty tight.
  • Unscrew the round cap of the car­tridge. It can be addi­tion­al­ly fixed with a plas­tic nut. You have to be care­ful not to over­do it.
  • Remove the ball mech­a­nism from the hous­ing.
  • Care­ful­ly inspect the thin rub­ber seal­ing rings. If they are worn out, it is bet­ter to select suit­able ones in the store, tak­ing the mech­a­nism with you. Both the inner and out­er diam­e­ter and the height of the seal are impor­tant.

Some­times you can find balls arranged dif­fer­ent­ly. Do not take out the fill­ing right away. You will have to act like this:

  • Remove plas­tic shield. The shield itself is yel­low, the seal is black. It should be care­ful­ly cleaned of dirt and min­er­al deposits.
  • Pull the ball up and take it out. If the sur­face is worn or scratched, the ball must be replaced.
  • Three rub­ber seal­ing rings will become vis­i­ble inside the case. They also need to be inspect­ed and replaced if worn.
  • Assem­bly is car­ried out in the reverse order, with­out apply­ing exces­sive force.

Removing the faucet body

If the valve body is dam­aged (wear, cor­ro­sion or man­u­fac­tur­ing defects), it will have to be removed. They do it this way.

  • Unscrew the nut of the flex­i­ble hose lead­ing from the water fit­ting to the faucet.
  • Loosen and unscrew the nut that secures the faucet to the sink or coun­ter­top.
  • If the nut does not unscrew or can­not be reached with a wrench, you can unscrew the fas­ten­ing stud with a flat screw­driv­er. To do this, it is equipped with a slot.
  • After remov­ing the mix­er body, remove the gas­kets from the sink and clean the attach­ment site from dirt and min­er­al deposits.

If the flex­i­ble eye­lin­er has already worked for sev­er­al years, it is bet­ter to replace it at the same time.

Recommendations of experts and possible difficulties

If the axle box is “sticky” to the mix­er body, expe­ri­enced crafts­men rec­om­mend sev­er­al ways to unscrew the tap:

Fig­ure 6: Stuck screw con­nec­tion


  • Chem­i­cal. Use WD 40 uni­ver­sal helper, table vine­gar or descal­ing agent. They need to moist­en the vis­i­ble part of the thread and let stand from 10 min­utes to sev­er­al hours, depend­ing on the amount of deposits.

Impor­tant! After using chem­i­cals, thor­ough­ly rinse all parts of the faucet with plen­ty of warm water.

  • Ther­mal. Warm up the con­nec­tion with a build­ing or house­hold hair dry­er at low pow­er, so as not to over­heat the rub­ber parts. Due to the dif­fer­ent coef­fi­cient of expan­sion, the steel case will expand more than the brass box and can be unscrewed.
  • Mechan­i­cal. Tap­ping with a rub­ber or wood­en mal­let from all sides 10–20 times destroys lime deposits, and it will be pos­si­ble to unscrew the stuck con­nec­tion.
  • Boil­ing. You will need to com­plete­ly remove the mix­er and boil it in a soda solu­tion for 2–3 hours. The deposits should dis­solve and the con­nec­tion can be untwist­ed.

Flex­i­ble hoses should be unscrewed first from the line. From this side, the nut can be turned on the hose flange, and it will not twist.
The hoses must be passed through the hole in the sink one by one so that the nuts do not get stuck.

If the faucet in the show­er cab­in is removed, the design of the cab­in and mix­er must be tak­en into account. If the stand-alone cab­in is equipped with a mode switch, then it is usu­al­ly inte­grat­ed with the mix­er.

Fig­ure 7: Inte­grat­ed show­er faucet

You will have to remove both han­dles and unscrew the nuts secur­ing the con­trols.

Fig­ure 8: Remov­ing the han­dles. Vis­i­ble mount­ing car­tridge and mode switch

This is best done with an assis­tant hold­ing the rein­force­ment from the back.


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