I bought a new fixture for my bathroom sink and was totally jazzed
about installing it yesterday. While removing the old fixture though,
I ran into a problem:
There's a nut underneath the sink on the cold water side (sorry, I'm
not a plumber so my lingo probably sucks.) The nut threads up to a
washer which seats directly to the sink. I CAN NOT GET THAT NUT
LOOSE! The problem is that there is so little space down there that I
can't get a good grip with a wrench. I bought a new pipe wrench... no
luck. I bought a basin wrench which also has not worked.
I also tried cussing at it and striking things near it with a hammer
(you know, to intimidate it...) no luck.
Been there, done that. Probably because some little punk
immigrant plumber 40 years ago decided to put that #!@*^&+$
thing on so NOBODY would get it off.
I've had to do this twice in my Mr Fixit career, luckily both
times without destroying the sink. Start by getting rid of
everything that you can from the top. With any luck you can
unscrew, pry, and get rid of the chrome parts, and get down
to bare "pipe" skelton. From that point on, it's hacksaw
or Sawzall time. The idea of course is to cut it close
enough to the sink that your #@!&^%$ bottom piece will fall
through as soon as you finish the cut. Be careful, sharp
stuff all around (can you say "Yes, I've had a recent
Tetanus shot"?? lol) Good luck.
Baisez-les s'ils ne peuvent pas prendre une plaisanterie
I ended up pulling and replacing the whole basin as well as the faucets.
My sinks were a mess. Not necessarily a bad option as sinks aren't too
expensive. Additionally its a lot easier to install the faucet hardware
when he sink is out. However, if you want to save sink, you might want
to think about pulling out the sink and then mounting the hardware. Then
caulk the sink back in.
Two aerosol products come to mind:
The Deep Lube I got through a store (many decades ago) and Aerokroil was
mail order. And I don't have the form handy. Web search..... it's an odd
spelling word. Not like you'll get a lot of hits.
that sounds like my experience doing a brake job this summer on my car..
except in that case the nut was rusted and literally fused together. Go to
your local hardware store and grab a can of "liquid wrench." The stuff
worked wonders with the car. Spray it on liberally, let it sit... tap it a
bit with the butt end of a screwdriver, then spray on a ton more and let it
sit for a few minutes, then give it another go.
There is a special tool, call a basin wrench, I think, that will
allow you to remove the nut and also loosen the couplings for
the hot and cold water pipes. Not the easiest tool to use,
however, it does work.
Jey Gifford wrote:
I bought a basin wrench which also has not worked.
As a last resort, I had the same problem once..NO ROOM to work, so I undid
the supply lines at the angle stops, undid the clamps which held the
(kitchen) sink to the countertop and pulled the sink out and flipped it over
to get the old stuff off. Replaced it all, then dropped the sink back in
the hole etc etc. This is a lot easier than trying to reinstall the new
stuff from below with still no room.
If the nut is indeed hopeless, lubes, as other posters suggested, will
probably be of little help, IMO. Can you get some vise grips in there? If
not, I would remove the entire sink, set it up side down on a bench and go
to work - vise grip, drill, sawzall, whatever. Just me, though. Destroying
your way in from the top as another poster suggested seems a good idea as
well - but probably more risk of damaging your sink.
If taking the basin off the wall isn't an option, and the basin wrench
didn't work, get underneath with a long drill bit and drill a couple
of holes in the rim of the nut. If you can split the nut, it will
be weakened enough that you can just pop it off. WEAR GLASSES!!
Some faucets will permit a deep socket to be used too. There is
also one more special tool called a "nut buster" which works
but may be pricey for one time only.
Cut the pipe, as close to the sink as possible. Install a new riser.
If you want to use the old faucet elsewhere, it'll be easier busting the nut
off when you have more room and can use a breaker bar.
Bathroom sinks usually have 3/8" tubing from the 1/2" piping in the
house. Most of the time the 3/8 tubing can be re-connected using a
Hire a plumber.
He will have the tools and the experience to do the job quickly and
If you don't already own the exact tools, you could spend more buying them
than hiring a plumber to fix the problem in the first place.
When I was younger I tried to do everything myself. I spent a fortune buying
tools that got used only once. Many times, after buying the tools, I found
out I could not to the job and wound up calling a plumber to do the job
And you most likely will. And in the meantime your kitchen and house is all
On the other hand, you'll have a better understanding of plumbing and when/not
to leave the job to the experts. Try to get a friend's referral--they're
usually much more accurate than the Yellow Pages.
Thanks for all the suggestions!
I think i'm going to try the "liquid wrench." I know that the hardware
store near me carries it, and I'm really willing to try a few more
things before ripping the sink out of the cabinetry.
A friend of mine recommended using soda pop to get the thing unstuck
(though I don't see how ramming the nut with a can is going to help...
hehe) Something about the acid and the carbonation is supposed to
clean it up. Maybe if I get desperate. :)
Thanks again! I'll let you know how it turns out!
being the one that suggested the liquid wrench, I tried the soda pop route
first.. aside form making a sticky mess, all it did was quench my thirst
(why waste a full can if after half a can it is clearly not working :-)
Good luck and let us know how it goes...
On 25 Nov 2003 22:24:55 -0800, email@example.com (Jey Gifford)
WD-40 works really well, too.
You can also try putting a torch to the nut. Just be careful...and
make sure you have the proper extinguishing equipment beside you.
Jim's ideas were really good.
You can also try...
1. Cut the nut...with a hack saw blade or a spiral saw like RotoZip.
2. Put a pair of Channel Locks on the nut...straight up and down, not
on an angle...good quality pliers that will NOT twist at the tip.
Then turn the pliers with a Crescent wrench.
Good luck...let us know.
Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving season...
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