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How to Remove a Broken Faucet

Sooner or later, one of your faucets at home will reach the end of its life cycle and you’ll be stuck with a broken faucet. There are basically three types of faucets installed in homes: 

  • screw with gasket 
  • ball valve 
  • cartridge (single control) 

The first type (with a screw) cannot be repaired when, despite the replacement of the gasket or the milling of the seat, it is no longer possible to stop the water flow, or when the screw is stripped. In the second type (ball valve), the control lever can no longer rotate or water always drips when it’s rotated. The single-control type is to be eliminated when, even if you change the ceramic cartridge, you can’t mix water or control its flow. In all these cases you’ll have to remove the faucet and replace it. The different faucets are removed differently depending on the type of dispenser and installation (e.g. in the kitchen sink, in the bathroom sink, on an external fountain) and the disassembly procedure is different. Let’s look at the three classic cases. 

Things you will need

Step 1: DISASSEMBLING AN EXTERNAL FAUCET

In general, faucets outside the house are the ball valve or screw type. Mixing is not foreseen because they only supply cold water. In general, these faucets are screwed onto a threaded sleeve that is inserted into a structure (external wall, column, etc.) flush with the surface. The threaded connection is usually hidden by a circular mask that completes the faucet. Disassembly is simple with this type of faucet. After shutting off the water supply to the main valve of the house, the body of the dispenser must be grasped fairly close to the threaded connection using a parrot wrench, then rotated counter-clockwise. If it is difficult to turn, we suggest applying some WD-40 Specialist Super Unlocking Rapid Action on the threading, which quickly penetrates and loosens the resistance with remarkable effectiveness. It is also water resistant. When the faucet has been unscrewed, we suggest cleaning the thread of the wall sleeve with a toothbrush or a pipe brush, and if you’re not immediately installing a new faucet, it’s best to screw in a threaded cap of the appropriate diameter.

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Step 2: DISASSEMBLING THE BROKEN FAUCET OF A KITCHEN SINK OR A BATHROOM UNIT INSTALLED ON THE WALL

Wall-mounted kitchen or bathroom sink faucets are connected to two threaded sleeves (for hot and cold water) that protrude from the wall, using two hexagonal-nut threaded ferrules. Remove the broken faucet by gripping the ferrules with a fork wrench or adjustable wrench and turning counter-clockwise. Once you’ve finished unscrewing, the faucet can be removed. Also in this case you can use WD-40 Specialist Super Unlocking Rapid Action if it is difficult to unscrew. The two S-shaped fittings used to adjust the distance of the connections (which are fixed because they are in the wall) to that of the faucet connections remain screwed on the wall sleeves. These adapters can be left in place or removed to be replaced with new ones. In any case, they must be subsequently rotated to adapt to the distance of the connections of the new faucet.

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Step 3: DISASSEMBLING THE FAUCET OF A KITCHEN SINK

If the faucet to be replaced is installed in the kitchen sink, a different process must be followed. The bottom of the faucet has a large threaded connection with two pipes (usually flexible) coming out of it which connect with the hot water and cold water wall connections. The threaded body is inserted into the sink and locked, from below, with a large nut. Start by disconnecting the two pipes from the hot and cold water supply on the walls under the sink. You’ll need to unscrew the two ferrules on the water supply (always remember to shut off the inflow of hot and cold water beforehand). At this point you can unscrew the large nut that blocks the threaded connection of the faucet. You’ll have to do this step under the sink; this may be uncomfortable based on the space and position of the nut. Once you’ve removed this part, you can remove the faucet from above by releasing both its threaded base and the two pipes that were connected to the supply from the hole in the sink. If this proves difficult, use the product mentioned above.

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Step 4: DISASSEMBLING A BROKEN BATHROOM SINK FAUCET

The faucet inserted in a bathroom sink can be disassembled like the kitchen faucet. The threaded part inserted into the sink is usually not tightened with a nut, but has a metal plate (usually crescent-shaped) mounted with two screws and an interposed gasket. Also in this case it may be useful to loosen the screws with WD-40 Specialist Super Unlocking Rapid Action before disassembly. The sink also has a plug lifting system consisting of some movable rods connected to each other with joints. These rods must be disconnected before the faucet can be removed from above.

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Now you are all done.

We hope these steps were helpful in removing and replacing your faucet. Check out some of our other “How to’s” below.

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