Over time, the locking nut securing the faucet to the countertop can become frozen in place, causing problems when you try to remove it. When this happens, it’s usually the result of corrosion or mineral buildup accumulated over several years of water exposure.
Luckily, the frustrating halt in your plumbing project can be fixed, sending you on your way in no time. If you’re at a loss regarding how to remove a stubborn rusty kitchen faucet nut, keep reading to learn more.
What Causes A Kitchen Faucet Nut To Freeze?
Generally, when a kitchen faucet nut becomes frozen in place, there are a few main reasons for the issue. Most often, the culprit is water exposure over many years. Usually, you won’t find a stuck faucet nut on a new faucet unless you overtightened it (which is a nightmare in itself).
Water exposure at the hands of a slow leak or seepage can cause corrosion or mineral buildups on and around the nut, fixing it in place. You have a few options to break the bond holding the faucet nut in place. Luckily, these methods are far from difficult (although some are rather time consuming).
How To Remove A Rusty Kitchen Faucet Nut
You can employ various methods to remove the rusty faucet nut fixing your faucet in place. However, it’s important to note that some of these methods will damage the nut. You may need to replace the faucet nut if you use the harsher methods.
If you’re simply removing an old, faulty faucet, ruining the faucet nut probably isn’t a concern of yours. Now, if you’re removing a faucet nut on a faucet that is just being repaired, you may need a replacement faucet nut once you remove the current corroded one.
Now that we’re aware of the possible outcomes let’s get into the solutions. Here are a few options for removing the faucet nut.
Tighten The Nut
Yes, this method seems overly counterintuitive, we know. However, even turning the nut in the wrong direction can be good in this case, so try to tighten the nut. Movement can help break the bond fixing the faucet nut in place. Use a basin wrench or a pair of pliers if you can’t get a good grip with the wrench.
If you can tighten it slightly, follow up by trying to unscrew it. If you’ve broken the bond, it might release, sending you on your way quicker than expected.
Use A Hammer
If tightening the nut proved ineffective, try using a hammer. The objective remains the same: break the corrosion fixing the nut in place. Sometimes, using a hammer to tap the nut can give it a solid jolt, releasing the bond.
Make sure you hit the nut itself, not the surrounding threads. If you’re a bit dubious of your aim, use a center punch on the nut, then strike the punch with a hammer. If it seems to give, try to loosen it.
Use A Wire Brush
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If it’s coated in orange streaks, try using a wire brush to brush away the rust. This method is pretty straightforward: use a wire brush to remove as much of the corrosion as possible. Ensure you scrape the corrosion in all the faucet joints away as well. Without the corrosion covering the joints, you might be able to remove the faucet nut.
Heat can be a helpful tool when struggling with stubborn faucet nuts. If you’ve tried the above methods and nothing seems to work, try using heat. Using a hairdryer, heat the corroded metal.
The application of heat can help break the bond causing corrosion. If you don’t have a hairdryer on hand, you could also use a propane torch or heat gun, but be careful if you opt for something with an open flame.
To ensure you don’t start a bonfire in your kitchen cabinet, cover all of the flammable surrounding components with a flame-resistant fabric before using an open flame. If using heat doesn’t sound like an approachable solution, hop to the next option.
Use Penetrating Oil
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Penetrating oil might do the trick if nothing else seems to help. Apply a liberal amount of penetrating oil to the nut. This should help loosen the nut, dissolving the bond fixing it in place.
Ensure you use it properly on all corroded joints. In some cases, you might need to allow it to soak for a few hours. It also might require a few applications to see if it helps.
Once the faucet nut has soaked for a while, take a wire brush and scrub the corroded area to remove the nut. Once you remove the nut, brush off excess corrosion. You can soak the nut with white vinegar to help dissolve any remnants of corrosion.
If the faucet nut is considerably damaged, it might be better to replace it instead of using the old one. In addition, it’s vital not to use penetrating oil and heat in tandem. Some penetrating oils are highly flammable, meaning the likelihood of you being able to roast marshmallows under your kitchen sink grows substantially.
If you do decide to try heat again after using penetrating oil, ensure you clean away all of the oil before starting. Use a water-based cleaner to remove oil, then try heat.
Use An Acid-Based Cleaner
Try using an acid-based cleaner. Before applying, clean off any mineral deposits, then apply cleaner around the stuck nut with a rag dampened with cleaner. Allow it to soak for a few minutes, then use a wire brush to scrub the area.
Wipe the remaining residue with a rag, then reapply the acid-based cleaner. Allow it to soak for about 24 hours. After allowing the area to soak for a while, try to remove the nut with a wrench.