One thing anyone who does a little DIY quickly learns is how many specialised tools there are to use. But a lot of the time, you might not have those tools available. Luckily, there are normally some workarounds that anyone with a little ingenuity can use.
Keep reading to learn the best way to remove a kitchen faucet without a basin wrench, and exactly what else you can use instead of this tool.
What is a basin wrench and why is it necessary?
Basin wrenches are special plumbing tools that are used to reach the specific nuts that hold faucets onto a sink. The nuts that are mounted on a faucet tend to be tucked right under the structure, in a really hard to reach position, and a basin wrench is designed with a long shaft and right-angled head to make the job of reaching and loosening them much simpler.
Anyone who regularly does plumbing based DIY needs a basin wrench, but it’s not a tool that most other people will own, because of its incredibly specific single use. Luckily, there are several other options you can take if you need to remove your faucet.
So what can you do if you need to repair or remove a faucet, and you don’t have a basin wrench handy?
- How to remove a faucet without a basin wrench
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to remove a faucet without a basin wrench
Step 1: Shut off the flow of water
Start by turning off the water flow to your kitchen faucet. You can generally find the valves underneath the faucet, and you should also have separate valves for both your hot and cold water flow.
Close both valves, making sure that they’re tight. If you don’t have valves, or they’re not working correctly, you should also be able to shut off the flow at the main switch valve, which you will generally find near your water meter.
Step 2: Make sure the water is shut off
Once the valves are shut off, switch your faucet on to make sure that there’s no water flow. Open the spigot and leave it for a few minutes, which will let any accumulated air pressure free and make the process of removing the pressure locks on the pipes much simpler.
Step 3: Put a container under the faucet
A large bowl or bucket should be placed under the valves to catch any water that remains in the pipes. Disconnect both pipes, being particularly careful around the hot water supply.
It’s recommended that you use water pump pliers to remove your water lines, as improvised tools could potentially damage the line.
Step 4: Remove the faucet mounting nuts
Once all of the water lines are detached, you need to detach the faucet. Identify whether it’s held on with nuts or screws.
If it’s held on with nuts, they should be removed with a socket wrench. Screws should be removed with a screwdriver.
If you struggle to loosen anything, a quick wipe of grease or squirt of WD40 should help to free everything up.
Make sure to store any nuts or screws in a safe place when they’re been removed, so they don’t get lost.
Step 5: Clean and assess everything
Before you take any other steps, take a look at the area. See if there is any rust or corrosion, and also see if there is anything else that might obstruct the clean removal of your faucet.
Step 6: Remove the faucet
When everything has been detached, your faucet should cleanly lift out from its mountings. If it sticks, again, use a little grease, leave it to soak in for a few minutes, then slowly work the faucet up, being careful not to exert too much pressure, which could damage it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you use instead of a basin wrench?
A socket wrench
The main reason a basin wrench is necessary is simply getting access to the nuts that hold the faucet in place. But if you have reasonable access, you might be able to remove them using a standard socket wrench instead.
Duct tape has a thousand uses around the home, and you can add one more to that list.
Start by cutting off a section that’s around 12 inches long. Then cut or tear that strip in half lengthways, so you have two long, thin sections.
Stick one strip onto the back of the other, which will make sure that the tape is strong enough to hold. Then wrap the tape around the nut in an anticlockwise motion, leaving around 6 inches of tape unwrapped.
You can now use the extra leverage gained by pulling on the tape to remove the nut.
Instead of using a wrench, you can use two coins for extra leverage. Place two coins on opposite sides of the nut, and grip them as tightly as possible. Then use the coins to twist the nut enough until you can loosen it by hand.