How do I unstick a tap?

John Conlin / 20 February 2018

A reader is unable to fix a leaky tap because the faucet has become stuck. Read chartered surveyor John Conlin's advice.


I have a dripping tap in the bathroom. A friend tried to undo the tap to replace the washer, but the tap would not move. Please, what can I use to 'unstick' the tap.


The first thing is to get two pairs of plumbers adjustable grips one to hold the body of the tap and the other for the removable part. With these in place you can apply great opposing force without risking loosening the fixing of the tap to basin or bath.

Next wrap the tap in a tea towel and repeatedly douse it with boiling water (at least five full kettles).

The idea is to heat the tap sufficiently to cause it to expand and loosen the bond that limescale may have made.

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.