How to Remove Old Basin Taps

When replacing old taps with new ones the most difficult part of the job is likely to be – as with so many plumbing operations removing the old fittings Let’s first consider wash basin taps.

You must, of course, cut off the hot and cold water supplies to the basin. The best way of doing this will usually be to tie up the float arm of the ball valve supplying the cold water storage cistern so as to prevent water flowing in. Then run the bathroom cold taps until water ceases to flow. Only then open up the hot taps. This will conserve most of the expensively heated water in the hot water storage cylinder.

If you look under the basin you will find that the tails of the taps are connected to the water supply pipes with small, fairly accessible nuts, and that a larger – often inaccessible back-nut secures the tap to the basin. The nuts of the swivel tap connectors joining the pipes to the taps are usually easily undone with a wrench or spanner of the appropriate size. The back-nuts can be extremely difficult even for professional plumbers.

basin taps How to Remove Old Basin Taps

There are special wrenches and basin or crowsfoot spanners that may help, but they won’t perform miracles and ceramic basins can be very easily damaged by heavy handedness. The best course of action is to disconnect the swivel tap connectors and to disconnect the trap from the waste outlet. These are secured by nuts and are easily undone. Then lift the basin off its brackets or hanger and place it upside down on the floor. Apply some penetrating oil to the tap tails and, after allowing a few minutes for it to soak in, tackle the nuts with your wrench or crowsfoot spanner. You’ll find they are much more accessible. Hold the tap while you do this to stop it swivelling and damaging the basin

Removing old taps

1 It’s best to change taps by removing the basin completely. Loosen the two tap connectors carefully with an adjustable spanner.

2 Disconnect the waste trap connector using an adjustable wrench. Take care not to damage the trap, particularly if it is lead or copper.

3 Undo any screws holding the basin to its brackets on the wall, and lift it clear of the brackets before lowering it carefully to the floor.

4 Check the condition of the back-nuts, which may be badly corroded. It’s a good idea to apply penetrating oil and leave this to work for a while.

5 Use the crowsfoot (with extra leverage if necessary) to undo the back-nut. If more force is needed, grip the tap itself with a wrench to stop it turning.

6 Remove the back-nut and any washers between it and the basin. Old washers like these should always be replaced with new washers.


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