How to Remove a Stuck Faucet Handle?

We all experience stuck faucet problems in our households at least once in our lifetime. Don’t we?

Everything ages with time, and sometimes various minerals build up in certain spots for years and cause corrosion. Faucet handles are the ones that wear out the quickest, and these need to be taken out first if you ever have to replace your faucet.

Installing a faucet might be tricky but removing a faucet along with its handles is not that hard. Understanding how to remove a stuck faucet handle is what you first need to do, and then you can do the rest of the works.

Steps to Removing a Stuck Faucet Handle

To successfully be able to remove a faucet handle that is stuck due to corrosion and age, you need to follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Gather the Appropriate Materials & Tools

There are some materials and tools that you will need to properly and safely remove the stuck faucet in your bathroom or kitchen. Don’t worry, all the items you will need are very easily found in any department store around. It is also possible you already have some of the items in your home as well.

Some of the items you will need are a screwdriver with a flat head, a wrench, a hammer, a rubber tubing that is about a quarter of an inch, some vinegar or a scale dissolver, some penetrating oil, and a small brush that has stiff or hard bristles. You will need a rag as well, and make sure it is dry.

To keep your hands protected from the solvents you will be using, you better should get some rubber gloves. These gloves will protect your skin from having a reaction from any of the substances you will be dealing with.

Step 2: Turn Off the Water Line

Since the task you are about to do involves taking off faucet handles and maybe the faucet as well, it is important that you turn off your water source. Look under the sink to find a knob where the water line comes from. Turn the knob to the other direction so that the water source is now off.

Try turning on your faucet to make sure no water is pouring. Once you have confirmed you have no water coming through, you can begin working on the task.

Step 3: Understanding the Problem

Most possibly, you will find some minerals of scale or lime built up all over the faucet. Some of it will also be deposited on the faucet handles as well.

Obviously, it did not happen in just days. It took many years for the various minerals from water to react and build on the faucet’s material. You should also know that the room temperature of the area around the faucet is also one factor contributing to this problem.

The scale deposits will look brown, and the lime deposits will look a bit green and white. Such deposits can happen on the faucet handles, whether made of stainless steel or any other metal. As long as it is a metal, such minerals will build up and make the faucet handles feel stuck and squeak whenever you turn it.

Step 4: Dissolve the Residue, Deposits & Corrosion Build Up

Take your flat head screwdriver and jab it under the faucet handle’s cap and pry it off. This way, you can see how the valve in the faucet handle looks.

Now, take the vinegar or scale dissolver and pour the liquid all over and around the handle. The kind of vinegar you are using should be pure with no water or other substance mixed into it.

You can also pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and then spray a few times to cover every spot on the faucet handle. This way, you can cover more areas. Make sure to put the dry rag or towel on the sink bowl or basin area to avoid letting the liquid get to the ceramic.

Take the rubber tubing and attach it to the nozzle of the spray bottle. Insert the tube into the faucet valve so that it gets deep into the handle. Spray a few times so that the corrosion inside can also get wet with the dissolver or vinegar. This solution must stay on the faucet handle areas for an hour, more or less.

Step 5: Brush Off the Loose Bits

After an hour, you will notice the deposit starting to swell and loosen a bit. Now you need to take your small brush and start brushing the hard and thick bristles onto the handle and inside the valve.

You will notice some crusty bits and pieces start to disintegrate and break off. This is happening because there is an acid in the vinegar or your scale dissolver. It helps break down these minerals that cause corrosion.

Continue brushing like this after every hour, then spray and leave it for another hour and then return to brush again. It is better to use a digging motion when you use the brush to clean the spots if you want a more efficient and quicker result.

While you are brushing, make sure to use your rag to clean off the broken bits and residue so that you can check the progress while you are brushing for cleaner surfaces.

Step 6: Removing the Faucet Handles

After all the corroded bits of the faucet handles are gone and cleaned off, you can try moving the handle. You will notice the handle starting to wiggle a bit. That is when you know you are closer to removing this stuck faucet handle.

You can try pulling on the handle. If it does not work, then you will need to apply some of that penetrating oil now. Pour the oil inside the clean valve and wait a few minutes for the oil to soften the areas the faucet handle is stuck to.

Try wiggling it now and then check the progress of how much the handle is wiggling. When you know it is close enough to come off; you can now use brute force. Take your dry rag and wrap it around the faucet handle. Now try turning the handle to pull it off.

If your own force is not enough, you can try using a hammer to tap it a few times to get it to go into the direction you can take off the faucet handle. You can also use your wrench to grip onto the handle and turn the handle. When the handle starts to come out, you can remove the tools and pull it out of the sink.

Final Words

Because of certain water qualities from your water line, you will inevitably face problems with this sort of mineral build up around your faucet and handle.

But as long as you know how to remove a stuck faucet handle with the right tools and materials, then you can do it. Follow the step by step guide we have provided and be successful at making this job quick and easy without any accidents happening.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top