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Any thoughts on how I can loosen these tap tails?

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by Adam, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Adam


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 8,894

    I have a new tap to replace the existing one in the downstairs bathroom but I’m having issues getting access to the bolts on the tails. Looks like another bodge before I moved in to the house :D


    The valve has been cemented in to the tiles. The ends of the tails are very close together and the bottom one is obstructed by the waste pipe. This means you can’t get any spanners/grips on them.

    The bathroom will be ripped out at some stage but I’m not ready for that yet. I thought about asking my wife if she would be happy for me to remove the tile so I could get behind it. This is plan B at this stage.

    I cannot disconnect the waste pipe as that has been connected with solvent weld and I doubt I’d have enough free pipe this side of the tiles to reconnect it with fresh pipe (I do have the materials to do this).

    I have no doubt that someone on this forum will come up with an ingenious suggestion I would never have thought of :D
  2. Orionaut


    Joined: Aug 2, 2012

    Posts: 7,695

    So called "Professionals" are *****. Stuff is invariably installed with no thought for the future. This is why I always do all my own stuff, (even the stuff that I am not supposed to do any more)
  3. Burned_Alive


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 11,605

    Location: Cheshire

    Have you tried tightening a zip tie round each nut so you can get more purchase to undo it with your finger.
  4. Thebug

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 17, 2007

    Posts: 1,878

    Location: Walsall

    Tried undoing by hand? They shouldn’t be that tight as they have rubbers in them and not olives
  5. Simon


    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 22,947

    Location: Berks / Moscow

    Do some research but I’m sure you could find a combo of push /solvent pipes to allow you to cut and then replace that waste pipe to allow access.
    Of course that assumes other methods above don’t work
  6. norm


    Joined: Jan 21, 2003

    Posts: 4,963

    Probably easier to reuse the existing flexi tails by means of an adapter?
  7. BigBoy


    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 5,920

    Location: Bath

    Blue handled pipe grips will open them up, you will need two sets, one to hold the isolator and the other to undo the nut.

    Once the top one is off you will have access for the lower one.

    Never reuse flexy hoses it's asking for trouble!
  8. FlyingFish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 1, 2003

    Posts: 1,601

    Location: Derbyshire

    Might be stating the obvious, but turn the iso valves off with a flat blade, then a 24mm open ended spanner. Top one first then that gives access to the bottom one.
  9. Adam


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 8,894

    Thanks for the suggestion. I like the zip tie idea, I have some pretty beefy ones which I will try tomorrow.

    Any of the suggestions around using a spanner/wrench etc won't work as the waste pipe position prevents you from making any kind of effort to move the tail nut. Perhaps the picture doesn't show it correctly but there is next to no room between both of the water feeds and the waste pipe.

    When I tried before I could get the top one off but the bottom one was impossible, I could not get anything near it. I even tried a strap wrench but there wasn't enough room to turn it. What a bodge. Zip tie it is tomorrow.
  10. Mcnumpty2323


    Joined: Dec 21, 2019

    Posts: 2,934

    Try locking mole grips onto the nut
    Not at 90 degrees to the nut
    But from the direction the flexi hose goes
    If that makes sense
    If mole grips lock on turn them with another pair of grips/pliers/spanner etc
    To get the leverage
  11. Quartz


    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 10,456

    Location: Aberdeen

    Can you get a large enough 45 degree piece for the waste pipe to replace what you'd have to cut off? Can you get 'extender' pieces?
  12. Participant


    Joined: May 13, 2003

    Posts: 31,048

    Location: Warwickshire

    Try this first surely?
  13. jpaul


    Joined: Mar 1, 2010

    Posts: 10,324

    as he said .. (slim) plumbers wrench to hold isolator valve and adjustable spanner on the nut... I might toothrbrush some vinegar around the threads first
  14. Adam


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 8,894

    Well I did it although it required brute force in the end. The zip ties kept slipping and none of the wrenches/grips could fit in the narrow gap. In the end I took some tin snips to the tails and hammered a 23mm socket over the end. Hopefully I didn't damage any of the pipes which I can't see.


    Anyway, all was going well until I realised the new tails supplied with the tap had a smaller nut. So will have to wait for new tails to arrive!
  15. ron3003

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 25, 2006

    Posts: 1,532

    Location: Skegness

    You could've got those off easily one at a time with a crows foot socket.