Stuck removing bathroom mixer tap handle

22 Sep 2013
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United Kingdom
I have traced an excess of water around the base of a bathroom sink mixer tap to the hot water tap. I am guessing either the o-rings or the cartridge itself needs replacing. I have unscrewed the tap cover and moved it as far away from the base of the tap as possible (shown with white outline on image). I then rotated the handle to reveal a small Allen key screw. I have removed the screw (shown with red arrow) but the handle (shown with green outline on image) will not move away from the base to allow access to the cartridge.

I did not know if there was:
  • another item that had to be removed first
  • a certain technique (ie twist a particular way) to remove the handle
  • if limescale had caused the handle to be stuck
Any help on what the answer to this would be greatly appreciated and if the answer is the 3rd bullet point suggestions on how to loosen the limescale again would be well received.
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If there is no grub screw at the other end ( tap handle itself) then most likely only limescale keeping it in place. Pouring boiling water over the tap handle may expand it enough . Coupled with a bit of leverage.
Thanks @terryplumb, there is no other grub screw so will try the boiling water & elbow grease route.
Thanks for your help.
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I encountered the exact same problem when trying to revive my stiff kitchen mixer taps with new glands. After unscrewing the retaining screw the cold handle pulled off effortlessly, but the hot handle absolutely would not budge. I looked around on the internet, tried various suggestions including spraying the handle with WD40 and pouring vinegar down it, but nothing worked (no way I am going to hit the tap with a hammer!). I was on the point of investing in an overpriced handle puller when I came across this thread. First I tied a cloth around the bottom of the tap to stop the water escaping then I poured in boiling water. After a few minutes I stuck a screwdriver under the handle to try to loosen it from below. A few minutes of levering to my great surprise it came out. Thank you for the excellent advice!

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