Removing Old Tap Top Handles

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foxyferret | 15:12 Tue 19th Mar 2019 | Home & Garden
14 Answers
Hi, I have those old tap tops where you prise off the lid and undo the screw to lift the top off. I have a tap reviver kit. The cold tap top came off easily. The hot tap top seems to be welded, it will not budge. I assume it is lime scaled up. I have put some WD40 down the hole where the screw goes and have squirted some up underneath. Left for a day but still no joy. Is it worth squirting lime scale remover? I know you can buy a special tap puller but any ideas from anyone before I spend the money. Thank you.


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Try pouring very hot water, just under boiling temp from a kettle over the tap leave for 20 30 seconds. The expansion will help.
09:47 Wed 20th Mar 2019
I was in your position and decided (after using limescale remover) that if I damaged the tap it would cost a lot more than a splitter...also all my taps are the same age so I expect I will be doing the same thing again soon. Anyway i bought this and it was brilliant User Recommendation
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Yes Woofgang, it looks great and I may end of having to get one. Bit annoying when I don’t want to change the whole tap, just the two see through acrylic tops. Having said that, once you have the kit, you have it for good so in the long term probably a sensible option. There are more taps to sort out in this house. Thanks a lot.
Limescale remover is always useful to have too. I would try it first.
Your description of the tap head is not as good as it could be... does it have a chrome shroud below a 'cross head' known as a rising spindle.
Or does it have a plastic shroud/top that is released by prising a cap off to reveal a single screw ?
Question Author
Plastic (acrylic see through) shroud top, prise off lid, screw underneath
-- answer removed --
Thank you Ed : -)
Question Author
I have already got the replacement heads klazo, very similar to those in your link. I was rather wary of prising it off in case some bits broke and others didn’t which may have made it more difficult to remove.
You should be fine. The acrylic will break. The brass stem underneath is alot more robust.

Ps. I asked Ed to remove my post as I was still logged into my account. Hence why it has disappeared. DOH !
I assume it's the acrylic head that won't come off,foxy?
A flat screwdriver between the body and the head usually shifts it. Work your way around so as to centralise the force.
I doubt if it's limescale. That part of the tap doesn't come into contact with the water.
If the head does shatter, they are very cheap to replace. You might find some nicer ones.

Was going to try and save you money and tell you limescale isn't the problem .. But TB beat me to it.

What I sometimes find on cheap taps, is a steel screw is fitted, this will rust inside the brass spindle and wont budge. With a good tight screwdriver forced into the screw head .. turn the tap head back and forth while forcing the screwdriver into the head and snap the screw off. Then it is a simple case of gripping the spout with a pair of grips and undoing the jumper body with a ring spanner.
.. This is assuming you actually have a complete reviver kit and not just the acrylic heads.
If you do have just the heads then you may find they dont even fit your existing taps or maybe even a sloppy fit .. but you wont find out until you have butchered your 'stuck on head'.
Whenever I fit reviver head I always get a complete kit with new jumpers, this eliminates any poor fitting acrylic caps.
In the good old days we had nothing but British made taps .. I have repaired taps a hundred years old with parts out of my current tool kit, just by refacing the tap and fitting a new washer and re-packing the gland. But now we have much poorer quality taps coming from every corner of the globe, sadly it is often quicker to replace the whole tap and fit what has become standard these days .. the contract tap .. a cheap disposable unit which is available in every DIY shed.
Have look at what a British made tap costs and then you will see why we buy the alternative.
Question Author
Thank you all for your very useful answers. Yes builder, it’s just the top. I pushed a screwdriver up the bottom of it and scraped away lots of black bits from inside. If needs be, I will break it. With regard to replacing the whole tap, I intend to do this eventually, this is just a quick fix to make it look better for now. I may use the ones I have for the cloakroom and get some better quality for the bathroom.
Try pouring very hot water, just under boiling temp from a kettle over the tap leave for 20 30 seconds. The expansion will help.
Question Author
Update. Malagabo, thank you. I tried the hot water trick and it came off very easily. So grateful for your help.

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