Having Trouble Removing Vanity Sink Altmans Faucet Flange

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jvstevens, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. jvstevens

    jvstevens New Member

    Messages:
    45
    I am in the process of replacing both cartridges on a widespread vanity faucet made by Altmans. With much effort, I finally was able to unscrew the flange (or escutcheon?...not sure of the correct terminology here) on the cold side and replace the cartridge. I have not been able to unscrew the hot side flange, though. The flange is basically smooth & cone shaped, with a somewhat wide base and threads at the top. Its real tough to get a solid grip on it with your hands. I have squirted in both WD-40 and Liquid Wrench penetrating oil in through the top, and tapped it with a hammer several times over a period of two hours, but it still wouldn't budge. Usually, I give PB Blaster a try too, but my can was empty! :mad: I even took a pipe wrench wrapped with a rag to get it to budge, but it wouldn't go, and I put a small nick in the finish. So, I gave up on that idea as I didn't want to risk trashing the flange. I tried a rubber strap wrench, too, but it doesn't seem to be able to "grab" on to the cone shape...it just slips off. This was all done last Friday. I decided to flood the top of the threads with the Liquid Wrench and let it soak over the weekend. Hopefully, that will do the trick, when I try it again tomorrow.

    If it still won't budge on Monday, what else can I try? As a last resort, I can probably loosen the nut under the vanity top so that the bottom of the flange separates from the countertop. Perhaps with a gap there, I can get a better grip on it with my hand and unscrew it. Or if that doesn't work, disconnect the two hoses and yank the whole dang thing out! That's gonna be a bit of a hassle as there is a lot of crap under the sink, and the nut is difficult to access. What do you guys do in these situations?
  2. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    California
    Tell you what I do: reach for the sawzall and cut the whole thing off, WITHOUT DAMAGING THE SINK.

    Then install a new faucet.

    The old faucet is so corroded that it feels like it's fused. Time to replace the faucet.
  3. jvstevens

    jvstevens New Member

    Messages:
    45
    ok.

    spock serious.jpg
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,122
    Location:
    IL
    I believe he is serious. If somebody were paying you by the hour, do you think your technique would make your customer happy? On the other hand, that might be a $400 faucet.

    If you do get it apart, maybe you will want to use some silicone grease as an anti-sieze when you put it back together.

    I might be able to help you with " That's gonna be a bit of a hassle as there is a lot of crap under the sink, and the nut is difficult to access. ". Take the crap out from under the sink. ;)
  5. jvstevens

    jvstevens New Member

    Messages:
    45
    It is a pricey faucet and I already replaced one cartridge, which cost $44. So, I'm somewhat invested in this already. I was hoping for a "quick and dirty" trick to getting it off, in which case the whole faucet would be fixed and ready to go in 10 minutes. The faucet is in fairly good shape otherwise.
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,122
    Location:
    IL
    Makes sense. You are not paying or being paid by the hour. I don't know how your faucet works, but I like Vicegrips.But I am just an amateur.
  7. jvstevens

    jvstevens New Member

    Messages:
    45
    I'm wondering if maybe I could loosen it by wearing on a tight fitting glove that has a really grippy surface. Say like neoprene or that stuff on the bottom of gecko feet. :cool:
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,515
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I would wrap it with electrical tape, then use a pair of Channellock pliers. If it got damaged call ALtman and have them send you a new one, because it is probably still under warranty.
  9. jvstevens

    jvstevens New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Well, I got it off finally. Still wouldn't budge with my bare hand after a weekend of threads soaking in Liquid Wrench, so I disconnected the two water tubes on the valve, and loosened the nut underneath the sink with my basin wrench. Once the whole thing was loose, the flange spun off real easy. I think the main problem was not so much frozen threads, but that there was just too much friction and pressure between the flange and the escutcheon plate/disk that it sits on. Once that pressure was released by loosening the bottom nut...Bingo! Thanks for the tips (except the Sawzall tip :p).
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,911
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Well yes. Most lav faucets tighten from the bottom. We use basin wrenches where space is tight.
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