How To Remove A Stuck Plastic Lock Nut From A Toilet Tank

How To Remove A Stuck Plastic Lock Nut From A Toiler Tank

Anthony Barnes

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Locknuts can be found in every toilet as they hold the pieces together to make sure that the toilet works properly.

Making sure that the lock nut is in the correct position is important for ensuring that your toilet works, but what happens if the lock nut becomes stuck?

If the lock nut becomes stuck, you need to make sure that you remove it the right way to avoid damaging any of the insides of the toilet or affecting any other parts.

When you go to remove the lock nut, you must make sure that you handle it carefully and delicately.

Find out more about how to remove a stuck lock nut from inside a toilet tank (see also ‘How Do You Remove Rusted Bolts From A Toilet Tank?’) to make sure that you do not cause any further damage and that your toilet works properly.

You can find out more about how to remove the lock nut below.

Loosening The Plastic Lock Nut

Before you remove the stuck lock nut, you need to gently loosen it to make sure that you can remove it.

Without loosening it, the lock nut will not come out easily. To loosen the lock nut, you will need a towel and an adjustable wrench.

Begin by turning the water off and draining the water tank.

Draining the water tank is important for making sure that you can see what you are doing inside the tank, so turn the water off using the valve on the wall behind the toilet.

Drain the water tank by flushing the toilet after turning the water off and removing as much water as you can from the tank.

At the base of the tank, you will be able to see where the water supply hose is connected, and you need to unscrew it.

You can then move on to finding where the lock nut is, and it should be located just above. It is quite large, so it should be easy to find.

You can then try to twist the lock nut out of the position that it is stuck in to try to remove it with a wrench or with pliers.

Turn the lock nut to the left to try to remove it. This should loosen the lock nut, and in some cases, it could remove it.

However, if the lock nut still doesn’t seem to be loosening, find out other methods to remove it below.

Removing A Stuck Lock Nut

How To Remove A Stuck Plastic Lock Nut From A Toiler Tank

If you have tried to loosen the lock nut using the method above and it still hasn’t worked, there are other ways to try to get it to loosen.

Do not tug at the lock nut as this could damage it, instead, try these methods below to help remove it.

Use Locking Pliers

Locking pliers provide a good grip on the lock nut that can allow you to twist it out of the stuck position.

Position the locking pliers around the lock nut and secure them so they are the smallest fit possible. This will keep a tight grip on the lock nut to help you remove it.

Twist the lock nut out of the stuck position using the locking pliers and it should become free.

Do not use the locking pliers to rip the lock nut out of place as this could damage it, so make sure that you twist it.

Apply Plumber’s Grease

The plumber’s grease can lubricate the lock nut to help remove it from the stuck position.

Without the lubricant, the lock nut could remain firmly in place, so lubricating the lock nut could loosen it and allow you to get it out of the position more easily.

Once you apply the plumber’s grease, you need to leave it to sit on the lock nut for anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes to make sure that it sets.

After it has sat for this amount of time, you can then try to remove the lock nut with pliers or with your hands.

Use An Angle Grinder

You can use the angle grinder to remove the lock nut by trying to cut through the plastic.

This should be a last resort as it may not work for all toilets as some tanks are bigger than others, so you may not even be able to get the angle grinder into the tank.

If you need to use this method, you need to make sure that you have all of the right safety equipment.

You need to make sure that you wear safety goggles and gloves, and you need a good-quality angle grinder and a flathead screwdriver.

Once you are wearing the right safety gear, you can then begin.

You need to watch very closely when you are trying to cut through the lock nut as you do not want to end up cutting any other parts of the tank.

After you have successfully cut through the lock nut, you can then use the screwdriver to pry open the broken lock nut so you can easily remove the pieces.

Apply A Hot Cloth

As a stuck lock nut can be very difficult to remove, applying a hot cloth to the lock nut can help to loosen and lubricate the lock nut.

You simply need a hot cloth and a wrench to lubricate the lock nut to help remove it from the position where it is stuck at.

After you have heated the lock nut for a couple of minutes, you should find that it is easier to remove. Use the wrench to turn the lock nut to the left to remove it from the tank.

Removing Faucet Mounting Nuts

Faucet mounting nuts can sometimes be very difficult to remove as well, so they must be removed correctly to avoid any damage.

You still need to make sure that you turn off the water supply and drain the tank so that you can see clearly when you are removing the stuck faucet mounting nuts.

How To Remove Faucet Mounting Nuts

To remove the faucet mounting nut that is stuck, you need to loosen it with pliers by turning it to the left.

They can be a bit more difficult to remove compared to lock nuts in toilet tanks as they can come in varying shapes and sizes.

You can use a wrench to remove the faucet mounting nut as you can get a good grip on them to remove them. Make sure that the wrench is secure over the faucet mounting nut and twist.

If this doesn’t work, you can lubricate the nut with WD40 to make it easier to remove and you can also use a calcium dissolver.

These can help to loosen the nut to make it easier to remove, so trying these methods could allow the nuts to loosen.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, it can be very difficult to remove a lock nut that is stuck in a toilet tank, but there are methods to safely and effectively lose them.

You can lubricate the lock nut, use pliers to twist it out, and even use an angle grinder to cut through the lock nut.

It is extremely important to remain safe when you are removing the lock nut by wearing the right safety gear to protect your eyes and hands.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age