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I installed a new kitchen faucet about 6 months ago. However, it no longer turns/swivels at the base. My non-expert inspection of the problem seems to suggest that the point-of-swivel has a build up of hard water or other kind of water-deposit. I believe the ring inside the unit is plastic.

I'm not at home at the moment, but from off the top of my head I believe this is the unit we purchased.

We did not use the horizontal base at the bottom, as we didn't have any soap--dispenser holes to cover (new granite counter tops).

Any idea on how to loosen this thing up? Right now it takes 2 hands to turn, and usually results in turning the whole unit instead of swiveling on the joint. My first inclination was to use WD-40 but I wasn't sure how that would work on plastic (seems like it could be damaging)

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I came here looking for the same answer. My faucet is a Delta and I contacted Delta support who had no suggestions for preventing or even fixing the problem. While our water is reasonably hard the faucet I replaced was probably 20 years old and still swivelled. – RichardM Jan 3 '12 at 14:37
The link no longer works; can you remember the make and model of the faucet? – Niall C. Sep 20 '13 at 3:26

Use CLR to dissolve the buildup from hard water. Just soak the parts with buildup in a little bit of it. This stuff works miracles. You can buy it anywhere.

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Thanks, will try one of these tonight (or asap), will update later if/when it works! – Matt Oct 21 '10 at 20:00
Any tips for preventing this from happening? Our previous faucet didn't have this problem, and to have to take apart the faucet a few times a year seems ... excessive, and likely to reduce the life of the faucet – Matt Oct 21 '10 at 20:06
if the problem truly is buildup from minerals in the hard water, look at getting a softener. – mohlsen Oct 22 '10 at 11:44

White malt vinegar will dissolve limescale. For best results, disassemble the faucet and soak the parts in the vinegar overnight. After they've soaked, the limescale should just rinse off with water.

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Any tips for preventing this from happening? Our previous faucet didn't have this problem, and to have to take apart the faucet a few times a year seems ... excessive, and likely to reduce the life of the faucet – Matt Oct 21 '10 at 20:07
I'd say to wipe down the faucet when it's wet; don't let water dry in place on it. That should help a lot. – Niall C. Oct 21 '10 at 20:11

The faucet needs to be disassembled from the top. I guess you already know how to do that part. If there is calcium build up visible go ahead and use CLR to clean off the build up. Now the important part, get a high quality, pure if possible, Silicone Grease. When I say “pure” what I am saying is make sure it is 90-100% silicone. If it is silicone mixed in high proportion with another type grease it is not a good choice.

Most O-Rings and faucet seals are made of Nitrile Butadiene Rubber. The Only grease you should use on these is Silicone Grease. Every other grease has detrimental effects on Nitrile Butadiene Rubber. Plumbers grease sadly gets dry and crusty in these faucets. It is also too “stiff” for long term easy movement. Vaseline and any oil base grease will break down the Nitrile Butadiene Rubber in 6 months to a year. Oils, like olive oil or WD40 or 3-in-1 oils are too thin and will not stay in place for long at all. There is NO suitable substitute for Silicone Grease. Danco a company which makes O-Rings also supplies grease for them. Danco Perfect Match: Silicone Grease. I get mine on Amazon. This will solve your faucet lubrication problems.

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At the point of the swivel apply some plumber's grease or grease that you would use on a fishing reel. Make sure that you put the grease up on the inside too.

Of course the real solution is to get a water softener or install a filter between the supply line and your faucet.

The grease will never hinder or hurt your swivel

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