I’m replacing the mixer taps on my bath, but they’re absolutely covered in sealant and the spanner won’t get a grip.

Any advice for removing? I’m worried about damaging the plastic nut if I go for it with a knife or something.

Any ideas what sealant it would be? I’ve got a heat gun but don’t know what would melt first if I tried to use that!

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  • Is sealant hard or soft feeling? A window scraper with a razor blade might scrape enough off if soft.
    – crip659
    May 8 at 20:48
  • Thanks @crip659 I can’t believe I hadn’t actually touched it before. It looked hard and I just presumed it was. It’s not! It’s soft! D’oh. I’ll just need to pick enough off the nut then the spanner should grip. Thanks again
    – Jamie G
    May 8 at 22:05
  • 2
    You should probably add an answer so that I can accept it. Correct answer would say 1) OP shouldn’t try to DIY the bath while his children are in the bath 2) OP should check he’s not being a fool before pressing submit. Tick.
    – Jamie G
    May 8 at 22:14
  • Sometimes it is the simple things that get us. Had trouble with my internet one day. Checked that cables were connected, rebooted computer and router, checked that I was still getting phone signal. Phone company and they were here in a few minutes(very good phone/ISP). Guy started checking and then pulled on the cable that was behind the freezer going to router. I checked both ends were connected, did not check to see if it was still in one piece, had mouse problem.
    – crip659
    May 8 at 23:30

2 Answers 2


Use a craft knife to clear the flats on the nut. Use a brass nut to thread on and cut the thread back to the downpipe. Use a hacksaw to put several cuts across the inside thread of the brass (or galvanised) nut, which will act as cutters as the nut is slowly turned up and down the stem. Eentually, it'll clear the silicone from the threads. Making unscrewing the original plastic nut easier.


It's a plastic bath tub, so you can't use heat.

Oscillating multitool:

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Cut plastic nut on red line, insert screwdriver on green arrow and pry it off:

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