I'm replacing my old kitchen faucet. I get stuck while trying to remove the faucet from the countertop. The faucet appears to be tightened with the mounting nut and two rusted screws. I used penetrating oil to try to remove the rusted screws. However, the screw head appears to be soft (?) due to rust, as it was stripped out when I attempted to loosen the screws. I also could not use a wrench or a plier because of small space.

Would someone be able to point me in the right direction to remove the faucet?

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  • What "penetrating oil" did you use? Hopefully not WD-40...
    – Huesmann
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 12:33
  • @Huesmann I used Blaster penetrating oil.
    – Napper08
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 15:25
  • @Ruskes There isn't enough room for the drill machine to reach the rusted screw. I'm concerned about damaging the granite countertop because the faucet is directly attached to the countertop. Do you have any suggestions for how I can safely remove the rusted screw?
    – Napper08
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 15:30
  • Given the space constraints of access from below, your best be may be to simply cut the faucet off a short distance from the top of the counter (angle grinder or hack saw) and hope that the remaining bits can easily be pried off/apart.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 18:59
  • WD-40 is a perfectly fine penetrating oil. Home mechanics and others use it all the time. The constant bashing is not helpful.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:16

3 Answers 3


Remove it destructively

  1. Protect the counter with plastic sheeting taped close to the faucet. This procedure will create metal dust and you want to catch that as much as possible.
  2. Place towels under the faucet in the cabinet, because parts of it will fall during this procedure.
  3. Cut the hoses and remove them, and as may other parts as you can, from both above and below. Remove the handle, valve, whatever else you can before the next step.
  4. Use a hacksaw, or a saber saw with a fine blade, to lop off the faucet above the counter, as close to the counter as you can come without damaging the counter. It doesn't have to be dead against the counter. To reduce metal filings spraying everywhere you can spray water on the area you are sawing and/or tent over the whole operation with a thin plastic sheet, working underneath it.
  5. Now be creative in removing what's left from above the counter. You can:
  • Maybe unscrew what's left of the top of the faucet, and the rest will fall away
  • Use channel locks to squeeze what's left of the faucet, caving it into the hole so it falls away
  • If what's left of the faucet is hollow, stick a pistol-style hacksaw into the hole and saw it in two places, cutting it in half from the inside out
  • VERY CAREFULLY saw what's left of the faucet from the top, down towards the counter.
  • Combinations of the above ... it's you vs the faucet. Be the winner.

If twisting from the top doesn’t work (and it might not, as everything might spin as one unit) then you could consider cutting the faucet off above the counter. An angle grinder is the exciting high risk option; an oscillating multi-tool is the slow but less exciting option.


Disconnect the water hoses.

Hold the water faucet with hand and turn it counterclockwise to unscrew. Pull it up with hoses attached to remove.

Now you can take care of the large holding nut (replace) from underneath, since it is not holding anything any more. Since the hoses are out of way you can now slip a nut to remove it

You will have to drill out the rusted screw, there is no way around that, but you have to replace it anyway

  • Thank you for your answer. The faucet is installed directly on top of the granite countertop. Do you know if turning the faucet to unscrew is safe and will not damage the countertop? Can I use a hammer to turn it?
    – Napper08
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 15:35
  • As I replied in your comment, there is not enough space under the sink. Do you think this (amazon.com/Drill-America-Speed-Steel-Extra/dp/B00FXHL068/…) kind of drill bit would help to drill out the rusted screw?
    – Napper08
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 15:40

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