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Trying to replace kitchen faucet due to leaks. Was able to remove the top faucet portion, but the connecting piece to the bottom of the faucet does not appear to want to come off. I took off the screws from the 2 screw holes seen below. It appears the brass piece may be attached to the rusted piece ? Should I use a hammer and a flathead to pry the brass piece off ?

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

Underneath Kitchen Faucet

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You're looking at a nut. That ring threads onto the nipple. It may not have been installed correctly. It's intended to be used as a clamp base, with the screws you removed tightening against the upper ring.

Partially reinstall the screws and use them to help turn the nut. Spray it with some penetrating oil or WD-40 to help loosen it.

You could also exercise the nuclear option and cut off the old faucet above to release it from below.

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