Removing Really Tight Bolts Correctly
A bolt that has long been there often looks so rusty that it is almost impossible to remove. It can be tempting to forcefully remove the rusted bolt, but doing so will only end up damaging it, making it harder to take out. Not only that, your hands or other parts of your body may get injured while you do so. Fortunately, however, there are safe and effective ways of loosening rusty bolts. Here are the things you can do:
1. Spray a lubricant or a rust remover on the bolt, making sure that much of the bolt is covered. After letting it sit for a few minutes, get a wrench and use it to get the bolt loose.
2. If the above does not work, get a propane torch and use it to heat the top part of the bolt. Before doing this, however, wipe off any remaining rust removers, as fire and solvents based on petroleum are not a good combination at all. Heat causes the expansion of the bolt in under a minute.
3. Put a wrench on the top portion of the bolt again and try turning it counter-clockwise. If the bolt has become so rounded that the wrench can no longer fit properly, get a pair of lock pliers and tighten it to the top of the bolt. Once in place, turn the pliers counter-clockwise to make the bolt loose, making sure to use the necessary amount of force. If this still does not work, hit the pliers with a hammer until it turns.
4. The placement of a socket to the head of the bolt, and then having a pipe placed over the handle of the socket, is the next thing you need to do if the bolt will still not loosen. This pipe is usually called a cheater bar or buster bar. Once placed, push or pull it counter-clockwise and avoid using a lot of force lest the socket will break.
5. Cut the top portion of the bolt using a hacksaw if it still does not loosen. If you do not have a hacksaw, you can use a reciprocating saw or a cold chisel instead. A nut splitter can also be used to get the bolt broken. This tool breaks the nut without doing damage to the bolt threads.
6. Get a screw extractor and use it to take out the remaining parts of the bolt. Get the drill bit, which came along with the screw extractor, and put it in a drill. Once you have done this, have a hole drilled through the middle part of the bolt. The screw extractor should be placed in the hole you have recently drilled, and then turn it counter-clockwise until you have removed the bolt.
The removal of tight bolts is an important skill to learn so your plumbing stays in perfect condition. However, if, in the process, you encounter an unfamiliar plumbing issue, call a
plumbing expert for help immediately.