A Product Review of the Easy TapSplitter Tool Kit (plus Pozibite) from ABD Tools
Product Review Summary: Removing or changing a tap a tap washer, or regrinding the valve seat is a fairly easy process and certainly comes under the heading of basic DIY jobs. This job cannot be done without taking the valve out from the main body of the tap and the process here is called splitting the tap. However as with everything else in the home improvement industry, the job is so much easier with the correct tools especially when the tap itself is very old and the valve itself is stuck fast.
In this situation applying force could damage either the tap or the basin or both so the best tool to use is something called the Easy TapSplitter Kit from ABD Tools. This tool allows even the tightest, most damaged headgear to be undone with ease and is guaranteed not to damage the tap or the basin.
On site test of the Easy Tapsplitter Kit
As the video at the bottom of the page shows, we tested the Easy Tapsplitter kit on a very old tap and basin, on a refurbishing project being undertaken by DIY Doctor. We think the tap had been in the basin for at least 15 years and, as far as we knew (and certainly by the look of it) the headgear (the headgear is the valve which opens and closes the tap) had never been removed before.
The danger here is that limescale can almost weld the headgear to the body of the tap making it very hard indeed to separate the two parts. This leads to putting huge amounts of power into undoing the nut which, if the body and spout of the tap are not secured well, can lead to the tap body moving. If the tap body is in turn, secured fast to the basin by the taps back-nut, or if more limescale has ″welded″ the tap to the basin, either above or below the basin shelf, the tap becomes an immovable object also.
When an immovable object meets and irresistible force, something has to break and this something is either the tap itself, or the basin. Easy Tapsplitter stops this easily.
How Easy Tapsplitter Works
If, when trying to undo a nut of any kind, the bolt, or other threaded fitting is moving also, everything just spins round. It then becomes necessary to use two types of force to complete the task.
Force 1 is the force required to undo the nut
Force 2 is the force required to hold the thread of the bolt, or in this case, the tap body, still
Whether it is a nut and bolt, or a tap fitting, both forces operate in opposite directions. Applying two forces, in opposite directions, is not easy at all, especially when (in the case of a rusted nut or a lime welded tap, the force required is huge.
The Easy Tapsplitter kit allows one force to help the other by applying a third force.
In effect, a solid harness (the tie bar in the video) is placed between force 1 - the tap headgear and force 2, the tap body, to hold both of these in one place.
The solid harness however is adjustable and when it is shortened, by the use of force 3 (the spanner) forces 1 and 2 are combined to work towards each other and undo the power of the ″weld″ which is holding them together. This is the power of leverage which is described as ″mechanical advantage″ when using a very small force to overcome a larger force.
That's a very scientific way of saying that we use a screw thread to pull the spout of the tap and the headgear together!
Instructions for Removing Tap Headgear Using the Easy Tapsplitter Kit
Turn off the water to the tap you wish to maintain
Put the plug in the basin to stop any screws or small objects going into the trap
Remove the cover plate (if any) to the tap handle screw and remove the head of the tap
Unscrew any headgear cover (commonly found on pillar taps)
With the headgear exposed, choose the correct spanner insert to fit over the headgear nut
Place the spanner over the insert with the handle as shown in the video
Place the correct sized rubber sleeve(s) over the tap spout
Place the Plastic tube over the rubber sleeve with the angled side at an opposite angle to that of the spanner handle
Slip the tension bar over the notched spanner handle. The end notch is used for the left hand tap, one of the other notches may be needed for the right hand tap as the wall or splashback might be in the way
Slide the end of the tension bar into the split in the tube and tighten the nut by hand up to the plastic side of the tube
Use the smaller spanner to tighten the nut on the tension bar to pull the headgear nut towards the spout
The nut will ″crack″ and undo as you turn the spanner
Benefits of Using the Easy Tapsplitter Kit
Forcing any kind of nut on a thread can cause damage. The damage could occur to the nut itself, I.E. The corners of the nut could ″round off″ if the spanner slips off the nut. This is a very common occurrence with all nuts
The spanner could slip off the nut and hit the basin. This could (and often does) cause the basin to crack or chip
The spanner could slip off causing you to bang your knuckles...This is very painful as no-doubt you already know!
The tap body can start to ″spin″ or move as you try to force the headgear open. This can damage the backnut or, if the backnut is limescale welded to the basin, or rusted to the inlet thread of the tap, again crack the basin
The fact that the spout is kept in it's starting position all the way through the East Tapsplitter operation means that the spout cannot get damaged by the application of a second force (EG a very large wrench) and no scratches can be made to the tap body
If the nut of the tapgear is already rounded from someone else's efforts, the Pozibite addition can be used to make absolutely sure of a great fit for the spanner
The Doctor's Opinion of the Easy Tapsplitter Kit
It is such a simple application of the principles of leverage we cannot help but be impressed! So many times have our guys banged their knuckles (to be honest we haven't cracked many basins!) or damaged taps trying to hold the spout in place that we think this kit should be in every plumbers and home-improvers tool it. The reality is you may only ever need to use this kit twice in your life but both times you will have easily saved the money it costs. Great tool, we've all got one now!