How to Fix a Leaky Kitchen Faucet?

Garret Rhoads

The annoying sound of the spilling water from a leaky faucet has kept the ages of people awake in dark. Are you a victim of this kind of torture? Don’t be because fixing them is not ‘Rocket science’, to be honest.

Also, if you put off your leaky faucet for a long time it will harm the surrounding surface. So, this simple trouble can damage your expensive additions of the sink. That’s even worse than giving some time on it, right? Wait, it’s not over yet, don’t forget that you also have to deal with a fatty water bill for this simple steady drip of water.

As you see, there is no chance to utter this word, ‘pphss it’s just drops of water!’. In this article, you’ll get some great insight on how to fix a leaky kitchen faucet.

How to Fix a Leaky Kitchen Faucet?

Do you have a high-quality faucet attached to your sink? It doesn’t matter; it may leak for some reason. Fortunately, it’s easy and inexpensive to fix. So, follow this guide to learn how to fix almost any type of kitchen faucet.

Tools You’ll Need

This is the first thing that comes to mind when we start doing any mechanism job, right? Well, the tool you’ll need to accomplish the faucet assignment depends on the type of faucet you’re fixing.

A box of small Allen wrenches is quite handy to repair any faucets. You can make use of them to disconnect the handles. Besides, with screwdrivers and large slip-joint pliers, you can be prepared to fix most of them.

Getting Started

Don’t make the mess worse without determining the reason for the leak. Once you identify the affected area, you can proceed with your job according to it. Generally, a faucet leaks either from the base or the end of the spout where the valve handles seats. A single valve faucet requires a different fixing than the one that has a dual valve.

If you detect leaks on top, you can repair it by changing O-rings or gaskets without a hitch. However, for injury on the supply lines from the bottom, you can make use of putty, Teflon tape or silicone to recover the leakage.

Step 1: Turn off the water to your faucet.

Pay attention under the cabinet and find the pipes that are directly connected with the faucet. You’ll find a handle there to shut the water supply off.

Twist it clockwise until it becomes tight. If your sink lacks a shut-off valve, lock the main water supply valve of the house. Now relieve the pressure of water by opening the faucet.

Step 2: Cover the Drain

Slipping screws and letting it go down the drain during fixing a faucet can literally ruin your day. So, to avoid losing small parts of the faucet take rag or strainer baskets to cover the sink. Also, don’t forget each step of removing parts of them in order to repair it.

You can use a digital camera to record them. Soak those parts in vinegar and clean them using a nylon abrasive pad.

Determine What Type of Faucet You Have

Since all the parts of the faucet are before your eyes now, it is convenient to recognize what type of faucet you have. You can note a compression faucet instantly by noticing its 2 screw handles, one for hot and one for cold.

On the other hand, single-handle faucets like a ball, cartridge and ceramic-disk faucet have one central, swiveling arm to switch from hot to cold as the user needs. This is why, without seeing the internal mechanism of the faucet’s arm, it’s hard to determine what kind of faucet it is.

Let’s Know About Them:

  • Ceramic Disk Faucet – This type of faucet includes a ceramic cylinder.
  • Cartridge Faucet – This faucet includes a cartridge with a decorative cape.
  • Ball Faucet – This faucet includes a ball bearing.

How to Fix a Leaky Kitchen Faucet Single Handle: Step by Step

Each kind of faucet proceeds its job in different ways. So, you need to know the repair process of all of them. Let’s learn them step by step:

Fixing a Compression Faucet | 5 Steps

  • Remove Handles: Twist the screw and disconnect the handle.
  • Remove each Nut: Make use of a wrench and remove the nut. Look carefully at the stem on top of the O-ring and seat washer. Most probably, this seat washer, made of rubber is the main culprit of the leak.
  • Examine the Stem and Pull it Out: Remember that, O-ring is much thinner than washer seat. If you notice leakage around the handle, you have to change the O-ring. At the same time, if the faucet’s body is also leaking, change the washer as well.
  • Replace the Seat Washer and O-ring: Go to the nearby store and show them the O-ring and washer to find a replacement.
  • Reset the Handle: After replacing the washer and O-ring, reset the handle and repeat the same process to the other handle (If necessary).

Fixing a Ball Faucet | 7 Steps

  • Buy a Replacement Kit: If you are using a ball faucet, know that, you need some special tool. So, buy the required replacement kit for them. You’ll find them easily in any repair shop or plumbing section.
  • Remove the Handle: Use a wrench and unscrew the handle.
  • Unscrew the Cap and Collar: Make use of pliers to loosen the faucet cam. You can also utilize the tool that your replacement kit box provides. Now disconnect the washer and ball as well. The ball is a movable rubber that stops and releases water.
  • Take off the Inlet Seals and springs: Use needle-nose pliers for this operation to reach its mechanism.
  • Replace the O-ring: Keep aside the old O-rings by simply cutting them. Then coat the new one in grease or plumber before starting the installation process of them.
  • Install New Springs, Valve Seats, and Cam Washers: Replace new springs, valve seats and cam washer with the help of the replacement kit box.
  • Reassemble the Handle: Now, reset the handle and get a leak-free faucet!

Fixing a Cartridge Faucet | 5 Steps

  • Remove the Handle: Take off the cap and disconnect the handling by tilting it backward.
  • Remove the Holding Clip if Necessary: In a cartridge faucet, you’ll find a threaded piece that is circular. Sometimes it retains the cartridge into a spot to be pulled by pliers.
  • Pull the Cartridge: In order to make the cartridge stand up straightly, pull the cartridge.
  • Remove the Spout and Replace the O-rings: Replace the O-rings by cutting the old ones. You can use a sharp knife to do it. Don’t forget to coat the new one before installing them.
  • Reassemble the Handle: Set up the handle and get a leak-free faucet.

Fixing a Ceramic-Disk Faucet | 4 Steps

  • Remove the escutcheon cap: Remove the handle and place the escutcheon.
  • Unscrew and remove the disk cylinder: Use a wrench and remove the disk cylinder and expose several neoprene seals.
  • Take the seal out and clean it: Clean the seal using vinegar. If you soak them for hours, the build-up rust will vanish and you can reuse them.
  • Change the seals and resemble the Handle: The seals look thin or worn? Then replace it and attach the handle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques: Is a leaky faucet harmful?

Ans: Yes, it’s harmful to the surrounding surface. It can have warped or rotten wood shelves, cabinets, countertops, and floors.

Ques: What is O-ring inside a faucet?

Ans: It is a circle plastic or rubber ring that helps to deliver a tight seal between the spout and handle.

Ques: How much water bill do you have to pay extra for a dripping faucet?

Ans: Per year, this simple drop of water can cost you about $20.

Wrapping Up!

Why spending money on plumbers when you can fix it on your own? It may seem scary but once you know the basics, it’s easy. We hope that this step by step guide on how to fix a leaky kitchen faucet will help you to repair almost any type of faucet.

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