If there's one important feature of the kitchen faucet, it's helping to control the amount of water flow from your sink.
So having a loose kitchen faucet can go from being a little niggling headache to a real big problem if not nipped in the bud.
The good thing is that fixing kitchen plumbing issues like this can be easy to do. You don’t have to call a plumber for tiny problems like this. And you don’t also need to have amazing plumbing skills to tighten a kitchen faucet.
In this guide, you’ll know the reason your kitchen tap becomes wobbly and how to fix the problem.
What Are The Causes of A Loose or Wobbly Faucet?
Working in the kitchen with a wobbly kitchen faucet can be really annoying and burdensome.
And even after tightening the faucet, they can come loose again. “So why does my kitchen faucet keep coming loose?” you may be asking. Here are the reasons;
- Loose screws: The kitchen faucet base and head are held in place by a bolt that’s under the sink. When the nuts that secure the bolt come loose, the faucet will become wobbly. This is as a result of the threads of the nuts becoming damaged.
- Loose faucet base: Due to excessive use, the faucet handles that are attached to the base could loosen up. And this can result in a loose base, wobbly kitchen tap, and leaks. A loose base can also cause the water lines to rupture.
- Worn-out O-rings: The O-rings secures the kitchen faucet handles in their right position. After extended usage, the O-rings can wear out and become loose. This will also result in a wobbly kitchen tap.
7 Easy Steps to Fix A Loose Kitchen Faucet Base at Home
Now we know the reasons our kitchen faucets come off, here’s how to repair a loose kitchen faucet. But first, we’re going to be needing some tools to work with.
Tools you’ll need to tighten a loose kitchen faucet base.
- Basin wrench
- A flashlight
- Hand gloves
- Mini knife
Now let’s get to work.
Step 1: Empty everything under the sink cabinet
If you’re like most people, you use your sink cabinet to store some tools, cleaning products, and a couple of other stuff. Since your kitchen faucet nut is stationed under the sink, you’ll want to remove all the objects and items you store there to gain access to underneath your sink.
As a safety precaution, you’ll want to clean the bottom a bit so you don’t get so many dusty particles on yourself. And if you have stained kitchen cabinets, then add protective layer on the outside as well as you don't want to get the stain or cabinet door damaged. And if you don't take that precaution, you'll have to then repair the damaged kitchen cabinet door too. And you’ll also want to clean the upper surface so you don’t get dirt on your face.
Step 2: Turn off the water valves
Next up, you’ve got to turn off the water valves under the sink. There are usually two types of water supply lines; cold water valve and hot water valve.
You’ve got to do this before you begin looking for the nut and fixing the loose kitchen faucet.
This is a precautionary measure to ensure you don’t get yourself drenched in water should the pipe burst or anything else go wrong.
Step 3: Slide under the sink and find the nut
Now slide into the empty sink cabinet on your back, and turn your flashlight on.
Then locate the bolt on the roof of the cabinet. The position of the bolt should be directly under the kitchen faucet base. This is the nut that you will tighten.
Step 4: Set the basin wrench to the right size
Once you’ve located the faucet bolt, set the size of your (adjustable) wrench to the correct size of the nut securing the faucet in place.
Step 5: Time to tighten the nut
Firmly affix the basin wrench to the nut and turn it in a clockwise direction to tighten the nut.
You may have a little challenge doing this as you might have to twist your body into awkward positions to do this.
Try not to over-tighten the nut so you don’t make it slip over the bolt. However, that doesn’t mean you should under-tighten it. Just continue to tighten the nut till you can feel it can’t be moved further.
Step 6: Check that the faucet base is tight
When you’re done tightening the bolt, come out from under the sink to check if the kitchen faucet is tight or it still moves around.
Step 7: Turn the water supply back on and restore the items you brought out
Once you’ve confirmed that the loose kitchen faucet has been repaired, replace all the items you moved out of the way at the beginning of this fun DIY tighten a kitchen faucet project. Wasn't it so much more fun when your only concern was how to choose a kitchen faucet ?!. Wasn't it so much more fun when your only concern was how to choose a kitchen faucet ?!.
However, it’s possible to tighten kitchen faucets and still feel like the faucets are wobbly. In this scenario, we’ll explore another solution: how to tighten a loose faucet handle.
How to Tighten a Loose Kitchen Faucet Handle at home
If your kitchen faucets don’t work properly after tightening them, let’s check if the issue can be solved by tightening the faucet handle.
Tools you’ll need to DIY a loose kitchen faucet handle
- Flathead screwdriver or knife
- Hex head wrench (Allen wrench or key)
- Philips head screwdriver
Steps to Easily Tighten Kitchen Faucet Handle
Step 1: Empty everything in the sink cabinet
First things first: remove all the items in the sink cabinet so you can embark on the work.
Step 2: Turn off the water supply valves
To avoid soaking yourself with water should anything break or go wrong, turn off the water supply valves.
This will also prevent water from gushing out when you turn the kitchen faucet on. So as a safety precaution, always turn the water valves off.
Step 3: Identify the kind of faucet you have
Some kitchen faucets are secured with a hex head screw: many others are secured with a Philips head screw.
But if you can’t find the screw head, you’ll have to take out the decorative cap in the handle to discover the kind of screw you have.
To remove the decorative cap in the handle, you’ll have to slide the edge of your flathead screwdriver or knife under the cap and pop it open.
Step 4: Tighten the screw
The way you’ll tighten the screw depends on the type of screw in your faucet handle.
If the set screw is located at the base of the handle, use your hex head wrench (Allen wrench) to tighten it by turning it clockwise.
And if the set screw is underneath a decorative cover, use your hex wrench or Philips head screwdriver to tighten the kitchen faucet handle accordingly. Hold the faucet handle in position and screw in a clockwise manner.
Caveat: the reason we closed the water supply valves before we began to work is that, when using a hex wrench, you might need to turn on your faucet handle.
Step 5: Check that the kitchen faucet handle is stable
When you’re done screwing, it’s time to check if you’ve done perfect work.
Check that the faucet is firmly fixed and no longer moves from its position. If this is the case, your work is done here.
Step 6: Replace the decorative cap, the other items, and turn on the water
When you’re sure the faucet is securely fixed, put the decorative cap back on and replace the items you took out of the way.
And then the water supply valves back on.
Now you’ve learned to tighten a wobbly or loose kitchen faucet by yourself. And if the issue persists, you’ll have to contact a professional.
On the occasion you’ve got a single handle kitchen faucet, here’s how to tighten it and fix leaks.
How Do You Tighten A Dual Handle or Single Handle Kitchen Faucet?
To embark on this easy DIY project, you’ll need a few tools;
- Allen key or hex head wrench
- Rubber seals
- Pipe wrench
- Old toothbrush
- New O-ring
- Heatproof silicone plumber’s grease
Now, these are the steps to tighten a single handle kitchen faucet at home.
Step 1: Turn off the water supply lines
The water supply lines are beneath the sink: turn them off by turning the handle on the valves clockwise.
And if you can’t find them, turn off the main water supply channel.
Step 2: Remove the handle lever
Screws are mostly used to attach the handles of faucets to the faucet cartridge. And sometimes, a decorative cap is used to hide the screw.
Remove the cap and unscrew with a hex head wrench or an Allen wrench. Then gently take out the kitchen faucet handle.
Step 4: Take out the disc cartridge
Once the handle has come off, it will not be difficult to locate the ceramic disc cartridge.
Remove the disc cartridge with pliers and check for leaks.
And if the cartridge is bad, it is better to replace it than repair it.
Step 5: Clean and reassemble the handle kitchen faucet
The cartridge has got rubber seals that can start leaking due to mineral depositions.
Remove them gently and clean them with an old toothbrush. And you would be better off buying new ones if they’re broken.
Also, check if the O-ring is damaged. If it is, also replace it with new ones or use silicone grease to coat it.
Once you’re done cleaning and replacing the damaged parts, reassemble the faucet and tighten the screws.
Step 6: Restore the water supply lines
When you’re done and have made sure all the screws are tight, turn the water valves back on, and your single handle kitchen faucet is ready for use.
Embarking on any of these DIY projects could take anywhere from around 30 – 45 minutes to undertake. Plus it’s easy to do: so do you really want to call your plumber for that?
I don’t think so. That’s not to say you shouldn’t contact your plumber if you don’t have time on your hands.
All we’re saying is you can solve the problem by yourself and save yourself some money by following our guide today.