Leaking bathroom or kitchen faucets can be annoying enough to disturb your peace at night. Also, a dripping faucet can waste an incredible amount of water. Leaks can also stain sink surfaces, corrode drains, tax plumbing lines, waste energy, and do nothing good to your home.
Luckily, it's easy to fix a leaky faucet yourself. Fixing a leaky kitchen faucet is a DIY project that's usually easier and less time consuming than you can imagine. Read on to learn how to fix a leaking kitchen faucet.
Why Faucet Leaks or Drips
Faucets either have sink cartridges or compression valves that open and close to control water flow. Most faucet leaks are a result of worn out cartridges or worn stem assembly washers. Replacing these parts should fix your leaky kitchen faucet. Also, purchasing the best kitchen faucet with a sprayer can assure you of no or less faucet leakages.
How to Fix a Leaky Cartridge Faucet
Sometimes, you may experience leakages in your faucet because of the cartridge. This is because a clogged cartridge can cause low water pressure in the sink, making the leakage happen in other parts of the faucet. If this is the case, then follow these instructions to repair your leaky cartridge:
Remove Screw from the Handle
Loosen and remove the set screw that holds the handle in place using a Phillips screwdriver. If your model faucet has a cap, pry it off with a flat-head screwdriver. Often, there's an Allen screw located on the side or back of the handle. Insert the end of the Allen into the screw and turn counterclockwise. Remove the screw and set it safely aside.
Remove Faucet Handle
Pull the handle off of the faucet. If it's difficult to remove, place a rag over the end of the handle and strike with a rubber mallet to loosen.
Loosen Retaining Nut
Under the sink, use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the retaining nut that holds the faucet assembly in place.
Remove Sink Cartridge
The sink cartridge is what actually controls the water flow. It's usually brass, and it has a rubber o ring seal. Use needle nose pliers to remove the old o ring and throw it away.
Next, use a crescent wrench to unscrew the cartridge from the faucet body. If it's difficult to remove, you can try soaking it in vinegar for a few minutes.
Replace O Ring and Cartridge
Once the old cartridge is out, inspect the o rings. If they look worn or damaged, replace them with new ones. You can usually find replacement o rings at your local hardware store.
Put some plumber's grease on the new o rings and screw the cartridge back into place. Use the crescent wrench to tighten it, but don't overtighten, or you could damage the o ring.
Install the Handle
Screw the handle back on and turn the water supply back on. Test your faucet to see if it's still leaking. If it is, you may need to replace the entire cartridge.
How to Repair a Compression Faucet
Older and traditionally style two handled faucets use compression valves. This is the easiest to repair. You can simply repair it by tightening the packing nut at the top. If that doesn't do it, then follow these instructions:
Remove the Handle
Remove the screw that holds the handle in place and pull it off. You should see a packing nut holding the stem in place.
Remove the Valve Cover and Valve Stem Assembly
Remove the valve cover by unscrewing it with pliers. Once you've removed the cover, grip the hex head of the valve stem assembly. Screw counterclockwise to remove it.
Remove the Washer Screw
Use Philip's head screwdriver to remove the washer screw. You will see a rubber washer on the underside of the screw. Remove this as well.
Remove the Stem Washer
With your fingernail or the edge of the utility knife, pull out the stem washer. It is likely to be stuck in place, so you may have to wiggle it a bit.
Replace the Stem Washer and Screw
Put the new stem washer in place and screw the washer screw back in. Be sure not to over-tighten, as this could strip the threads.
Assemble Your Faucet
Screw the handle back on, being careful not to over-tighten. Replace the decorative cap if your faucet has one. Finally, turn the water supply back on and test your faucet to be sure the leak has been fixed.
How to Repair a Ceramic Disc Faucet
A ceramic disk faucet uses a cylinder with tiny discs on the bottom that control water flow. The most successful repair typically replaces the entire cylinder. Below are the instructions:
Remove the Screw Cover With Knife
On ceramic disc faucets, the screw cover is near the bottom of the handle. Use a putty knife or other flat object to pry off the screw cover. You may need to apply significant pressure to remove the screw cover.
Use an Allen Wrench to Remove the Handle
Stick the Allen wrench into the hole under the screw cover, and turn the wrench counterclockwise to remove the handle.
Twist Off the Metal Cap With Pliers
Locate the metal cap on top of the valve stem. The cap is usually round, and it may have a cross or another design on it. Use pliers to twist off the metal cap.
Use a Screwdriver to Remove the Disc Cartridge
You'll see a disc cartridge plastic cover. Look for three holes around the outside edge. Use a Philips screwdriver to remove these screws, then lift off the cartridge cover.
Replace the Rubber seals in the cartridge
Flip over the cartridge to find the rubber seals. They may look worn or broken. Get the rings from your local home improvement store or hardware store, and insert them into the holes under the cartridge.
If the rubber seals are dirty but not broken, try scrubbing them with a microfiber or soaking them in vinegar to clean them. Ceramic disc faucets are designed to last for a long, so they usually come with a long warranty. Check your owner's manual if you have it, and you may be able to get the faucet repaired at no cost.
Replace the O Rings on the Plastic Discs
If you have a plastic disc faucet, look for the O rings. These are usually located under the discs themselves or around the spout. Get new O rings from your local store, and replace the old ones. You may need a screwdriver to help you remove the old ones and install the new ones.
Clean the Holes in the Faucet with Vinegar
If your faucet is still leaking, it may be because the holes in the faucet are clogged. You can clean them with vinegar and a toothbrush. First, remove any debris from the holes with a toothpick. Then, pour vinegar into the holes and let it sit for a few minutes. Finally, use the toothbrush to scrub the holes clean.
Reassemble the Faucet
Once the O rings and holes are both clean, you can reassemble the faucet. Make sure everything is tightened properly, and test the faucet to see if it is still leaking. If it is, you may need to replace some of the parts.
How to Repair a Spout Faucet
Twist the Handle to Remove it
The first step is to remove the handle. In most cases, you can do this by simply twisting it counterclockwise. If the handle is stuck, you may need to use a wrench or pliers to loosen it.
Remove the O Rings to Fix a Base Leak
Once the handle is off, you should be able to see the O rings. These are usually located near the base of the spout. If they are damaged or worn, they will need to be replaced.
Lubricate Replacement O Rings with Plumber's Grease
To install the new O rings, you will need to lubricate them with the plumber's grease. This will help to ensure a tight seal and prevent leaks.
Clean the Diverter Valve with Vinegar
The diverter valve is located inside the spout. Over time, it can become clogged with mineral deposits. This can cause leaks. To clean it, soak a cloth in vinegar and wrap it around the valve. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a nylon cloth.
How to Repair a Ball Faucet
This type of faucet has a rotary ball deep inside. They involve lots of different parts, including the ball, springs, rubber seats, and o rings.
Use an Allen Wrench to Remove the Handle
The first step is to remove the handle. To do this, you will need an Allen wrench. The size of the wrench will depend on the faucet. Once you have the right size, insert it into the hole at the base of the handle and turn it counterclockwise. The handle should come off easily.
Tighten the Adjusting Ring to Fix Leaks in the Handle's Base
If there is a leak at the base of the handle, it may be because the adjusting ring is too loose. To fix this, insert an Allen wrench into the hole in the center of the adjusting ring and turn it clockwise. This will tighten the ring and stop the leak.
Remove the Cap by Turning it Counterclockwise
If there is a leak at the top of the faucet, it may be because the cap is loose. To fix this, find the small hole in the center of the cap and insert an Allen wrench. Turn the wrench counterclockwise to remove the cap. Set aside the cap, then remove the two plastic rings inside the faucet to expose the rotary ball.
Take Out the Ball and Replace it if it's Damaged
If the ball is damaged, it will need to be replaced. To do this, remove the ball from the faucet by unscrewing it with an Allen wrench. Once the ball is removed, take it to a hardware store to find a replacement that is the same size and shape.
Replace the Rubber Rings and Rings Under the Ball
Once the ball is removed, replace the two rubber rings that sit on top of it. These can be found at most hardware stores. Once the new rubber rings are in place, screw the ball back into the faucet.
Reassemble the Faucet
Now that the ball is back in place, you can reassemble the faucet. Start by screwing on the handle, then the cap, and finally the sleeve. Turn on the water supply to test the faucet. If it's still leaking, you may need to replace the packing nut.
FAQs on How to Repair a Leaking Kitchen Faucet
How to check leaky kitchen faucets?
To check for a leaky kitchen faucet, first, make sure that the water supply is turned off. Next, unscrew the faucet's handle and remove the cap. Look inside the handle to see if there is any water leaking from the ball or the packing nut. If there is water leaking, you will need to repair the faucet.
Who fixes kitchen faucets?
You can fix a kitchen faucet yourself if you have the right tools and know how to do it. However, if you are not sure how to fix the faucet, it is best to call a professional plumber.
Final Thought on How to Repair a Leaking Faucet
A leaking faucet can cause problems in your home. But with the right tools and DIY skills, you can easily fix it. If you don't feel confident enough to do it yourself, always call a professional plumber. They will help you repair the faucet quickly and efficiently.