Fixing a Faucet Handle That Turns Too Far – Why Does My Faucet Handle Turn All the Way Around?

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Imagine turning on your faucet, only to find that the handle spins all the way around, leaving you puzzled and frustrated. You might ask yourself, “why does my faucet handle turn all the way around?” A spinning faucet handle is not only an annoyance but also a potential sign of underlying issues that need to be addressed. In this blog post, we will uncover the common causes behind a spinning faucet handle and provide a step-by-step guide on how to fix this pesky problem. Additionally, we will share tips for choosing the right replacement cartridge and discuss when it might be time to call in a plumber for professional assistance.

Key Takeaways

  • Common causes of a spinning faucet handle include worn-out cartridges, loose or damaged screws and incorrect installation.
  • Steps to fix a faucet handle that turns all the way around involve turning off water supply, removing the faucet handle, inspecting and replacing cartridge then reassembling & testing it.
  • When dealing with persistent problems seek professional help from plumber for complicated models or frequent issues.

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Fixing a Faucet Handle That Turns Too Far - Why Does My Faucet Handle Turn All the Way Around?

Common Causes of a Spinning Faucet Handle

A few common causes lead to a spinning faucet handle: a worn-out cartridge, loose or damaged screws, and incorrect installation. To fix it, you need to understand the root cause of the issue.

Here’s a detailed examination of each of these causes.

Worn-Out Cartridge

A worn-out cartridge, also known as a faucet stem, can cause the faucet handle to spin beyond its normal range, necessitating replacement. The faucet cartridge is a device within a faucet that controls the flow of water and is responsible for modulating the amount and direction of water that is discharged from the faucet. When the cartridge is worn out, it can no longer accurately regulate the water flow, which may result in the water being turned on or off without the user’s input.

A flathead screwdriver might be required to remove the handle and inspect the cartridge. If the cartridge is worn-out, consider replacing it with a new one using an adjustable wrench.

Once done, reassemble the faucet and test it for smooth operation.

Loose or Damaged Screws

Loose or damaged screws in the faucet handle can also lead to a spinning faucet handle. If the handle is not securely fastened and turns too far, you can secure the handle screw using a Philips screwdriver.

On the other hand, if the handle screw is damaged, it is recommended to replace the handle screw with a decorative cap.

Another screw that may cause issues is the locking nut, which serves to secure the faucet cartridge. If this nut is loose or damaged, it may also contribute to the spinning handle problem. Make sure to check each screw and tighten or replace as necessary.

Incorrect Installation

Lastly, incorrect installation of the faucet handle or cartridge may cause the handle to turn all the way around. Not all replacement cartridges are compatible with every faucet model, so it is essential to ensure you have the correct one for your faucet.

To rectify an incorrect installation, exchange the stripped faucet handle or cartridge with a new one and then reassemble the faucet.

Steps to Fix a Faucet Handle That Turns All the Way Around

A person turning off the water supply to a faucet

Having identified the common causes of a spinning faucet handle, let’s move on to the step-by-step procedure to rectify it.

The steps involve turning off the water supply, removing the faucet handle, inspecting and replacing the cartridge, and reassembling and testing the faucet.

Turn Off Water Supply

Before initiating any repairs, make sure to turn off the water supply to the faucet. The water supply shut-off valve is typically situated beneath the sink. To shut off the water to the faucet, rotate the handle clockwise.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to cover the drain to ensure that no essential items, such as screws, are inadvertently lost down the drain.

Remove the Faucet Handle

Once the water supply is turned off, proceed by removing the faucet handle to reveal the cartridge and other internal components. Use a Phillips head screwdriver or an Allen wrench to unscrew the handle, depending on the type of screw used in your faucet. Once the handle is removed, you’ll need to detach the locking nut to ensure the cartridge is secure.

To remove the cartridge from the faucet body, gently pull the cartridge directly upwards. If needed, utilize pliers to grip the shaft at the top of the cartridge and remove the cartridge. This will allow you to inspect the cartridge and determine if it needs to be replaced.

Inspect and Replace the Cartridge

Once the cartridge is removed from the faucet body, inspect it for any signs of wear or tear. Check for any obstructions or particles that may be influencing water flow. If the cartridge appears worn-out or damaged, replace it with a new one.

When replacing the cartridge, follow these steps:

  1. Utilize a pipe wrench or tongue-and-groove pliers to unscrew the retaining nut.
  2. Insert the new cartridge into the faucet body.
  3. Secure the cartridge with the retaining nut.
  4. Ensure that the cartridge is properly seated and aligned before moving on to the next step.

Reassemble and Test the Faucet

A close-up image of a disassembled faucet handle with the screw and washer visible, highlighting the issue of the handle turning all the way around, explaining why does my faucet handle turn all the way around.

Once the new cartridge is installed, proceed to reassemble the faucet. Follow these steps:

  1. Arrange the components in the appropriate order.
  2. Verify that each component is correctly aligned and seated.
  3. Use a screwdriver or wrench to tighten any screws or nuts to secure the components in place.

To test the faucet, follow these steps:

  1. Activate the water supply and assess whether it is operating correctly.
  2. The handle should no longer spin all the way around.
  3. The water flow should be regulated properly.
  4. If the faucet handle still spins after reassembly, it may be necessary to call a plumber for professional assistance.

Tips for Choosing the Right Replacement Cartridge

A person holding an old cartridge next to a new one in a hardware store

Choosing the suitable replacement cartridge is key to a successful repair. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of tips that include:

  • Bringing the old cartridge to the hardware store
  • Checking compatibility with the faucet brand and model
  • Looking for quality materials.

Bring the Old Cartridge to the Hardware Store

Taking the old cartridge to the hardware store is a reliable way to find an exact match for your replacement. This will allow the store staff to help you find a compatible cartridge for your faucet and ensure a proper fit.

Plus, it eliminates the guesswork and potential frustration of purchasing an incompatible cartridge.

Check Compatibility with Faucet Brand and Model

Ensuring the replacement cartridge matches your faucet’s brand and model is of utmost importance. To ascertain compatibility, you can:

  • Look for a brand logo or emblem on the faucet base or spout
  • Examine manufacturer stickers for model numbers and codes
  • Consult the manufacturer’s specifications if necessary

Taking these steps will help you avoid the hassle of purchasing an incompatible cartridge and save you time and effort in the long run.

Look for Quality Materials

Finally, choose a replacement cartridge made from quality materials for long-lasting performance. Factors such as:

  • Durability
  • Flow rate
  • Water pressure
  • Temperature control

should be taken into consideration when selecting materials.

Additionally, consult reviews and recommendations to ensure the reliability of the cartridge.

When to Call a Plumber

A person inspecting a faucet handle for signs of wear and tear

Though many spinning faucet handle issues can be handled with some DIY skills, there are cases where professional help is needed, especially when dealing with more complex faucet handles.

This section will cover scenarios when professional help is warranted, like a persistently spinning faucet handle, a complex faucet model, or frequent faucet problems.

Kohler Kitchen Faucet Leaking

Is your Kohler kitchen faucet leaking, causing frustration and water wastage in your kitchen? A leaking faucet can be a common issue, but it's essential to address it promptly to prevent water damage and reduce your water bill. In this guide, we'll discuss the common causes of Kohler kitchen faucet leaks, how to diagnose the problem, and the steps to fix it. Whether it's a simple DIY repair or a more complex issue, understanding the potential causes can help you efficiently tackle the problem and enjoy a leak-free kitchen faucet once again.

Persistent Spinning Handle

If the faucet handle still spins after attempting the repairs outlined in this post, it may be time to call a plumber. A plumber will have the expertise and tools necessary to diagnose and resolve the issue, saving you time and effort.

Plus, they can help prevent further damage or water leaks that may result from unresolved repairs.

Complicated Faucet Models

Complicated faucet models may require professional assistance for proper repair. These models may present issues such as:

  • Worn-out cartridges
  • Loose or damaged screws
  • Incorrect installation
  • Other difficulties that require specialized tools and knowledge to repair

Contacting a plumber in these situations can ensure your faucet repair is done correctly and efficiently.

Frequent Faucet Issues

Frequent faucet issues may indicate a larger problem that requires a plumber’s expertise. If you find yourself constantly dealing with faucet problems such as:

  • rust
  • leakage
  • reduced water pressure
  • a difficult-to-turn handle

It may be time to call in a professional.

A plumber can diagnose the root cause of these issues and provide a long-term solution, ultimately saving you time, money, and frustration.


In conclusion, a spinning faucet handle can be a frustrating problem, but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be resolved. By identifying the root cause, such as a worn-out cartridge, loose or damaged screws, or incorrect installation, you can take the appropriate steps to fix the issue. Remember to turn off the water supply, remove the faucet handle, inspect and replace the cartridge, and reassemble and test the faucet to ensure the handle no longer spins all the way around.

Choosing the right replacement cartridge is crucial, so be sure to bring the old cartridge to the hardware store, check compatibility with your faucet’s brand and model, and look for quality materials. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a plumber for professional assistance, especially if you have a complicated faucet model or experience frequent faucet issues. With the right approach, you can restore your faucet to proper working order and avoid any future spinning handle mishaps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my faucet turn all the way around?

Faucet handles may spin due to wear and tear on the faucet stem or cartridge, which can be replaced by removing the faucet from the sink and installing a new one.

Why wont my faucet turn off all the way?

Worn-out washers, faulty seals, loose handles, clogged aerators and broken pipes are the most common reasons why faucets won't turn off all the way. To determine which is causing your problem, remove the handle from your faucet and check for any signs of wear or damage. If nothing looks out of place or damaged, the cause could be entirely different.

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

If you're dealing with a persistent dripping sound in your bathroom or kitchen, learning how to fix a leaky faucet can save you both water and your sanity. A leaky faucet is not just an annoying nuisance; it can also lead to increased water bills and potential damage to your plumbing fixtures over time. Fortunately, you don't need to be a plumbing expert to address this common household issue. 

How do I keep my kitchen faucet rotating smoothly?

To keep my kitchen faucet rotating smoothly, I should lubricate the o-rings and reassemble the spout with both a top washer and a bottom washer. This will ensure that all components are properly in place and functioning properly.

How can I ensure I choose the right replacement cartridge for my faucet?

To ensure you choose the right replacement cartridge for your faucet, bring the old one to the hardware store, check compatibility with its brand and model, and make sure the quality of the materials are up to par.

When should I call a plumber for assistance with a spinning faucet handle?

If the handle continues to spin after attempted repairs, or if you have a complex model or frequent issues, it's best to call a plumber for assistance with a spinning faucet handle.

Ryan Copley

Ryan Copley

Having spent years participating in bathroom, kitchen, and home renovations, Ryan uses this experience to write informative blog posts on a wide variety of home renovation and kitchen topics.

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