A dripping kitchen faucet can be quite bothersome. Apart from the constant sound of water hitting the sink, it’s also wasting water, which is a precious resource. Fixing a leaky faucet can be a DIY project if you have some time and knowledge about your specific faucet type.
Why Is the Faucet Dripping?
Good question! There are four basic types of faucets installed in kitchens:
- Ball. A neoprene seal or O-ring is utilized and may need replacing.
- Cartridge. Like the ball faucet, it uses a neoprene seal or O-ring.
- Ceramic disk. This type of faucet also uses a neoprene seal or O-ring.
- Compression. This type of faucet uses rubber washers to seal the faucet’s valve seat.
- Adjustable pliers
- Needlenose pliers
- Small-slotted Screwdriver
- Utility knife
- Adjustable Wrench
- Crescent wrench
- Hex-key wrench (ball-type faucet)
- Heat-proof, non-toxic plumber’s grease or Vaseline petroleum jelly
- Faucet cartridge (cartridge faucet type)
- O-rings (depending on faucet type)
- Rags or towel
- Scouring pad
- Seat washers (depending on faucet type)
How to Fix a Kitchen Faucet that Leaks
To begin, there are some basic steps to follow for repairing any type of kitchen faucet.
Step 1. Close the Water Supply.
The water supply valve should be closed. It may be under your sink, or you may just have to turn the water off in your entire home momentarily.
Step 2. Cover the drain.
It is wise to cover the drain with a towel or rag so that if you drop some parts, they’ll be caught and not fall into the drainpipe. Also, place the parts on a kitchen counter or table in the order that you remove them. It will help when it’s time for reassembly.
Step 3. Preparation.
On the wrench jaws, place some duct tape. This way when you use the wrench, you won’t scratch any surfaces. Also, keep a scouring pad and some vinegar handy in case you find mineral deposits that need to be cleaned.
Now that you are ready to start, consider the type of faucet that requires repair.
Leaky Cartridge Faucet Repair
Step 1: Removing the Handle.
On the handle’s top, remove the cap. Unscrew the visible screw and take it out. Incline the handle backward and pull to remove it.
Step 2: Removing the Cartridge.
Using needlenose pliers, the retaining clip must be removed. It is keeping the cartridge in position. Remove the cartridge by pulling it upward.
Step 3: Replace the O-rings.
Take out the spout. Cut out the old O-rings. Cover the new O-rings in plumber’s grease that is both heat-proof and non-toxic.
Step 4: Replace the cartridge.
The new cartridge and the old one should have the same length. The stem ends should match as well as this is where the handle will reattach.
Step 5: Reassemble.
Leaky Compression Faucet Repair
Step 1: Remove the Handle.
pry off the handle’s cap with a screwdriver or knife. The screws that attach the handle are visible. Unscrew and remove the handle.
Step 2: Loosening the faucet stem.
The packing nut can be loosened with a crescent wrench, then loosen the faucet stem with an adjustable wrench.
Step 3: A new seat washer.
At the stem’s bottom, remove the rubber washer and replace it. cover the new washers with heat-proof, non-toxic plumber’s grease.
Step 4: Replace the O-ring.
Remove the stem from the parking nut and substitute the O-ring. Make sure to have the correct size (3/8″ to 5/8″). Cover the O-ring in plumber’s grease.
Step 5: Repairing the retainer.
The washer is found in a recessed, round retainer disk. A damaged retainer will likely require a new retainer ring.
Step 6: Replace the seat.
If leakage continues the retainer seat could be pitted and requires replacing.
Leaky Ball-Type Faucet Repair
A ball-type faucet has many small parts, and it may prove difficult to find the actual cause of the leak. A reliable option is to replace all the parts with a new faucet replacement kit.
Leaky Ceramic Disk Faucet Repair.
Step 1: Handle Removal.
Push the faucet handle backward. The set screw should be visible. Unscrew and remove the handle.
Step 2: Cylinder removal.
Take off the escutcheon cap and unscrew the mounting screws for the disk cylinder. Take out the cylinder.
Step 3: Replace neoprene seals.
Using a screwdriver, lift out the seal. With some vinegar and a scouring pad clean the openings on the cylinder and rinse well. Replace the neoprene seals.
Step 4: Reassemble and Test.
Reassemble the faucet and turn the water on slowly so that the ceramic disk is not fractured in the process.
How to Fix a Leaking Kitchen Faucet with Two Handles
Step 1: Find the leak.
Is water dripping from the handle or faucet? Is the water cold or hot?
Step 2: Remove the handle.
Depending on the type of handles, knobs, levers, etc. find the screw that keeps it in place by prying off the decorative cap or pushing the handle backward. Unscrew and remove the handle.
Step 3: Remove the Stem.
Loosen the nut connecting the handle to the stem. Remove the faucet stem from the handle.
Step 4: Repair the Cause of Leakage.
At this point, substitute the rubber washers or O-rings, or both. Much depends on the kind of faucet you are repairing.
Step 5: Reassemble.
You can avoid wasting water and a plumber’s bill by following these simple guides for repairing your leaky kitchen faucet. If these steps don’t resolve the problem, you may have a worse problem and it will be necessary to call the plumber.