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How to Fix a Leaky Kitchen Faucet

How To Clean Kitchen Faucet Head

Leaky faucets are a scourge in the kitchen. If left unattended, they can end up ruining your kitchen sink, or even damage your floors. If you don’t fix it fast enough and the water level gets too high, it can even damage the walls and ceiling of your kitchen.

Plumbing problems are never welcomed. It is even worse when you need to call the plumber and spend money on fixing the problem. A leaky kitchen faucet could be a sign of possible problems in your home such as damaged pipes or worn-out seals. Fortunately, there are ways to fix a leaky kitchen faucet without the help of a plumber.

Shut off the water under the sink

Remove the handle by removing the screw cover and Phillips screws located on the underside of the handle. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry off decorative caps, if necessary. Locate the hex screw under the handle; remove it with an adjustable wrench or hex wrench. Pull out the stem and replace the -ring and packing washer underneath. Replace all parts in reverse order.

Gather your tools before getting started

If your kitchen faucet is leaking, you’re likely wasting water and money. There’s no need to put off fixing a leaky kitchen faucet. If you’re handy with tools, fixing a leaky kitchen faucet yourself is an easy and affordable solution. Gather your tools before getting started. A kitchen faucet has the same basic parts supply lines, mounting nut, spout, valve and handle assembly but the size of the nuts and other parts will vary depending on the brand and model of your faucet.

Remove the cap on top of the faucet handle

Remove the cap on top of the faucet handle. It should just pull off, but if it’s stuck you can put a little penetrating oil around the edge and then wait a few minutes to try again. Look at what you find under the cap. Sometimes there are set screws under there that may have loosened or become stripped. If so, tighten them up. If they’re stripped out and won’t hold tight with a screwdriver, you’ll need to replace them with new ones.

If there are no set screws, look for a retaining clip that holds the handle in place on the stem or cartridge. Sometimes these clips can be removed with needle-nose pliers or even just your fingers, depending on how they’re made.

Use pliers to remove the screw that is holding down the handle

Replacing a worn rubber washer is often all that’s necessary to stop the dripping. The key is to disassemble the faucet and look for the source of the leak.To start, turn off the water at the shutoff valves under the sink. Then remove the handle by loosening a setscrew or removing a clip or a screw that holds down the handle. If the setscrew is hard to loosen, try spraying penetrating oil on it and letting it sit for a while.

Washerless faucets are usually found in newer homes. The parts within them are made of plastic and other synthetic materials which tend to last longer than washers do. Replacing an O-ring in one of these faucets is usually all that’s necessary to stop a leak.Compression faucets are found in older homes and use washers to stop water flow. If your kitchen faucet makes noise every time you turn it off.

Lift off the faucet handle and set it aside

During the course of a kitchen renovation, some plumbers will install faucets and then leave the actual plumbing connections to the homeowner. Most modern faucets are designed with quick-connect systems that allow you to simply push a pipe onto a fitting and it will stay in place. In many cases, these quick-connects can also be removed with a simple tug. If yours is stuck, you’ll probably need to cut it off.

  • Lift off the faucet handle and set it aside. Underneath is a screw that holds on the handle base, or escutcheon. Unscrew this with your flat-head screwdriver and remove it along with the handle base.All that’s left should be exposed pipes coming out of the wall or sink deck. These will have nuts holding them in place under the sink or countertop.
  • Loosen these nuts with your adjustable wrench until they’re hand-tight and you can pull them off easily.If one of your quick-connects refuses to budge despite all your best efforts, you should plan on cutting it off rather than trying to force it loose. The good news is that most of these parts are made of plastic, which means you should be able to cut through them with nothing more.

Replace old washer with new one by prying out old washer with a flat head screwdriver

Turn off the water under the sink. If you have a garbage disposal, turn it on to drain any excess water.Remove the faucet handle by loosening the screw behind it with an Allen wrench or Phillips’s screwdriver.Pull out the stem and use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the packing nut underneath.

Pull out the stem and use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the packing nut underneath.Remove the washer from the bottom of the stem and replace it with a new one that matches its size and shape.Put everything back together and turn on your water to test for leaks.


If you follow these steps, there is no reason why you should not be able to fix your leaky faucet. The plumber that told you this is beyond repair might be right, but that does not necessarily mean that you cannot make the necessary repairs or even replace the parts yourself.

With a little common sense and the right tools and instructions, fixing a leaky kitchen faucet can be an easy fix that will save you the hassle of calling in a plumber.