There are many reasons why your kitchen sink faucet could be leaking. No matter the reason, it is important to understand what you are working with before beginning the process of repairing or replacing it. While this may seem overwhelming at first, if you know how your faucet works, what type of faucet is installed, and what tools you have at your disposal it will be much easier to fix.
Identifying the Faucet
Identifying the type of faucet that is leaking is the first step. There are two basic types of kitchen sink faucets: compression (also called “cartridge”) and washerless.
Compression faucets use rubber gaskets and a cartridge to control water flow.
Washerless faucets use rubber seals in the assembly of the faucet.
The washerless type has fewer parts, but both types of sink faucets can experience leaking problems due to worn-out parts or loose screws.
How to Fix Your Leaky Faucet in 5 easy Steps
Fixing a leaky faucet in your kitchen sink is no laughing matter. A dripping faucet wastes water and costs you money! But it’s not as hard as you might think to fix one of these pesky problems.
When a leaky faucet develops in your kitchen, you can either fix it yourself or call a professional to handle the job. There is no harm in calling a plumber – after all, they are professionals and if their services do not cost much then there is no harm at all. If you want to try it on your own you can buy a repair kit from a hardware store for about $20 – this will include the tools and instructions to help you fix the faucet.
There are four common fixes for leaking faucets, so check out this blog post to learn how to fix your leaky kitchen sink faucet in just five steps.
- A screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench or channel locks
- Teflon tape
- Basin wrench
- Water supply lines
- Silicone-based lubricant
Step 1: Shut Off the Water Supply
Go under the sink and find the shut-off valves, shut off both hot and cold water supplies.
Step 2: Remove the Faucet Handles
Remove the handle using a screwdriver; if it does not come off easily then spray some WD 40 spray on it, which will help you remove them with ease. The packing nut that is below the handle holds the faucet in place and this also has to be removed. Unscrew it using a wrench or channel locks, do not use pliers as you may break off the metal insert inside the stem. Pull out the faucet.
Step 3: Remove the Stem Assembly
Disconnect the pop-up assembly, which is at the bottom of the sink, by loosening the retaining nut. After you have removed it then you can slide out the stem assembly also.
Step 4: Taking Apart the Stem Assembly
You will find a plastic cap on top of the stem that holds in place all the different parts inside it. Take this off using your fingers, then push the stem through the body, which you can turn counter-clockwise. You will find that there are different washers inside; pull these out and make note of them in order to get replacements when required.
- Remove the old rubber washer or O-ring from underneath the handle of your faucet:
- Purchase a new rubber washer or O-ring that matches what you have removed from under your handle.
- Clean out all debris around the base of your spout with an old toothbrush and vinegar (or other appropriate cleaning solution) before installing new parts. Make sure everything is as clean as possible so there won’t be any leaks when you reassemble the parts.
Step 5: Putting Together the New Parts
There should be an instruction manual along with your faucet repair kit, follow these instructions very carefully. Make sure you use Teflon tape on the threads of all metal parts, make sure it goes around three or four times before wrapping it clockwise.
If you think this is too complicated to do yourself then call a plumber; make sure he uses genuine parts.