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How to fix a leaky kitchen faucet is probably the most dreaded quandary of a homeowner. But, let us assure you — it’s not the most difficult task in the world. Fixing a leak is easy and not much time-consuming if you know how. You don’t need to hire a professional for the job, it’s a DIY project that is quite simple and gives you the satisfaction of having fixed a problem, timely.

Most often, faucet leaks are pretty easy to spot — just check if a tap drips from the spout despite the faucet handle being turned off. Having said that, not all leakages are absolutely obvious, especially if they occur in places other than the spout.

So, how do you spot a leaking faucet in such a case? Simple. Keep a tab on your household water usage. If it’s significantly higher than normal, you’ll know that water is being wasted and you have a serious situation at hand.

Usually, there are three kinds of faucet leaks. At the spout of the faucet, around the base, or under the sink. The first thing you should do is to determine the location of the leak and accordingly fix the leaky kitchen faucet.

Before starting work on the kitchen faucet repair, get all your questions answered.

What causes a faucet to drip?

More often than not, a a dripping faucet is due to it’s wear and tear. Over a period of time, with every use, the washer is forced against the valve seat. There is constant friction because of which it wears out. Simply replace the worn-out rubber washer and the leakage will probably stop.

Leaking kitchen faucet

What are the different types of faucets?

There are four basic kinds of faucets, each differing in terms of its mechanism and hence repair. Choose the best kitchen faucets as per your requirements.

  • Compression faucet (two handles): easier to repair with cheap spare parts
  • Ball faucets (washer-less) with a ball-bearing: a little complicated repair
  • Disc faucet with a cylinder (ceramic): slightly time-consuming repair
  • Cartridge faucet with a cartridge: difficult to repair

Kinds Of Kitchen Faucet Repairs

Leaky kitchen faucetPhoto by Refracted Moments on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Before beginning the faucet repair, clean and dry the sink drain and spread a light-colored rag cloth. It will effectively catch any dropped parts and make your mending easier.

Faucet Repair At The Spout

How To Fix A Compression Faucet

  • Stop the water flow
  • Remove both the handles with a screwdriver
  • Use a wrench to take out the nut
  • You will be able to see the O-ring
  • Inspect the O-ring and the washer and check which one looks worn-out
  • If leakage is around the handles, change the O-ring
  • If faucet body is leaking, change the washer
  • Reassemble the faucet

How To Fix A Ball Faucet

  • Stop the water flow
  • Dislodge the handle
  • Use a wrench and remove the cap
  • Loosen the cam with a special repair tool
  • Take out the cam, washer, and stainless steel ball — if worn-out, use new ones
  • Inspect the seals and springs in the same manner
  • If O-rings need to go, install new ones — after coating them in vaseline
  • Reassemble the faucet

How To Fix A Ceramic Disc Faucet

  • Stop the water flow
  • Remove the handle
  • Take out the metal escutcheon cap that’s right under it
  • Use a wrench and remove the disc cylinder
  • You will see the neoprene seals
  • Clean them using white vinegar to get rid of water buildup
  • If they look really bad, replace them with new ones
  • Reassemble the faucet
  • Word of caution: turn the water on slowly at first if you don’t want it cracking

How To Fix A Cartridge Faucet

  • Stop the water flow
  • Remove the handle
  • You will come across a circular retaining clip; use pliers to remove it
  • Remove the cartridge as well
  • Use a wrench and take out the faucet spout and the O-rings
  • Remove the O-rings with a thin knife
  • Replace them with new ones — coated in vaseline
  • Install them and reassemble the faucet handle

Repairman Repair Handyman Service Worker Plumber

Photo from Max Pixel licensed under CCO Public Domain

Faucet Repair Around The Base

Any leakage around the base of the faucet — the point where it’s attached to the sink — may be more difficult to find. But there’s a way. Dry your sink completely. Turn on the faucet, if you see a pool of water collecting — chances are, you have a leak in this area.

In such cases, the O-ring, beneath the outer housing, is usually faulty — it might be either dried up or cracked. Since it serves to seal the faucet body against water, it has to be in perfect condition; otherwise water may easily seep along the faucet body when the valve is on. In some cases, an inner cartridge may become worn-out. If replacing the O-ring with a new one doesn’t help, change the valve cartridge.

Faucet Repair Under The Sink

Want to know an easy way to detect such leakages? Spread dry paper towels on the floor and check for water marks over a day or two.

There are three water supply connections:

  1. The point where the water supply pipes meet the shut-off valves
  2. Juncture where the valves connect to the supply tubes
  3. The point where supply tubes connect to the faucet

Inspect all three locations for leakage. You may have to tighten the fittings. Replace the shut-off valve or supply tube if they are in a bad shape. If you’ve changed everything possible, the faucet might be the culprit. Replace it immediately. It may have corroded from the tailpiece.

Conclusion

How to fix a leaky kitchen faucet

Regardless of whether your kitchen faucets are expensive, high-quality, and the latest technology — they might start leaking at some point. You need to know how to fix a leaky kitchen faucet. Even a bathroom faucet for that matter. We hope, this article could help you deal with every kind of faucet repair.

A homeowner needs to mend a leaky kitchen faucet at the earliest. A small dripping situation will get worse over time and even add up to your water bill. It may also corrode the sink if the problem is not fixed soon enough. And, most importantly, too much of water usage (in this case wastage) is detrimental to the preservation of natural resources. Knowing how to fix a leaky kitchen faucet timely and correctly is as much a social responsibility as an economic one.

How To Fix A Leaky Kitchen Faucet was last modified: March 14th, 2019 by Ramona Sinha
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