A leaky kitchen faucet has to be one of the most irritating household problems to have. Not only are you constantly reminded of the faulty faucet by the non-stop dripping, but you also have to deal with the wastage of water as well as the underlying issues in the kitchen sink. Fixing a leaky faucet without proper knowledge can sometimes lead to a broken sink pipe or sometimes a flood in the worst-case scenario. Of Course, this does not mean that fixing a leaky faucet is a difficult task. All we truly require is complete knowledge and the proper instruction.
What Can Cause a Leaky Faucet?
In most cases, a leaky kitchen faucet is the result of the materials in a faucet being worn out or in need of repair. There are four types of faucets in general namely, cartridge, compression, ceramic disk, and ball type. So rubber washers seal the valve seat in a compression faucet but they can wear out and need to be replaced. The O-ring or neoprene seal that is causing the leak in the other three types of faucets can also need replacement from time to time.
How to Fix a Leaky Kitchen Faucet?
Before we go on to discuss some detailed instructions on fixing a leaky faucet, here are some important steps to be followed before fixing any of the four types of faucet. These basic steps can also help you understand the tools you will need to fix the leaky faucet at home without professional assistance.
Turn off the water supply under the sink before fixing the faucet.
Block the drain with a cloth to catch any lost pieces.
Set up a nearby location to lay out the parts in the sequence of removal. If you are not a professional then it will be helpful to label all the parts of the faucet in the sequence of removal.
To avoid scratching the fixture, tape the jaws of your wrench with duct tape.
Have some distilled white vinegar and a soft scouring pad on hand to remove any mineral deposits that may have formed on the parts.
Fixing a Leaky Cartridge Faucet:
Firstly, remove the handle screw, pry off the decorative cover on the handle, tilt the handle back, and take it off.
If the cartridge is held in place by a threaded retaining clip, remove it with needle-nose pliers and lift the cartridge straight up.
Using a tool knife, remove the spout and cut off the old O-rings. Apply a toxin-free, heat-resistant plumber’s grease to the newly replaced O-rings.
Compare the length of the old cartridge with the new one to help you determine the size and fit of the new one. Also, remember that the stem end where the handle is attached should be the same.
Steps to Fix a Leaky Compression Faucet:
With a small slotted screwdriver or tool knife, remove the ornate cap on the handle to reveal the attachment screws.
Take the handle off by removing the screw and then the handle.
Unscrew the packing nut with a crescent wrench and loosen the stem from the faucet body with an adjustable wrench.
To remove and replace the seat washer, unscrew the rubber washer from the bottom end of the stem. Move on to applying the non-toxic, heat resistant plumber’s grease on the washers.
Replace the O-ring after removing the stem from the packing nut. It’s critical to match your faucet’s exact size. Put some plumber’s grease on the new O-ring.
The washer is held in place by a retainer, which is a round, recessed disc. If the original retainer is damaged, grind it down to a smooth surface and replace it with a new retainer ring. The seat of your faucet may be pitted if it continues to leak.
Remove the stem and use an emery cloth to smooth up the top end of the seat.
Note: Sometimes it is difficult to procure the exact model of the original seat. In such a case, replace the faucet with a new one.
Fixing a Leaky Ceramic Disk Faucet:
To get to the lock screw, pull the handle back. Once you remove the screw, the handle will come off easily.
Remove the escutcheon top, loosen the mounting screws for the disc cylinder, and lift the cylinder out.
Remove the neoprene seals from the cylinder with a blunt screwdriver. If you find the seals to be damaged, replace them with fresh ones.
Clean the cylinder holes with distilled white vinegar and a soft scouring pad, then rinse thoroughly.
Reassemble the faucet after replacing the seals.
Turn the water back on slowly after moving the handle to the “on” position—the force of the returning water can fracture the ceramic disc.
Set the cylinder in place and secure it with the new mounting screws if you’re replacing the entire cylinder.
Steps for fixing a Leaky Faucet Ball-Type:
Remove the little index cover off the side of the faucet with a pocket knife. After revealing the head screw, loosen it with a hex-key wrench and pull the faucet handle off.
Remove the cap and collar with adjustable pliers. The faucet cam, as well as the cam washer and the spinning ball, must be unfastened and lifted out next.
Remove the rubber seats and springs from the faucet body with needle-nose pliers. Replacing the spring and rubber seat of the faucet with a new pencil tip should solve this problem.
Follow the same steps to put in the second seat and spring.
Replace the steel ball in the faucet, aligning the keyway with the matching tab.
Install a new rubber gasket and valve cap on top of the stainless-steel ball.
Align the keyhole on the cap with the slot on the cap.
Replace the top cap assembly on the faucet and tighten it by hand.
Tighten the nut with a spanner wrench to ensure optimum force against the stainless-steel ball.
Leaky faucets can be a headache if you do not know how to tackle them adequately. Use our step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaky kitchen faucet along with some general knowledge of the different types of faucets.