Repairing Kitchen Faucets

Repairing Kitchen Faucets

A leaking kitchen faucet is not only an annoyance but it can also cost money in wasted water, especially if it drips continuously for a long period of time. While fixing a leaky faucet may seem a little overwhelming, it can be fairly simple with knowledge of the basics of kitchen faucets as well as the right tools and replacement parts required for the faucet.


Kitchen faucets can be easy to fix with the right tools and replacement parts. The tools that may be needed to fix a kitchen faucet include: Allen wrenches, large slip-joint pliers and various screwdrivers.

Begin the faucet repair by examining the faucet to see where the leak is. The type of repair required will depend on where the water is leaking. Remember to turn off the water to the faucet before starting the repair. Open the faucet to relieve any water pressure and cover the drain so that small parts do not get lost down it.

The next step is to begin removing parts of the faucet. Take pictures to record each step to know how to put the faucet back together and line the parts up in the order that you removed them. Be sure to clean any parts that have debris or mineral deposits. Clean out any plugged holes in the body of the faucet using a penknife or screwdriver. Flush out any debris that may have been loosened in the cleaning process. Reassemble the faucet, open it to the middle position and slowly open the shutoff valves. In order to clear out all of the air in the pipes, keep the faucet in the open position until water flows freely.

To find replacement parts, bring old parts to the hardware store. Some brand names manufacture repair kits for their models. Some brands will require parts to be ordered. For replacement cartridges, know the faucet’s model to begin searching online or in a catalogue. If the hardware store does not carry the parts, go to a plumbing specialty store or call the manufacturer directly.

Rotary Ball Faucets

Rotary ball faucets control water temperature as well as water flow using a rotating hollow ball inside a socket. Many manufacturers have repair kits available for rotary ball faucets which include stainless steel balls. Repair kits include all the replacement parts the faucet could need.

For leaks out of the handle base, it may be as simple as detaching the handle and adjusting the ring by turning it clockwise. If the leak is from the spout’s end, the springs and seats may need to be replaced.

To reassemble a rotary ball faucet, put the springs inside the recesses then using your finger, press the seat on the top. Position the groove of the ball with the socket’s pin then drop in the ball. Using the lug on the cam, align it with the notch of the valve body then set over ball. Then using the adjusting ring, thread the cap and tighten with plumber’s wrench. Turn on the faucet to see if it’s still leaking. If it is leaking from the ball stem, tighten the ring until water stops leaking. The last step is to put the handle on.

Cartridge Faucets

Cartridges are common parts in many brands of faucets. If water is dripping from the spout, removing the cartridge and replacing it or the O-rings on the cartridge can correct the leak.

To remove the cartridge, use the spanner cap included with the replacement cartridge. Use the cap to loosen the cartridge so it is easily pulled out. It may take some force to remove the cartridge.

In order to reassemble the faucet, use the reverse order of the parts. Before inserting the cartridge, pull up the stem. It may be necessary to line up the cartridge with the retainer clip by twisting it. Use either the spanner cap or pliers to rotate the cartridge. By sliding the brass clip into the slots in the valve body, the cartridge is held in place.

There is a notch on the top of the stem. Rotate the stem so the notch is facing forward. Follow the directions to next install all the remaining parts and lastly reattach handle. Test the faucets to ensure there are not any leaks. Ensure that the hot/cold are correctly placed. If not, remove the handle again as well as the handle adapter plus the dome assembly then swivel the stem approximately 180 degrees. Reassemble the parts again.