Drip… Drip… Drip… It really can drive you crazy!
Fixing a leaky kitchen faucet can seem like a big job, but even if you are not much of a plumber, there are some simple things you can try before calling the cavalry. Replacing a faucet can cost upwards of $250, and a simple repair might be all that’s needed to return you faucet to like-new condition.
The most common cause for small leaks is mineral deposits building up over time inside the faucet housing. A simple cleaning is the right fix. This post shares the steps to disassemble a kitchen faucet, give it a good cleaning, and put it back together. We’ve got a Delta brand kitchen faucet from about 6 years ago for the instructions, but these same steps with a few variations work on just about any modern faucet.
Steps to Fix a Leaky Faucet
Step 1: Shut off the water supply; drain excess water from the lines
Start by shutting off the water supply and turning on the faucet to drain any excess water from the lines.
Step 2: Find and remove the set screw
Delta hides a little set screw behind the blue/red button on the lever handle. Gently pull off the button with a small screwdriver, and remove the set screw with an Allen wrench. The handle lifts up and off.
Step 3: Remove the Chrome Handle
See that? That’s called a V-Ring, and the stick poking through is part of the valve assembly. All of this is held in place by the chrome cap with the small grooves around the perimeter. Use a large wrench or pliers to remove the cap- preferably something without grooves (aka smooth). Try not to damage or scuff the cap.
Step 4: Remove Inner Components
Pull up on the V-Ring, and it will lift straight out. Check out the notches on the sides for alignment. The ball valve also lifts straight out, and has a small knob used to align the ball valve.
Step 5: Remove the rubber seals and springs
Beneath the V-Ring and ball valve are three holes, two of which are occupied by small springs and rubber seals. Hot and cold water enter the faucet through the left and right holes. The third hole leads to the spout. Using a small screwdriver, gently remove the rubber seals and springs behind them.
Step 6: Scrub all components. Replace components that are too worn
Take all the parts and scrub them in warm water. Remove any build-up and water deposits. Be sure to check around the rubber seals, and both sides of the V-Ring. Clean up the hub assembly (rest of the faucet) including the cap threads. Sometimes it’s necessary to replace the rubber seals and springs. Examine the ball valve for any defects too. Replacement parts can be found at most Big-Box stores.
Step 7: Reassemble inner components. Take care on alignment
Begin reassembling the faucet by working in reverse order. Make sure to align the long hole in the ball valve with the small knob. Likewise, align the V-Ring with the small notch.
Step 8: Reassemble outer components
Finish assembling your faucet and turn on the water. Presto! Our faucet is working, and hopefully yours is too.