How to fix a leaking kitchen faucet: Quick guide
It is possible for any person with a bit tinkering to replace the cartridge seals of a leaking kitchen sink faucet. It is a simple job that does not require many tools.
The thing with the tap is that it has a single control that regulates both the flow and the temperature of the water. A cartridge is inserted inside the mixing valve, but it may be that the seals of this cartridge become damaged with wear, which may involve leaks at the base of the valve. In general, replacement of the seals is sufficient to stop the leak. If this is not enough, it will be necessary to change the whole cartridge.
However, it should be noted that some low-end faucets can not be dismantled. If this is the case, the only solution is to completely replace the cartridge. The purpose of this article is to indicate the procedure to repair a leak at the base of the tap. In case of question, you can consult a plumber if needed.
Preparation before starting
The gaskets have very different sizes. It is best to first disassemble the mixing valve cartridge to see the diameter and thickness of the parts. It is only once you know this info that you can purchase seals of the right size.
Before starting the operation, it is necessary to shut off the water supply, either at the general shut-off valve or on a damming valve. Then, empty the remaining water lines by opening the tap.
Mixing valves exist under different models, each with its own disassembly technique. Observe your kitchen faucet well to understand how it fits. Below, we will indicate the 2 most common techniques for disassembly.
Removing the handle of the mixing valve
Example 1: The screw is at the front of the mixer behind the color chip
On certain faucets, the head fixing screw is hidden behind the color chart indicating cold water and hot water.
With your hand or with a small screwdriver, remove the colored pad to access the screw.
Use a screwdriver and unscrew the fastening screw of the mixer head.
Remove the handle by hand.
Example 2: The screw is under the decorative cap of the faucet head
On other faucets, the screw that secures the head is hidden under the decorative cap that covers the handle.
Lift the decorative cap with a flat screwdriver.
Unscrew the fastening screw with a suitable screwdriver.
Remove the handle by hand.
Remove cartridge from faucet
Remove the top cover that has a bulging shape.
Detach the mechanism from the cartridge
(2 possible cases): If the cartridge is fixed with a nut, it will be necessary to loosen this nut by means of a wrench with adjustable wheel.
If the cartridge is secured with a washer and screws, loosen the screws on the washer and remove the washer.
Now that the cartridge is no longer held, you can take it out of the valve body.
With the cartridge out, you can now replace the seals:
Remove the seals by hand or with a small flat screwdriver.
Replace with similar seals (o-rings or special seals).
Coat the joints with silicone.
Reassembly of the faucet
Once the seals of the cartridge have been changed, it can be reassembled:
Put the cartridge back into the faucet body, taking the direction into account.
If it is a nut that holds the cartridge, screw it back.
If it is a washer and screws that hold it, put the washer back in its place and tighten the screws that fix it.
Replace the top cover over the cartridge.
In the case where the fixing screw is located behind the color chip (at the front of the mixing valve):
Retighten the faucet head fixing screw at the color patch.
Replace the colored pad.
In case the screw is under the decorative cap:
Screw the fixing screw to the top of the handle with a suitable screwdriver.
Replace the decorative cap.
Check for any leaks
Once the operation is complete, it is now necessary to check for the absence of leakage:
Reinsert the general water inlet and open the tap.
If the faucet leaks as before, repeat the procedure described above to check if the seals are in the correct position.
If the leak still persists, it may be necessary to replace the cartridge in the faucet as shown below.
Changing the cartridge
Remove the handle and the valve cover, then remove the cartridge from the inside of the faucet as shown above.
Insert the new cartridge, then reassemble the faucet. Note that if your faucet has a specific brand, you must buy a cartridge of that same brand.
This operation should be within your reach. If you have a difficulty, it is best to consult a professional or a plumbing company whose technicians are used to perform such jobs.