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How to Fix a Dripping Kitchen Faucet

Close up of a dripping faucet in front of a window

Drips Can Be Costly

It is said that Americans are wasting up to 3,000 gallons of water every year just through dripping faucets. That is enough water for over 180 people to take another shower. This wasted water ends up costing you money.

To stop your money from going down the drain, you do not need to call a plumber. You can make the repair easily enough because it is not a difficult repair to make. Save the money and DIY.

To learn how to fix a dripping kitchen faucet, just continue to read our article. It provides step-by-step instructions so you can do the job right.

How to Fix a Dripping Kitchen Faucet

Front view of an old farm sink with a large chrome kitchen faucet

In this repair, you only need a basic set of handyman skills and a lot of confidence in yourself. It is not a hard repair to make, and you just have to go one step at a time to do it right.

When you take parts off, make sure to have a small container nearby to place those parts in. You do not want to lose any as replacing them will cost you extra money you did not plan on spending.

Also, the type of repair depends on the style of your faucet. These instructions will be for a standard 2 handle model.

Step 1 – Gather your tools

Leather tool bag with common tools, goggles, and a pair of gloves on a wooden surface

These tools include a flat head and Phillips’s head screwdriver set, adjustable wrench, pliers and needle nose pliers, hammer and hex or Allen wrenches, penetrating oil, and replacement washers.

Step 2 – Turn Off the Water

Hand reaching under sink to turn off water

Sometimes, kitchen sinks have their own shut-off valve. Just turn it off so other people can still use the water while you are working. If yours doesn’t, then you need to turn the water off in the whole house.

Step 3 – Remove the Handles

Pair of t shaped kitchen faucet handles on a goose neck kitchen faucet

First, you have to pry the cap off and remove the screw holding the handles in place. The first is done using your flat head screwdriver and the second with your Phillip’s head.

If the handles are stuck, you can tap them with a hammer and use a little penetrating oil to loosen them up. Once loosened you should be able to use your hands to remove them.

Step 4 – Remove the Valves

Underneath the handles are the valves. You will need your pliers to loosen them up and remove them. Be gentle and do not use too much force. If they are stuck or very tight, use the penetrating oil once again.

Step 5 – Remove and Replace the Rubber Components

Variety of small rubber gaskets, isolated on a white background.

At this stage you can remove all rubber components and replace them with identical new ones. Or you can go out and buy all new valves to make sure the parts will last you a long time.

It is up to you which way you go.

Step 6 – Replace the Handles

replacing faucet handles on a wall mount faucet

Once the rubber components or new valves are in place, replace the handles and tighten them up. Put the caps back on and turn the water supply back on.

Test your repair work and see if the water runs smoothly. Then turn the water off and check to see if there are any drips. If there are none, you are done and can clean up your tools.

If there is still a drip, then you either made a mistake somewhere, the rubber is not in its correct position, or the problem lies elsewhere.

Fixing a Dripping Faucet

Beautiful white kitchen with a farmhouse sink with a window on the wall behind the sink

That is the hard way to fix a drip in the kitchen faucet. The easy way only needs a pair of pliers and a replacement washer. Step one would be to make sure the faucet handles are turned off. There is no need to shut all the water off for this task.

Step 2 will be to loosen the aerator on the end of the faucet. It is the end where the water comes out. Once you take the aerator off, remove the old washer. Replace the old washer with the new one and tighten the aerator back up.

You do not have to tighten too hard, just make sure it is tight. use the pliers to give it an extra half or full turn and it should be tight enough. Turn the handles on the faucet to begin your test.

Once the water starts flowing again, turn the handles off and check for leaks. There should not be any once you have completed the task.

Some Final Words

Fixing a dripping faucet is far easier than fixing a bathtub faucet and that is a fairly easy repair to make. Before you start, make sure you know where the leak is coming from and have the right replacement parts on hand. That will save you time and keep accidents to a minimum.

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