This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner repair her leaky kitchen faucet. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)
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Shopping List for How to Repair a Leaky Kitchen Faucet:
– Rubber seats and springs
– Rubber gasket and cam cap
– Ceramic cartridge, to repair a ceramic-cartridge faucet if you have one
Tools List for How to Repair a Leaky Kitchen Faucet:
– Hex-hey wrench, to loosen the hex-head screw
– Pocketknife or narrow-blade screwdriver, to extract faucet parts
– Sharpened pencil, to install new seats and springs
– Spanner wrench
Steps for How to Repair a Leaky Kitchen Faucet:
1. Close the hot- and cold-water shutoff valves under the kitchen sink.
2. Place a rag over the sink drain to catch any dropped parts.
3. Use a pocketknife to pry off the small index cover from the side of the faucet to reveal the hex-head screw.
4. Loosen the screw with the hex-key wrench and pull off the faucet handle.
5. Use the spanner wrench that came with the faucet to loosen and remove top cap assembly.
6. Pull straight up to remove the stainless-steel ball from the faucet body.
7. Use a pocketknife to extract the rubber seats and springs from inside the faucet.
8. Slip a new spring and rubber seat onto the tip of a pencil and lower it down into the faucet. Repeat to install the remaining seat and spring.
9. Reinstall the stainless-steel ball, making sure to align its keyway with the corresponding tab inside the faucet body.
10. On top of the stainless-steel ball install a new rubber gasket and cam cap. Align the keyway on the cap with the corresponding slot to ensure proper alignment.
11. Hand-tighten the top cap assembly back onto the faucet.
12. Open the two shutoff valves under the sink.
13. Use the spanner wrench to tighten the nut to provide the proper tension against the stainless-steel ball.
14. Reinstall the faucet handle, tighten the hex-head screw and then press on the index cover.
15. If your faucet doesn’t have a stainless-steel ball, it’s likely a ceramic-cartridge faucet. To repair the leak, simply remove the handle, pull out the ceramic cartridge and replace it with a new cartridge.
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