Troubleshooting Your Single Handle Kitchen Sink Faucet

FaucetYour kitchen sink is one of the most used fixtures in your water system.  The heart of the home is not beating properly without your main faucet for cooking and cleaning.  Single handled faucets are known for developing leaks after so much wear and tear.  But there is no need to worry.  Repairing them is often a quick and super easy fix. 

Identifying the Source of the Leak

There are only so many places your single handle faucet can leak from:

  • Directly under the handle
  • Around the base of the faucet
  • From the aerator: the part of the faucet that the water is supposed to come out of

Fixing the Leak under the Handle

The common culprit is a bad ball assembly or the cam and packing.  These replacement parts should be easy to find in your local hardware or home improvement store.  If they are not available, the manufacturer of your faucet should have those replacements online.  Sometimes it is necessary to purchase a universal kit.  If this is the case for you, it is possible to have the rod cut down to fit your particular model.

*Until your faucet is put back together in full working order, do not throw away any parts that you deem worthless; like a small plastic bushing or an O-ring.  You will end up with a faucet that still leaks if you do AND you will have a hard time finding just those small and inexpensive parts.

Fixing the Leak around the Base

This leak is probably the simplest fix.  It does require disassembling the faucet; however, it is most likely caused by a bad O-ring.  It is a dollar or two from the store and once you replace the old one, your faucet will be good for years to come.

Fixing the Aerator

The first thing you should do is gently remove the aerator using pliers.  It is okay to pad them using a cloth or electrical tape to keep from scratching your faucet’s finish.  The most common cause of a leaky aerator is a worn out seal or washer.  If simply cleaning out sediment and replacing the washer does not fix the leak, you can purchase a new one.

There are two different aerators, male and female.  Make sure you get the correct one and remove the old gasket or washer from inside the spout.  If you do not, the new aerator will not seal properly.  You wouldn’t be the first person to take the original part to the store, so no worries about that!

Before you begin any repair work, remember to turn off the water to the sink and drain the remaining water out.

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