In addition to high water bills, a leaky faucet handle makes a dripping noise that is frustrating. The good news is that you can easily fix the problem on your own. Damaged “O” rings inside the faucet usually cause a leaking handle. The faucet needs to be disassembled and the ring has to be replaced before it can be reassembled.
1. Removing the Screws from the Faucet
A. Turn off the main water supply : Then you can unscrew the faucet later without water pouring out. Your water main box has an off switch. Press it to turn off the water. A small valve can also be found under your sink. Your sink is shut off by turning the valve clockwise without shutting off the entire house’s water supply.
- Water mains switches are usually located in basements or near laundry rooms and bathrooms. Ask your landlord about the location of the water mains if you have one.
- Turn your water shutoff switch clockwise if it’s a wheel.
B. Turn on the faucet you are fixing : The water will be able to drain out of the pipes as a result. Try to fix the tap after all the water has run out. Make sure the water mains are turned off if the water doesn’t stop flowing.
C. Pull or lever off the decorative cap : Accessing the screws underneath your tap will require removing the decorative cover. You can remove the cap straight from the tap by pulling it straight out. Remove it by unscrewing it counterclockwise if it doesn’t come loose. Alternatively, you can pry up the cap gently with a butter knife or a flat-head screwdriver.
- A recessed Allen screw can be found on some single handle faucets. Alternatively, if you cannot find the decorative cap, look for the screw at the bottom of the handle.
D. Unscrew the headgear nut using a spanner : As well as tightening and loosening nuts and bolts, spanners are used to tighten and loosen items. Depending on your faucet model, the screw size may vary. You can use an adjustable spanner if you are unsure what spanner works best for your screw width. Undo the screw by turning the spanner left, this will loosen the handle. 
- Under the decorative cap, you’ll find the headgear nut
- Whenever you want to reassemble the tap, keep the screw and handle somewhere safe.
- Using the plug, ensure that no screws fall down the pipes.
E. Apply penetrating oil to the screw if it is not turning easily : It is recommended that the screw be avoided being forced off, since this can damage the tap fitting. Allow the penetrating oil to soak into the screw for 10 minutes before attempting to unscrew it again.
- Attempt to remove the nut again if it still won’t budge.
2. Replacing the “O” Ring
A. Pull off the “O” ring : Located under the headgear nut, the “O” ring is a piece of rubber. A leaky faucet handle is caused by a damaged “O” ring. Pull the ring out of the faucet after stretching it off the spout.
- To determine what size replacement ring you will need, keep the “O” ring.
- You should remove any small pieces of your “O” ring from the faucet if it is broken or crumbled. To ensure that your new ring sits correctly, you must do this.
B. Purchase a replacement “O” ring : It is imperative to find the correct size “O” ring since there are multiple sizes available. You can determine the size of your brand-new ring by taking your old “O” ring to the store. The diameter and width of the new ring should be equal to those of the original “O” ring.
- In hardware stores, “O” rings are available.
C. Push the new “O” ring onto the spout : In the same place as the original “O” ring, the new one should go. By pressing your fingers against the ring, you can secure the “O” ring onto the spout.
- It is possible for “O” rings to stretch over time if they have been used extensively. Make sure you get a tight fit by purchasing a new “O” ring that’s slightly smaller than your old one.
D. Spray plumbers grease over the “O” ring and spout : “O” rings are less likely to be damaged if plumber’s grease is used. It is important to ensure that the grease is sprayed over all the surfaces on the “O” ring and the spout.
- A hardware store sells plumbers grease.
3. Reassembling the Tap
A. Screw the headgear nut back on using a spanner : Replacing the headgear nut in its original position is easy. Be sure to tighten the screw after repositioning the head..
- Tighten the screw with the spanner by turning it to the right
B. Place the decorative cover back onto the top of the tap : Put the decorative cover back on your tap if it has one. Purchasing a replacement decorative cover from a hardware store is a good option if you lost your original.
C. Turn on the water mains and gently turn on the faucet : To release any air bubbles, turn the tap on gently at first. The tap can be used as usual after the air bubbles have been removed from the pipes.
- Rumbling noises will be made by the air bubbles. This signals that the air has been expelled from the pipes once the noises have stopped.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my faucet leak from the handle?
There are a few reasons why your faucet may leak from the handle. The first is that the O-ring on the valve stem may be damaged or worn out. The second is that the packing nut may be loose, causing water to seep through. Finally, the washer on the valve seat may be worn out, allowing water to bypass it and drip out of the handle.
Can I just replace faucet handles?
In most cases, yes. If your faucet handles are old and corroded, however, you may need to replace the entire faucet.
How do I know if I need to replace my entire faucet?
There are a few signs that indicate you may need a new faucet:
- If your faucet handle is very loose or won’t stay in place
- If water is leaking from where the handle meets the body of the faucet
- If the finish on your faucet is worn or peeling off
Can I install a new faucet myself?
Installing a new faucet is a relatively easy DIY project. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, however, you can always hire a professional plumber.
What are some tips for installing a new faucet?
Make sure to turn off the water supply before you start working.
- If possible, take a picture of your old faucet so you’ll know how to reassemble the new one.
- Be careful not to overtighten the screws or connections. This can cause damage and leaks.
When you’re finished, turn on the water supply and test your new faucet to make sure it’s working properly.
Where is the cartridge on the kitchen faucet?
To find the cartridge on a kitchen faucet, first remove the handle. There will be a small screw or set screw holding the handle in place. Once the handle is removed, the cartridge will be visible. Be sure to take note of how the cartridge is oriented before removing it so that you can install the new one in the same position.
To remove the old cartridge, use a pair of pliers to grasp it and pull it out. If it is difficult to remove, you may need to use a utility knife to score around the edges of the cartridge so that it can be pried out more easily. Once the old cartridge is removed, clean out any debris from the housing and then insert the new cartridge, making sure it is oriented in the same position as the old one. Finally, replace the handle and screw it in place.
If your kitchen faucet has a separate sprayer, the process for replacing the cartridge will be similar.
First, remove the sprayer hose from the nipple on the side of the faucet body. Next, use a wrench to loosen the collar nut that holds the sprayer in place. With the collar nut removed, you should be able to pull the sprayer off and access the cartridge. Remove the old cartridge and install a new one in its place, then reassemble everything and test out your faucet to make sure it is working properly.