DIY Network

How to Repair a Kitchen Faucet

Learn the basics of kitchen faucet repair and how to replace the stems, seals and springs to create a whole new faucet.

More in Plumbing

  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Remove the Handle

Place a rag over the drain to prevent parts from falling down the drain. To repair the kitchen faucet, the stems, seals and springs will need to be replaced. First, shut off the water at the stops under the sink and open the faucet to relieve the pressure and to make sure the stops are completely shut off. Next, remove the handle according to the manufacturer's specifications. In most cases, the cover cap pops off and the screws can be removed. Slowly pull the handle straight up until it is off of the stems. Find the collar nut that locks the stem in place and remove it with an adjustable wrench.

repairing kitchen faucet

Step 2: Remove the Stem and Seal

With pliers, grab the old stem and slowly wiggle it back and forth until it comes out of the faucet body. Take a pair of needle-nose pliers, then fish out the seal and spring from the bottom of the faucet body. Repeat the same steps for the other handle.

pull out old stem from faucet body

Step 3: Replace the Seals

When replacing the seals, it's a good idea to go ahead and change the stems and springs at the same time. To do this, buy a complete repair kit. Be sure to match the make and model of the old faucet. Using the correct parts, reassemble the faucet handles.

Step 4: Replace the Handles

Push the spring and the seal into the socket at the base of the faucet body. Next, insert the stem into the faucet body according to the manufacturer's instructions. Install the collar nut while pushing down on the stem handle. Firmly snug it up. Do the same for the hot side, then put on the handles and make sure they turn in the correct directions. Put the handle in the off position and reinstall the screws and caps. Finally, open the stops and the faucet to check for leaks.

replace the faucet handles