A loose kitchen faucet can cause a lot of inconveniences in the regular kitchen activities. This needs to be fixed by taking the help of a plumber or handyman. If you have experience with small repairs, you can do the same with the help of the right tools.
The handle or base of the sink can work loose over time. A loose handle can interfere with the ability of the faucet to turn on and off efficiently. A loose base can cause the faucet to move around and cause leaks. Tightening either or both will greatly reduce the irritation associated with a loose kitchen faucet.
Things you will need
- Hex head wrench set
- Masking tape
- Flathead screwdriver
- Basin wrench
- Adjustable wrench
Steps to tighten the kitchen faucet handle:
1. Remove any objects in the sink cabinet that can come in the way of reaching the supply valves located at the farther end of the cabinet. Turn off the supply of water to the faucet.
2. Search for a set screw at the handle base, or search for decorative caps on top of the handle or on top of both handles.
3. Slide the end of the appropriately sized head of a wrench into the set screw. Turn the set screw clockwise a few times until tight. Lift the handle (turn on the water flowof the faucet) if the set screw is not reachable when the handle is down (the water flow of the faucet is off).
4. Apply masking tape to the area around the decorative caps of the faucet handle or handles if you were not able to find a set screw on the faucet handle. Ensure that the tape does not overlap the edges of the caps.
5. Slide the tip of a flat head screwdriver under the edge of the cap. Lift gently with the screwdriver to remove the cap from the faucet handle. Tighten the set screw with a wrench to tighten the handle. Push the decorative cap over the handle. Remove the masking tape from the top of the handle.
6. Turn on the water supply valve in the sink cabinet.
Steps to tighten the kitchen faucet base:
1. Remove any objects in the sink cabinet so that it clears your way and you can turn off the supply of water to the faucet.
2. Slide into your cabinet on your back.
3. Bring in some light into the cabinet by using a flashlight. Take an adjustable wrench, set it to the size of the water supply hose nut that is holding the lines of the inlets of the faucet base. Loosen and remove both supply lines by loosening the nuts with the wrench.
4. Slide a basin wrench up to one of the nuts holding the base of the faucet to the sink. Tighten the nut until it is tight. Similarly tighten both the base nuts.
5. Reconnect the supply lines by tightening the supply hose nuts.
6. Turn on the water supply.
If the Allen screw is stuck and you can’t loosen the Allen screw on the handle of the ball type faucet, the following tricks can be used to deal with leaks:
1. Try spraying the Allen screw with penetrating oil every day of the week.
2. Try to remove the screw after a week using an Allen wrench.
3. If it doesn’t loosen, strip the head of the Allen screw and try drilling the screw. Use a bit about the same size as the screw. The handle might get damaged and it would have to be replaced. If it does not work, remove the cap by unscrewing it, keeping the handle still connected. This can be difficult so cushion the jaws of the pliers with rubber tape and then grip the smooth, rounded body of the cap.Unscrew it by rotating it anticlockwise. You can then remove the entire assembly of the handle, cap, cam, packing and ball.
4. The next challenging task is to break the ball from the stem (The Allen screw clamps onto the stem). Grab the ball with the pliers and twist it out to separate the parts so that you can reuse the cap. You can then buy a new handle and a repair kit. The repair kit will include a new ball.
5. If the above doesn’t work, replacing the entire faucet is the only option.