How to Fix a Leaky Kitchen Sink Faucet

Dripping sink faucet
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Adjustable wrench

A leaking kitchen sink faucet isn’t just annoying, it can also cost you money. All that constant dripping is increasing your water bill, so it’s in your own interests to fix the kitchen sink faucet. It’s a very simple job, and something everyone should know how to do. Why pay for a plumber when you can fix a leaking kitchen sink faucet in minutes? In most cases, all you’ll need to do is replace the washer in the faucet.

Step 1 - Prepare

Start by shutting off the water at the house mains, rather than simply shutting it off to the faucet. Locate the main switch and turn it off, then run water through the faucet until it runs dry. This will prevent any fountains occurring as you open up the faucet. Turn the faucet back off.

Step 2 - Access the Valve Unit

dripping faucet

Before doing anything else, put the strainer or plug in the drain. This will stop any small parts from the kitchen sink faucet from rolling down the drain and becoming lost. After this, you’ll need to remove the decoration from the top of the leaking kitchen sink faucet. You should pry it off with a flathead screwdriver or a knife. Set it aside to put back later.

Now you’ll be able to see the packing nut, and you’ll need to loosen this with the adjustable wrench. Use masking tape on the jaws of the wrench to avoid scratching the kitchen sink faucet. Turn the wrench counterclockwise until the packing nut has been removed and set it aside. You’re now at the valve. Using the wrench, pull the valve out from the kitchen sink faucet.

Step 3 - Washer

If you hold the valve upside down, you should see the washer at the bottom. It will be held in place by a screw. Remove the screw and take out the old, worn washer. Look through your selection of washers until you find one that’s the same size. Fit it on to the valve and replace the screw so the washer sits tightly against the valve.

Step 4 - Replace

dripping faucet

Push the valve all the way back down into the faucet, making sure it’s seated correctly. If it’s not, you’ll have a leak of water once the water is turned back on. Take a few extra seconds to ensure proper seating. With that done, replace the packing nut, turning it clockwise with the wrench. Be careful not to overtighten the packing nut. Replace the decoration on top of the faucet.

Step 5 - Test

Turn the water back on at the mains and then open the faucet to allow the water to run briefly. Turn the water back off and then observe if the kitchen sink faucet is still leaking. If not, then you’ve solved the problem. If it is, you might have the wrong sized washer in place. Turn off the water and disassemble the faucet, replacing the washer with one that’s the correct size for the faucet.