How to Repair a Faucet Handle Leak

What You'll Need
Handle cartridge
Wire brush
Calcium solvent
Allen wrench set
Sharp knife
Micro screwdriver

While a leaking faucet handle is an annoyance, it is fortunately not difficult to fix. It does not take many tools or much time and the following article will show you how.

Step 1 – Turn off the Water

Prior to working on any plumbing problem you always need to turn off the water. All you need to do is open the cupboard under the sink. In the back of the cupboard, by the pipes, will be two valves. Turn them to the left in order to stop the flow of the water to the sink. There will be a hot and cold valve. With them shut off turn on the water to allow excess water to escape from the pipes and the faucet. Place the stopper in each side of the sink to prevent the loss of screws, nuts or washers.

Step 2 – Removing the Faucet Handle

Taking off the faucet handle in order to fix a leak varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. On older models you will simply have to twist the faucet handle as you would if you were turning on the flow of water. Once it stops you will need to use more pressure and twist it past this point. You will effectively be unscrewing it from the rest of the assembly. It will come off once you have fully loosened it. Other models may be attached by a series of screws on the base. High end models will require the use of an Allen wrench or micro screwdriver. On the face of the faucet handle, near the base, will be a logo of some sort. Use the sharp knife to pry this off. Doing so will unveil a small hole. Insert the Allen wrench or micro screwdriver and turn it to the left. The screw may fall loose which is why you should have the sink plugged. Once this is removed you lift off the faucet handle.

Step 3 – Repair

With the handle removed you will notice an adapter. First, remove the shroud by turning it to the left. This is typically found on newer models while older ones will not have a shroud. In the top of the adapter will be a screw. Hold the assembly in place with a wrench while you remove it. Pull the adapter straight up followed by removing the small plastic cover around it. This will expose a larger plastic cover which you will remove with a wrench by turning it to the left. Use a flathead screwdriver and pry off the small clip. Use the wrench and pull up on the faucet stem and remove the spacer then you can apply more force to remove the stem completely. Simply put in the new cartridge and rebuild the faucet handle working backward.