You might go to your kitchen faucet and turn the handle to find it loose. This is a common problem, especially for those using single handle kitchen faucets. While it might not seem like a terrible issue, a loose faucet handle can damage the valve stem that it is connected to.
Fortunately, fixing a single handle kitchen faucet is not an overly complicated task provided you have the right tools at hand and know what to do. This article will help learn how to tighten a single handle kitchen faucet easily.
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Tightening a loose kitchen faucet requires you to have a few tools. Most of these are common tools that you should have, but in case you don’t, it is recommended to stock up on it. The tools you need are:
Phillips Head Screwdriver
This is a screwdriver with a plus head (or a cross head, depending on how you hold it) at the end of the metal part. These are primarily used for plus-shaped screws.
A noteworthy aspect of a Phillips screwdriver is that its design makes it self centering allowing for tighter fits. This is important when tightening a loose kitchen faucet handle. These screwdrivers come in five different sizes.
In case you don’t have one and need it only for fixing the faucet handle, it is recommended to buy one that accurately fits the size of the screws in the faucet handle. If the size is not correct, you might end up damaging the screw and making it unusable.
In case the screws in your faucet aren’t compatible with cross head screwdrivers, you might want to use a flathead screwdriver (or minus head screwdriver).
Though a flathead screwdriver can be used to screw in a plus-shaped screw, a Phillips head screwdriver cannot screw in a minus head screw. However, in the case of a plus-shaped screw, it is recommended to use a Phillips head screwdriver for a much tighter fit.
Allen Wrench or Key
Some sinks might feature hexagonal sockets or screws. In these cases, neither of the two screwdrivers mentioned above will suffice. In this case, you will want to make use of an Allen wrench. Make sure the size of the wrench fits the socket in your faucet, or otherwise, you will have trouble.
Not essential, but it is good to seal or lubricate any part of the sink in case you encounter any leak. Teflon tape can hold together pipe joints well enough and is easily available but not the most necessary for fixing a kitchen faucet.
Guide to Tightening the Kitchen Faucet
Once you have your tools at the ready, it is time to tighten your loose kitchen faucet handle. Follow the below steps:
Turn off the Water and Clear the Cabinets
While you can avoid this step, it is recommended not to. If you work without turning off the water supply, you might end up causing a mini flood unknowingly and making a mess of things, especially if you end up accidentally causing a leak. Remember to turn off the water supply beforehand.
In case you store things beneath the sink, you might want to empty them and move them somewhere else. Not only will this give you some working space, but it will also prevent them from being damaged in case of an accidental leak.
Remove the Decorative Cap
On the top of the handle, you’ll usually notice a decorative cap placed on the top. This is removable in most types of faucets. To remove, this you simply have to pop it off. This can be done by forcing it off using the flathead screwdriver (or any similar object that can get a good grip).
When removing the cap, try not to apply too much force in case you end up breaking it. You might need to explore if the particular faucet handle has a different mechanism for removing the cap.
Some caps can be unscrewed via an adjustable wrench. If you’re aiming to do this, you might want to wrap the cap in some cloth to protect it from scratches when turning the wrench.
Identify Which Tool You Need
After you have removed the cap, you should peek inside. You will notice a screw inside. Identify the type of screw and then identify the correct tool and size.
Tighten the Handle
Taking the appropriate tool, place it correctly on the screw or socket and begin turning it clockwise to tighten it. For better grip, hold the faucet handle while turning the wrench or screwdriver. Continue turning until it stops. Check to see if the handle still moves or not. If it does, tighten it some more.
Hopefully, this article has shown you that tightening a single handle kitchen faucet isn’t too hard, and one can easily do it provided they have the right tools.