Every kitchen faucet eventually drips. Be it a modern faucet or a really old fixture, drips are inevitable. The good news is that you can fix this problem on your own. I never call in the plumber for such simple matters.
All you need for a dripping faucet is a screwdriver and a large wrench. Once you remove the cartridge of the faucet, you can find a suitable replacement in the hardware store. With these three things you can replace the cartridge of any faucet.
Steps To Replace The Faucet Cartridge
Turn Off The Water
Before you can fix a plumbing issue, you must first switch off the water supply. To do this turn off the valve that regulates water supply to your kitchen faucet. Usually, it is found under the sink, hidden inside the lower kitchen cabinet. If you can’t gain access to this valve then turn the water off to the whole house. If you have a double handle unit that supplies hot and cold water, turn both the supplies off before working on the cartridge.
Take The Cover Off The Handle Or Knob
Next steps is to remove the handle or the knob cover to expose the screw that holds together the handle and the spout. Unscrew this holding screw to remove the handle. Gently slide the handle off or tap it a bit to loosen the joint, if it fails to budge.
Loosen Bonnet Nut
The stem or the cartridge is built into the fixture and to get at it you must first loosen the bonnet nut. This is the nut that you will see upon removing the handle or knob. To loosen it, use a large wrench and twist the nut around. Once free, you will be able to gently remove the piece by twisting it around.
Find Suitable Replacement Parts At Hardware Store
Take the entire ensemble along with the bonnet nut to the hardware store and let them find you a suitable replacement. Depending on the kind of faucet you are using, you will need to replace the washer, cartridge, brass seat or rubber seat at the fixture bottom. Not to worry, the hardware store guys usually understand what is needed and will provide you with the right set of replacement cartridge or washer.
Reassemble The Faucet
Once you have the required replacement cartridge or washer, reassemble the entire thing together exactly in the reverse order. First, put the cartridge back into the faucet and tighten the Bonnet Nut. Then screw the handle and cover back on and open the water supply to the faucet. You should have taken care of the drip that was previously there.
Always have a couple of spare cartridges or washers around as they tend to wear out over time. Instead of running to the hardware store every time, having two to three replacements at home will save you time and effort. Personally, I tend to stack up on these components since you never know when the hardware store might run out of them.