Dealing with a troublesome leaking kitchen faucet? The constant drip and potential water wastage can be a cause for concern.It is in fact one of the most common household plumbing problems in Singapore. But don't worry; our guide is here to assist you in resolving this issue. We'll provide you with a step-by-step DIY guide on how to fix a leaky kitchen faucet effectively.
Why Does a Faucet Leak?
Before we delve into the repair process, it's important to understand the underlying causes of kitchen faucet leaks. Leaky faucets are usually the result of:
- Loose O-Ring: The O-ring is a small rubber ring that seals the faucet spout and handles. Over time, it can become loose or wear out, leading to leaks.
- Worn-Out Gasket or Washer: Inside the faucet's handles, there are gaskets or washers that create a watertight seal. These components can deteriorate with age, causing leaks.
- Corrosion in the Valve Seat: If there's corrosion in the valve seat, it can prevent the faucet from fully shutting off, resulting in a constant trickle.
To address these issues, you can utilise a faucet repair kit, which is readily available at your local hardware store.
DIY Repair for Your Leaky Kitchen Faucet
Now, we're going to empower you with the skills to take matters into your own hands and repair that leaky kitchen faucet.
Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply
First and foremost, it's crucial to ensure your safety by turning off the water supply. Whether you have a single-handle or double-handle faucet, or even a modern pull-down wand design, the process is essentially the same. Twist the valve under the sink to shut off the water supply. If there isn't one under your sink, you may need to turn off the main water supply for your entire house. To prevent any tools from accidentally falling into the drain, it's advisable to cover the sink opening with a towel or use a sink stopper.
Step 2: Removing the Faucet Handle
The method for removing the faucet handle depends on the type of faucet you have. If your faucet has a screw behind the handle, use a hex key to remove it. Some handles may have screw covers, which you can pry open with a flat screwdriver. Once you've exposed the screw, use a head screwdriver to loosen it and then gently pull the handle to remove it.
Step 3: Detaching the Cartridge or Stem
Most two-handle kitchen faucets are equipped with a cartridge or stem that controls the flow of hot and cold water. Using a wrench, release the packing nut within the handle assembly and remove the set. Carefully pull the part out of the assembly.
Step 4: Installing a New Cartridge
If you determine that the faucet's cartridge or stem is the source of the leak, it will need to be replaced. To make this task easier, find the model number and the manufacturer's name. If you can't locate both, bring the old faucet stem to the store, or use a reference guide to identify the appropriate replacement. Additionally, inspect the O-rings around the housing; replace them if they are worn or damaged. Afterward, clean the handle and surrounding components with a clean cloth and let them dry. Now, place the new cartridge or stem by correctly aligning it.
Step 5: Reattaching the Faucet Handle
With the damaged cartridge, stem, or O-rings replaced, you can now reattach the faucet handle. Turn the water line back on and clean any dust or debris from the sink. If you used a towel to cover the sink, remember to wash it too.
As a final step, run both cold and hot water through the faucet for a few moments to check if the aerator is clogged. The aerator is located at the end of the faucet spout, and if it's clogged due to dirt buildup, it can disrupt the water flow.
When to Consider Faucet Replacement
In certain situations, replacing your kitchen faucet might be more practical than repairing it. Here are a few scenarios to consider:
1. When the Kitchen Faucet is Too Old
Kitchen faucets that have been in service for over a decade are likely to develop additional issues. While repairs may temporarily resolve the problem, another part of the faucet may soon malfunction. Therefore, it's often wiser to replace an aging kitchen faucet that frequently requires repairs.
2. When Repairing Takes Excessive Time
Repairing a kitchen faucet should typically take no more than an hour. If you find it challenging to diagnose the issue or the repair process becomes overly time-consuming, it may be more efficient to opt for a new faucet and save both time and energy.
3. When Repair Costs Are Prohibitive
High-quality, more expensive faucets may justify repair expenditures. However, for budget-friendly models, it's important to weigh the cost of repairs against the price of a new faucet. Inexpensive faucets may not be worth multiple repair attempts, unless it's a simple matter of replacing a few washers.
Consider a Professional Plumbing Service
If you find DIY faucet repair beyond your comfort zone or simply don't have the time, consider seeking professional plumbing assistance. In Singapore, you can book a reliable plumbing service from a trusted provider like Sendhelper. Their trained professionals can address all your faucet repair needs starting at just $60. Booking their handyman service is a convenient solution to your leaky faucet woes. Visit their website or use their app to schedule a service in less than 2 hours.