How to Fix a Faucet Handle


Faucet handles sometimes come loose, break off, or the assembly has problems with leaking or squeaking. Problems linked to a leaking faucet are normally caused by the valve assembly located beneath the handle of the faucet, which is used to let water flow to the faucet from the pipes when the faucet is turned on. In the case of a two handle faucet, two valve assemblies allow water to flow into the faucet. One handle is for cold water, the other for hot. The packing washer and stem washer are the pieces that create the seal to turn the water on and off.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Remove the cap on top of the handle. Several types of caps either unscrew or pop off with a flathead screwdriver. This will unscrew by hand. Remove the screw with a Phillips screwdriver that lies underneath the cap.

  • Remove the handle by pulling it off. Hold the base of the valve stem assembly, which is what was located underneath the handle. Unscrew the stem nut which is the nut that is on the very top of the valve stem assembly.

  • Hold the base of the valve stem assembly, and remove the packing nut which is the next nut on the assembly. Remove it with the adjustable wrench. Inside the packing nut is a washer. Pry it out with a flathead screwdriver, and replace it.

  • Unscrew the valve assembly at the base with an adjustable wrench. Remove the washer on the bottom of the assembly by unscrewing the screw located in the center of the washer.

  • Screw the assembly back into the pipe line. Screw the packing nut back on with the new washer inside it. Put the handle back on the assembly, and screw it down with the screw. Replace the cap. If you need to replace the faucet handle, use the new one and throw the old one out.

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