How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Handle | Step-by-Step Guide

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Handle | Step-by-Step Guide

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Handle - Step-by-Step Guide

The dripping sound of a leaky faucet handle in your kitchen or bathroom is undoubtedly irritating. Secondly, you are indirectly becoming a part of the water wastage system. But, did you know that fixing a leaky faucet handle is easy and it can be done at home?

Check out our step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaky faucet handle by yourself.

What Causes a Leaky Faucet Handle?

Here are some of the most common reasons that cause a leaky faucet handle and how you can fix them.

1) Damaged O-Ring
O-rings are present inside almost every faucet, which acts as a seal to prevent water from draining in the wrong direction. A damaged O-ring can cause water to drip from the faucet handle. 

O-rings can easily be replaced. (The technique is discussed below)

2) Damaged Cartridge
A cartridge is responsible for controlling the flow of water from your faucet. If it gets damaged, you may experience water leakage. Cartridges are also replaceable at home without needing any expert help.

3) Unstable Water Pressure
This problem is mainly associated with the main valve, not the faucet handle. So, if you have unstable water pressure despite replacing damaged cartridge, ball, cylinder and O-rings from faucet, consider contacting a plumber to resolve this issue.

4) Aerator Buildup
If your faucet has an aerator (small meshes) at the end of the water tap, it may be blocked due to unwanted deposit buildup, leading to a leaky water faucet. For cleaning, you can soak it in vinegar for 1 hour or replace it in case of deterioration.

How to Identify the Cause of your Leaky Faucet Handle?

To fix your faucet handle, you must know why it is leaking and from where the problem is occurring. Check the following factors to identify.

1) Check Your Handle Type:
Before fixing your leaky handle, knowing the type of faucet handle you have is necessary to repair the damaged part.

They are mainly of the following types:

Cartridge Faucet

Cartridge and ball-type faucets are the most common ones that are used nowadays. They are two-handled. These types of faucets have a cartridge attached inside them responsible for opening, closing, and controlling the flow of water. Replacing the cartridge, O-rings, ball (in the case of ball-type faucet) is the ultimate solution for fixing it.
How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Handle - Step-by-Step Guide

Ceramic Disc Faucet

Disc faucets are single-handled and used in modern kitchens. They have a single lever over a broad cylindrical body. They use discs and cylinders to control the flow of water, which should be replaced in terms of damage.
How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Handle - Step-by-Step Guide

Compression Faucet

Compression faucets consist of two handles, and they are old-fashioned type handles.

2) Check for the Possible Causes of Water Leakage:
How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Handle - Step-by-Step Guide

As we discussed earlier, a leaky faucet may have several causes, and it is crucial to know the reason of yours. If your water supply is stable and you own a traditional ball or cartridge faucet, O-ring and cartridge damage may be the cause of water dripping. Hence, replacing them with new ones is the best solution.

On the other hand, if your water flow is unstable throughout the day and causes dripping sometimes, you may need a plumber fixture.

If you see multiple visible damages in your faucet, you may need to replace the whole faucet as the reason could be deterioration because of its expired lifespan.

Tools that you Need for Fixing the Leaky Faucet Handle:

Consider gathering the following tools before you fix your leaky faucet handle to save time.
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility Knife
  • New cartridge
  • 2-3 New O-rings
  • New cylinder and discs if you are fixing disc-type faucet handle.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Handle:

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaky faucet handle:

Step 1
Before fixing a leaky handle, the first step is to turn off the water supply by switching off the main valves present below your sink. Then, by turning on the tap, check to verify that water has wholly stopped draining from the sink.

Step 2
The second step after turning off the main valves is to remove the decorative cap/knob from your faucet.

Step 3
After detaching the knob, carefully unscrew and remove the cartridge, damaged O-ring, and other accessories from your faucet handle with the help of a screwdriver or a utility knife.

NOTE: In case you have a ceramic disc faucet, remove and replace its cylinder.

Step 4
The leaky faucet may be because of a damaged O-ring or damaged cartridge, so if you are unsure about the cause, replace both of them with a new O-ring and cartridge.

Step 5
Reassemble and attach the parts of the faucet handle as it was before. Then switch on the main valve and slowly open the water tap to avoid the new cartridge from damaging because of a sudden water pressure.


So, that is how to fix a leaky faucet handle. Firstly, you should check the type of faucet you have and then identify the problem's root cause. If the problem persists even after changing the O-ring, ball, cylinder or cartridge, it means that there may be some other problem and you should ask for professional help.

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