The sink is a hub of many kitchen activities, and a fully functional faucet is essential to all those activities. The reliability of kitchen faucets is enormous, thus making them more prone to mechanical problems. How they happen, no one knows, but how to fix it is easy.
Faucet mishaps are not the type to let go as the mess that comes with it cannot be tolerated. Occasionally, when something breaks, most people think it is the manufacturer’s shortcoming, but that might not be the case. Kitchen faucets work the same throughout the world, and it is crucial to identify the source of the problem and carefully think of the repair options.
Problems associated with the kitchen faucet
The kitchen is prone to four significant problems. These can be mechanical or natural problems, and knowing how to tighten handle on kitchen faucet.
Assembly of the faucet in the sink is quite a complex process that necessitates a professional touch. A simple mistake or missing a step can damage the setup, and who wants that? Tools used can also determine whether it is properly fixed or a time bomb.
General tear and wear
The frequent use of the kitchen faucets makes them more vulnerable to mechanical tear and wear. The outer coating may peel or look dull, then become loose. Rust formation is a direct indication of wear and tear in your faucet. Tear and wear are repaired by having a constant maintenance routine, or if rusty, replace the part for proper functionality.
A kitchen faucet is a directional tool for water; thus, leaking or dripping can be a significant problem. Leaks are the most familiar problems facing faucets. Leaks are due to worn-out parts or loose installation, which are easy to fix.
Loss of water pressure
The high performance of kitchen faucets is because they apply high pressures, both for hot and cold water. Loss of water pressure can be due to low water levels in the supply system or the buildup of minerals deposits. Hard water is the primary cause of mineral deposits; thus, be wary.
Causes of a loose kitchen faucet handle
The handle of the faucet is the only part that is vulnerable to all four problems. Loose or broken handles render the faucet useless as it is the primary controlling part. Some causes of a loose handle include:
- Loose O-ring – the o ring retains the handle in position; thus, a worn-out ring can lead to a loose handle
- Loose screws – the faucet pipes are held onto the sink by screws. Loose screws cause the faucet to shake. Majorly caused by vibrations or poor installation
- Poor installation–using the wrong types of equipment and not following the proper procedure can lead to a loose handle
- Loose faucet base – the spigots handle fits on the faucet base; thus, a loose base affects the whole fixture causing water leakages.
Procedure on how to tighten handle on kitchen faucet
Remember that identifying the problem is essential as it will not misbehave later. The plumbing job requires proper tools for an effective outcome. Tools required include:
- Mini knife
- Adjustable wrench/ hex head wrench
- Hand gloves
- Basin wrench
- The right Allen wrench
- Teflon tape
- Masking tape
Follow the step-by-step procedure below to tighten your handle effectively:
- Clear the sink – clear both the top and under the sink to create more working space
- Identify the cause of the leak – carefully scrutinize the faucet to know where the leak is. Knowing the problems facing a faucet handle will make your job easy. Finding the cause of the leak will guide you on what is accountable for the leak.
- Turn the water supply off – standard plumbing procedure states that a valve should be positioned near the faucet, most probably under the sink. Locate the valves and close them to block water from getting into the faucet.
- Open the faucet – open the faucet to confirm that the water supply is well cut off and to relieve the existing water pressure in the water lines. This step prevents a mess when dismantling the handle.
- Plug the sink’s drain – repairing the handle will involve the opening of the handle; thus, screws may fall in the drain causing blockages
- Check and study the handle – the handle can have either a traditional or modern handle. The old handles have their set of screws at the top or exactly below the cap.
- Tighten the screws (traditional) – if the screws are visible, tighten them while holding the handle in place. If not using a mini knife, remove the top cap and proceed to tighten
- For decorative/digital handle – locate the cap and the hole of the set screw. Undo the screw using the Allen wrench. Make sure the wrench fits inside the handle cap so as not to cause more damage
- Unscrew the setscrew – slide the wrench to the head of the setscrew and confirm contact. Remember you need to feel it, for sight is not an option and unscrew carefully not to ruin the head of the screw.
- Tighten the handle – hold the handle in its original position and tighten the screws with the Allen wrench. Twist in a clockwise direction till you feel some resistance. Please don’t make it too tight as it will be hard to operate
- Open the water supply – open the valves to verify no leakages exist in the faucet and that it functions properly
Calling a plumber to tighten a handle can be unnecessary as it is a simple procedure. Remember that the design of the faucet and the cause of the problem determine the most appropriate fixing procedure for the handle.
Kitchen faucets come in different types and shapes but what never changes is their handle buildup. The procedure applies to all types of faucets like touch kitchen faucet and touchless kitchen faucet are present in the market. Using the right tools and the procedure above, you will find that a loose faucet handle is not something to scare you.