How to Remove a Stripped Faucet Seat

Written by kenneth crawford
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Repairing a leak on your washer faucet may reveal a stripped faucet seat. The faucet seat is where the washer under the handle moves up and down to allow water flow. Most faucet leaks are due to a bad washer. The valve seat can corrode and strip when the washer does not fit snugly. You can remove the faucet seat and install a new seat to get your faucet working again without replacing the entire faucet.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Valve seat wrench
  • Penetrating oil
  • New faucet seat

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  1. 1

    Go under the sink and turn both water supply valves off to stop the water flow. Go to the faucet and open both faucet handles to allow any residual water to leave the system.

  2. 2

    Insert the tip of a small flathead screwdriver in the groove between the decorative cap and the faucet handle. Twist the screwdriver handle and pop the decorative cap off the faucet handle.

  3. 3

    Remove the screw in the centre of the faucet handle with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Lift the faucet handle straight up and off of the faucet stem.

  4. 4

    Turn the packing nut on the faucet stem counterclockwise with a pair of channel lock pliers and unthread the faucet stem from the faucet body.

  5. 5

    Attach the appropriate head to the valve seat wrench to match the hole in the centre of the faucet seat. Insert the valve seat wrench into the seat and turn the seat quickly counterclockwise. If the seat does not budge, apply a few shots of penetrating oil around the threads. Allow the oil to work for 10 minutes and then remove the faucet seat with the valve seat wrench.

  6. 6

    Take the old faucet seat to a plumbing supply store to purchase a new seat. Compare the new one to the old seat for size. Thread the new faucet seat into the faucet body. Tighten the seat slightly with the valve seat wrench.

  7. 7

    Insert the faucet stem into the faucet body and thread the packing nut over the faucet stem. Tighten the packing nut with the channel lock pliers.

  8. 8

    Place the faucet handle over the faucet stem and secure with the single screw. Press the decorative cap over the faucet handle and press the cap in with your thumb until it locks into place.

  9. 9

    Turn both water supply valves back on to the faucet.

Tips and warnings

  • If the faucet seat has extensive corrosion, the threads between the seat and the faucet can strip as well. When twisting the seat with the valve seat wrench, angle the wrench to the side to apply upward pressure.
  • Some faucet seats are not removable. You can re-dress the seat with a dressing tool available at most hardware stores and plumbing supply houses.
  • The water supply must be off before taking the faucet apart.

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