How to Repair a Leaking Kitchen Faucet Base

Written by kenneth crawford
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How to Repair a Leaking Kitchen Faucet Base
(Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Single-handle kitchen faucets sometimes develop leaks at the base of the faucet spout. The spout rotates on a diverter that has two O-rings. The O-rings set inside grooves at the top and bottom of the diverter. When the O-rings develop cracks or stretch, leaks develop. Repairing a leaking kitchen faucet base requires removing the spout to access the O-rings. Replacement rings and plumber's grease are available at home improvement centres and plumbing supply stores.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Allen wrench
  • Slip joint pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Replacement O-rings
  • Plumber's grease

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  1. 1

    Open the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink and locate the two water shut-off valves to the faucet. Turn each valve handle clockwise to stop the water flow to the faucet. Go back to the sink and turn on the faucet handles to eliminate any water that may still be in the line. Turn off the handles when there is no water coming out of the spout.

  2. 2

    Remove the set screw securing the faucet handle to the top of the spout with an Allen wrench. Pull the handle off and remove the cartridge retaining nut with a pair of slip joint pliers. Lift the spout off the faucet.

  3. 3

    Slip a small flathead screwdriver between the rubber O-rings and the diverter valve. The diverter valve is the collar that the spout fits over and rotates around. Pry the O-rings off with the screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Clean the grooves that the O-rings fit around with a clean cloth. Apply a small film of plumber's grease over the new O-rings with your fingertip. Roll the new O-rings over the diverter valve and into their grooves. Ensure that there are no twists in the rings once they are in their respective grooves.

  5. 5

    Position the spout back over the diverter and thread the cartridge retaining nut back onto the spout and cartridge. Tighten the nut with the slip joint pliers. Place the handle back on top of the spout and secure with the set screw. Turn on the water supply to the faucet.

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