How to Remove Stuck Water Valve Seats

Written by david montoya
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How to Remove Stuck Water Valve Seats
Seat valves must be replaced more often in faucet models made before the mid-1990s. (faucet image by Mat Hayward from

There are a number of reasons why your faucet is leaking. Broken washers and O-rings are common culprits. One issue that's not talked about often is a faulty water valve seat. Water valve seats can become stuck or corroded. Either way, the result is a leaky faucet that must be repaired immediately to prevent further damage. Fortunately, the process of moving a stuck water valve seat is not difficult and with the right tools, does not require much strength.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Seat wrench
  • Sharp knife
  • Tweezers

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  1. 1

    Turn off the water to the faucet by closing the shutoff valve located under the sink. You can recognise the valve by its oval-shaped handle.

  2. 2

    Block the drain in the sink with tissue, a towel or anything else you have on hand. You'll be deconstructing your faucet to get to the water valve seat and you don't want any pieces to fall down the drain.

  3. 3

    Remove the top covering of the faucet handle. This covering is usually too hard to take off with your fingers so you'll need a sharp knife to pry underneath the covering.

  4. 4

    Remove the screw that was exposed when you took off the faucet handle covering. Removing the screw will unfasten the faucet handle.

  5. 5

    Remove the faucet handle. You can lift it off the faucet base once the screw has been removed.

  6. 6

    Unscrew the compression valve that's now exposed, using a pair of pliers. This will expose the water valve seat.

  7. 7

    Insert a seat wrench into the water valve seat. A few turns should be sufficient to loosen the seat.

  8. 8

    Grab the seat with a pair of tweezers and inspect it for corrosion, scratches or any other obvious imperfections. These issues may be causing the seat to stick. You'll have to replace the seat if you see this damage. If not, you can return the seat to its place and gently tighten it.

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