Removing your kitchen faucet may be easier than you think. While major issues may need a plumber, you can solve minor problems all by yourself.
Here Are the Basics:
- Detach the hot and cold water supply lines
- Loosen the nuts that hold the faucet in position
- Scrape away any remaining putty or caulk from around the sink
Here Are Your Tools:
- Bucket and cloth
- Putty Knife
- Basin Wrench
- Adjustable Wrench
Take the strain off your shoulders, back, and legs as you work. Place a slab of wood or a towel to lie on as you work.
Switch off the Water:
Spills can run off and damage other parts or surfaces.
- Reach under the pipe fittings and switch off the valves.
- Use a cloth to block the drain opening.
- Place a bucket under the sink to prevent water from running out.
Disconnect the Hot and Cold Water Lines
An adjustable wrench will help you disconnect the hot and cold water lines.
Take off the Mounting Nuts
- Loosen the nuts with some penetrating oil.
- Give the oil some time to work.
- Use a basin wrench and turn the nuts to the right until they come loose.
Take Out the Faucet
Pull the faucet straight up. If there are any kinks, loosen the edges with a putty knife.
How to Remove an Aerator From the Kitchen Faucet
What is an Aerator?
Many householders may not be aware of the aerator in your kitchen faucet.
Here’s the Scoop:
- The aerator helps balance the water pressure in your faucet
- It fits over the edge of your faucet to control the amount of water that comes out of the tap
- It regulates the solid stream of water and allows air to pass through the water flow.
- It is the screw-on fitting at the end of the faucet spout.
- The aerator combines water and air in your faucet to help control water wastage.
Why Replace or Remove the Aerator?
Aerators come with wire mesh that can collect dirt and debris. Over time, mineral deposits or corrosion may clog the aerator and slow down the water pressure.
If it is clogged, a thorough cleaning may be enough, or you’ll need to replace it. Mineral deposits may make it difficult to remove, but a few turns with your hand will dislodge it.
- Use a cloth to dry your hands and the faucet.
- Start to unwind the faucet with your hand.
- If it’s difficult to unscrew, use a pair of pliers.
- If the aerator needs replacing, take it to your store and match it up with a new one.
- Cloth or Rag
- Rubber Wrench
- Lubricating Oil
Using Your Tools Effectively:
A rubber wrench gives you a good grip on the aerator screw. Pliers tend to slip or fall off while working.
To use the rubber wrench, give the screw a tug in each direction. Keep working each side until the aerator begins to give way.
If it Doesn’t Dislodge:
Spray the aerator:
- In a well-ventilated area, spray some lubricating oil onto the aerator.
- Let the oil work into the aerator for a few minutes
- Use the rubber wrench to pull the aerator out.
Use Some Vinegar:
Vinegar is a great choice to help break down dirt, debris or corrosion. To help clean it up:
- Pour some vinegar into a bag
- Wrap the bag over the faucet and allow the vinegar to work
- Tie the bag firmly and let it sit for a few hours
- Take the bag off and re-work the aerator until it comes loose
What to Look For:
If the Aerator Still Looks Good:
- Wedge a cloth between the aerator and pliers to minimize scratching
- Place strips of masking tape onto the pliers to prevent defacing the chrome finish
- Slowly turn the pliers to the left until it works
If it’s hard to dislodge, make a few quarters turns and work the aerator from that angle. Work steadily back and forth from each side.
If the Aerator is Clogged:
- Try un-threading the aerator with your hand.
- Turn it to the right to disconnect it from the faucet spout.
- If it’s hard to turn, use a pair of channel-lock pliers to help loosen it.
- Work the pliers gently to avoid damaging the aerator.
- Protect the aerator finish by wrapping some masking tape or a piece of cloth around it.
If the Aerator Needs Clearing:
Check for any buildup:
- Feel around the faucet spout with a screwdriver or your little finger
- Clean away any mineral deposits or debris from around the spout
- Dismantle the aerator with a toothpick or paper clip
- Make a note of how the parts fit together
- Wash away any chunks of sediment that may be present
Clear Blocked Holes:
Take a paper clip or sewing needle and gently scrape them away.
Soak Away Mineral Deposits:
Lime scale from the water will build up over time
- Apply some vinegar to the aerator parts to help dissolve the deposits
- Large deposits may take a few hours or even overnight
- As the vinegar works, help it along with a tooth pick or old toothbrush
After it’s clear, let the water run for a few minutes to help loosen any remaining deposits.
Check the water pressure for any spills. Replace the aerator parts in the correct order.
Putting the Aerator Back Together:
The parts must fit together in the same order. Make sure the aerator sits well, or it won’t work efficiently.
Have All the Parts Together:
- Place each part on a clean towel. Line the pieces up to ensure you have all that you need.
- The metal cap
- Metal screen
Install the Metal Pieces:
- Slot the metal parts together into the aerator
- Align the aerator in the cap and screw it into the faucet
- Hold the aerator in your left hand and position the metal screen inside
- Place it at the bottom so that it’s visible through the cap
Install the Mixer:
The mixer may have one plastic part or a plastic screen which allows air flow through the water line.
If there’s a Plastic Screen:
- Fit this in first.
- Then add the air-water mixer.
If there’s One Plastic Part:
- Add this afterward.
Each piece must face right side up, to ensure the air-water part points toward the water flow.
Install the Washer:
Make sure the washer is firmly in place to allow the aerator to fasten securely. Without the rubber washer, the faucet will leak, and slow down the water pressure.
If the Washer Doesn’t Sit Well:
Remove the aerator and turn the washer over.
Re-fit the Faucet:
With all the parts in place, it’s time to screw the aerator in place.
- Tighten it as much as you can by hand. If it doesn’t work, use a pair of pliers to strengthen it.
- If the connection is too loose, the aerator will leak.
- Turn the screw to the right to attach the aerator back into the spout
- Shield the teeth of the pliers to prevent scratching the aerator finish
- Let the water run and check for any possible leaks
- If the water spills out over the sides, re-fasten it some more with a pair of pliers
Go gently. Excess pressure on the aerator will cause it to warp.
How to Remove a Kitchen Faucet Sprayer
If your kitchen faucet sprayer becomes faulty, don’t despair, you can fix it much easier than you may think. You may need to either replace it or repair it.
Before you remove the faucet sprayer, make sure you understand the problem.
- Check for any clogs or build-up of dirt.
- If there are any blockages, apply some build-up remover to loosen it
- The dissolver is diluted with water to help clear the build-up.
If the clog does not dissolve, take out the sprayer and install a new one.
Disconnect the Water Supply
- The first thing you don’t want is a water-logged kitchen when you start to work!
- Go to the kitchen sink and turn the water supply to your faucet sprayer off.
- If you cannot locate the valve, turn it off from the main water supply in your home.
- When the water goes off, let the remaining water in the sprayer drain out.
Disconnect the Water Supply Lines
To Do This:
- Look for the connecting nuts at the junction where the water lines and the sprayer tubes meet.
- Unscrew the nuts and have a towel or bucket handy to catch any excess water that may run out.
If there are Nuts on Both Sides of the Connection:
- A pair of adjustable pliers or the correct size tools will work
- When the nuts come loose, take out the lines
Take Out the Sprayer
- Locate the hose underneath the sprayer handle and loosen it
- Unfasten the nuts on both sides of the hose or pipe
Take Out the Mounting Nuts:
Check to the back of the sink to locate the mounting nuts. They should be easy to remove since they are plastic.
Take off the Faucet:
Your last step is to remove the faucet sprayer. If it is hard to dislodge, apply some pressure and loosen it up.
A damaged faucet sprayer can be an eyesore in your kitchen. The fault may be in the nozzle, hose, or the valve.
Let’s take a look at each part.
Before you start any repairs, check the source of the leak in the faucet. Check under the sink for water stains or dampness
- If it’s leaking from the nozzle, that should be an easy fix
- If the hose is faulty, you will need to replace it.
- If the connection is leaking, you will only need to repair the connection
Repairing the Faucet Sprayer:
- Reach under the sink and switch off the water supply valve
- Turn the faucet on to drain any excess water in the pipeline
If the Nozzle is Leaking:
- Open the parts and locate the rubber gasket
- Examine the gasket for wear and tear or damage
To Replace the Gasket:
- Remove it and take it to the store and match it up with a new one
- Install the new gasket according to the instructions
- Turn on the water and use the kitchen sprayer to make sure it’s working
Leaks Under the Sink:
Most leaks occur where the hose is attached to the faucet. It may just be a simple task of re-fastening the seal.
- Take out the water supply line
- Wipe both ends of the connection with a dry cloth
- Wrap around each thread with plumber’s tape
- Reassemble each piece back into place
If the Leak Persists:
You may need to replace the entire sprayer, along with the hose and the parts.
- Take out the supply line from the faucet assembly
- Give it a tug to help dislodge it
- Thread the new line above the sink
- Seal it up with some plumber’s tape around the hose
If the Valve is Faulty:
The faucet diverter valve helps regulate the flow of the water pressure into the faucet.
Locate and Check the Diverter Valve:
It’s a small plastic part inside the faucet.
- Unbolt the sprout of the faucet sprayer with some pliers
- Examine the valve for cracks or deposit build-ups
If there is the build-up, scrape it away or use some vinegar to loosen it.
Check the Sprayer Hose:
The faucet sprayer can get damaged with constant wear and tear. Cracking is caused by acid buildup from foods or cleaning chemical residues in the hose.
A leaking faucet can be a real humbug. No-one likes to deal with tired-looking, faulty plumbing, or unsightly limescale build-up.
While you may feel that every job requires a professional, some plumbing fixes may not be as daunting as you think. Step by step instructions can save you money and time, and the finished product may even surprise you.