Changing a washer in a kitchen faucet is a relatively straightforward process, but it requires some tools and a bit of patience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
- Gather tools and materials:
- Adjustable wrench or pipe wrench
- Screwdriver (usually flathead or Phillips)
- Replacement washer (the correct size for your faucet)
- Plumber’s tape or thread sealant (optional)
- Towel or cloth
- Turn off the water supply: Locate the water supply valves under the sink and turn them clockwise to shut off the water to the faucet. If you can’t find them, you may need to shut off the main water supply to your home.
- Open the faucet: Turn on the faucet to release any remaining water pressure in the system.
- Remove the faucet handle: Depending on your faucet model, there might be a decorative cap or a screw holding the handle in place. If there’s a cap, use a flathead screwdriver to gently pry it off. Then, use the appropriate screwdriver to remove the screw holding the handle in place. Carefully lift the handle and set it aside.
- Remove the packing nut: Use the adjustable wrench or pipe wrench to loosen and remove the packing nut (also called the bonnet nut) beneath the handle. This is the large nut that secures the faucet stem in place.
- Remove the faucet stem: Once the packing nut is removed, you should be able to lift or unscrew the faucet stem. Gently pull it out from the faucet body.
- Locate the washer: Inspect the faucet stem and find the washer. It’s usually located at the bottom of the stem and secured with a screw. Remove the screw and the old washer.
- Replace the washer: Place the new washer in the same position as the old one and secure it with the screw. Make sure the washer is properly aligned and seated before tightening the screw.
- Reassemble the faucet: Apply plumber’s tape or thread sealant to the faucet stem threads if needed. Carefully reinsert the stem into the faucet body and tighten the packing nut with the wrench. Make sure the stem is aligned correctly and not overtightened.
- Reattach the handle: Place the handle back onto the stem and secure it with the screw. If there was a decorative cap, snap it back into place.
- Turn the water supply back on: Slowly turn the water supply valves counterclockwise to restore water flow to the faucet. Check for any leaks or drips. If necessary, tighten the packing nut a bit more to stop any leaks.
- Test the faucet: Turn the faucet on and off to ensure proper operation and check for any leaks around the handle or stem.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you should have successfully replaced the washer in your kitchen faucet.