How To Repair A Single Handle Kitchen Faucet With A Spray Hose – Best method

Is the sound of your dripping leaky faucet keeping you up at night? Or are you having trouble washing dishes because of the atrocious water pressure? The kitchen faucet is one of the most unappreciated yet necessary aspects of modern life, which is why it is quite noticeable when it malfunctions. Not fixing a damaged faucet can lead to higher water bills, difficulty in washing, and potential contaminants in water. Thankfully, all of those issues can be fixed and prevented, which is why we have created this step by step guide on how to repair a single handle kitchen faucet with a spray hose. Happy cooking!

You might also want to take a look at our previous article on standard faucet hole sizes.

Common problems with single handle kitchen faucet spray hose

Common problemsCause
Low PressureDebris build up in the aerator
Dripping and LeaksDamage in the cartridge or the O-ring
Self-Closing HandleThe screw holding the handle and faucet to the base or the cartridge is the problem
Stiff HandleThe build-up of sediment or debris in the cartridge, mineral buildup in the faucet parts, or a damaged seal within the cartridge.
Temperature ControlProblems within the cartridges or pressure-balance mixing valve

Before You Repair

Before you can repair any issues with your single lever faucet, familiarize yourself with the parts inside so that when you disassemble and reassemble the faucet such that  each part goes back into its proper place. Check out our article on How to remove kitchen faucet for an in depth guide.

Here is a list of tools and supplies you may need to perform the repairs. You may need all or only some of these tools/supplies, depending on the repairs which need to be performed. (Component or Cartridge: How to Choose the Right Seal | Pumps & Systems (pumpsandsystems.com))

ToolsSupplies
Channel-lock pliers
Towel or clean cloth
Screwdriver
Water-pump Pliers
Adjustable wrench
Utility knife
Socket wrench
Grease
Gauge of Tape
O-ring
Cartridge

Step by step guide on how to repair a single handle kitchen faucet with a spray hose

If Water Pressure is Too Low

First, make sure the water lever is turned off of the faucet. Then, take the adjustable wrench to open the aerator of your faucet head. When you open the aerator, you may find debris and minerals are built up to cover the water flow. Sometimes, simple washing with water can remove the debris. If the minerals and debris do not go away from the water splashing.

Use 50:50 water and CLR formula and submerge the airhead in the formula for 2 minutes. The CLR will eat the debris and minerals. After that, wash the aerator and place it in the faucet head. Then, tight the aerator with the adjustable wrench. Now turn on the lever to check the water pressure. You will find how simple the pressure issue is gone.                 

If there are Drips and Leaks

Single lever faucets will drip if the cartridge or the O-ring is damaged. To replace either part you have to disassemble the faucet. The O-ring is a round piece of rubber installed on the cartridge. Replacing cracked O-rings, which you can find at most hardware stores, should fix a dripping faucet, but if the cartridge itself is cracked or worn, this can cause dripping or leaking at the base of the faucet. Find faucet cartridges at your hardware store or order a replacement directly from the faucet manufacturer.

If the Handle is Closing by Itself

Important Tip

Before doing anything, try to tighten the screw under the cover of the handle that holds the handle on. Sometimes this will solve the problem.

Step:1 Remove the handle

Most faucets have a metal or plastic cover that sits in the center of the faucet. Slip a thin screwdriver or knife blade under this cover and pull it out. under the cover, there is a screw that you have removed. The handle will then slip off the stem.

Step: 2 Use the plumber’s tape to wrap

Wrap plumber’s tape clockwise around the stem. You can trim the tape with a knife so that it fits over the stem without overlapping. Try one wrap at a time. Then place the handle back on and check whether it fits. Until the handle fits, continue wrapping and testing.

Step: 3 Install the handle:

When you see the handle fits, place the handle to its place in the faucet and tighten the screw and set the screw firmly.

If the Handle is Stiff:

Step 1: Shut Off The Water Supply And Cover The Drains

Before you do any work on the faucet, make sure the water is turned off. Then cover the drain area, so that small parts do not run to the pipes.

Step 2: Remove The Handle

Use an Allen wrench to loosen the set screw on the front of your faucet. Then you have to pull up the handle to remove it from the base.

Step 3: Submerged under vinegar

Place the removed handle on a bowl. Pour vinegar on the bowl until the handle is submerged in the vinegar. Keep the handle in the vinegar overnight. 

Step: 4 Clean thoroughly

In the morning thoroughly lubricate the facet valve with Plumber’s Grease. For reference, the faucet valve is attached to the base of your faucet.

Step 5: Reinstall

Remove faucet handles from vinegar, clean with water, then dry thoroughly, and re-install the faucet. Now you will see the handle will be as smooth as new!

If the Temperature-control is not working

This could be caused by a problem in the pressure-balance mixing valve or a defective cartridge. To fix the pressure balance mixing valve, follow the steps below,

Step 1: Remove the handle

Remove the handle by unscrewing the nut under or behind the lever with a 1/8-inch hex wrench. You have to pry off a small-cap with a flat-head screwdriver to get to the nut.

Step 2: Gain access to the cartridge

Unscrew the chrome bonnet covering the valve mechanism. You can do it by gripping the chrome bonnet with a rubber glove and turning it counterclockwise. 

Step 3: Remove the old cartridge

Unscrew the holding nut that is holding the cartridge in place with adjustable pliers. Then, pull out the cartridge.

Step 4: Replace with a new cartridge

Remove the rubber seal with a flat-headed screwdriver and replace it with a new one. You can find cartridges from a plumber store or you can order from the manufacturer of the faucet.  

Step 5: Reassemble

Push the cartridge back into the valve housing. Then, screw on the retaining nut, and tighten it with the pliers.

If you are still having temperature control issues, it means that the faucet has a problem with the pressure balance mixing valves. Follow the steps below to solve this problem,

Step 1: Turn the Hot and Cold Water Valves Off

While doing the work, to avoid any water disaster in the kitchen, turn off both the hot and cold water valves. For most of the faucets, there is a knob to turn the water off. For some of the models, you will have to use the adjustable wrench.

Step 2: Remove the Handle from the Faucet

The handle is held in place on the faucet by a screw which you’ll need to remove. The screw may be placed towards the back or side of the handle. Some faucets have a screw beneath the hot/cold water indicator which can be seen from the front. Find the screw on your particular faucet.

After you find the screw, use an Allen wrench to rotate and remove the screw. Now you can lift the faucet handle from the rest of the faucet. 

On some faucet models, you have to twist and turn the front or back of the handle to unscrew it from the main handle’s frame. 

Step 3: Adjust the Temperature on the Valve

Once you remove the handle, you will find the temperature valve. Most of the faucets have a valve to move towards the right side.

Step 4: Replace the Handle and Test the Water Temperature

Use a thermometer to check the water temperature. If it is below 120° F, then it is okay. If the water is still too hot, repeat the steps again and retest the water temperature.

FAQs on how to repair a single handle kitchen faucet with a spray hose

Do I need to disassemble the faucet to fix problems?

Not every time. If the issue is with the self-closing handle, spray hose leak, or low pressure issue then you will not need to disassemble the faucet.

Can I disassemble the faucet without a basin wrench?

Yes, you can. You can use the adjustable wrench as a substitute for the basin wrench.

Where can I find gasket and O-ring?

You can find gaskets and O-ring from the local plumbing store or from the manufacturer of your faucet.

What is the perfect temperature of hot water for a faucet?

EPA suggests 120° F is the perfect temperature that will kill the germs, still, that temperature of hot water will not cause any scalding incident.

Conclusion

The dripping and leaking issues and the water pressure are the most common problems of any faucet. Whether it be a budget faucet or the expensive and smart faucet, none of them are immune to leaks or the pressure issue. You have to be smart and quick thinking to understand how you can overcome the problems. The “how to repair a single handle kitchen faucet with a spray hose” article is to show the easiest path to repair the leaks and water pressure issues of your faucet. We hope the leaks go away by the tight bonding between the hose and spray head and the water pressure increases with splashing away the dirt in the sprayer. Happy cooking!

James is a plumber and handyman hailing from the southwest with over 20+ years of experience in his field. He has incredible knowledge on all the brands in the market and how to perform installation, maintenance and repairs of anything you need in the kitchen.

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