If your faucet is tight and can’t rotate, then it can make your daily necessities a huge struggle. Every homeowner needs running water from the sink several times daily.
However, very few homeowners appreciate a smooth, well-oiled faucet until they experience a moment when it won’t budge.
If your faucet is showing initial signs of getting stuck, or you’ve been struggling with a tight faucet for some time, you should deal with it before failing to turn completely and keep you struggling to get water elsewhere.
Luckily, you probably won’t spend money to invest in a new handle or spout. Instead, all you might need to do is to clean the faucet or replace any troublesome component, especially the cartridge.
The brand of your faucet will determine how you’ll open it up. You might require a cartridge pulling tool for some faucets. In most cases, you can investigate and try to fix the problem yourself before calling a plumber.
Disassembling a Stuck Faucet Handle
You’ll need to look inside the stuck faucet to inspect it and understand the problem. Once you determine the problem, you’ll know the necessary repairs or replacements needed to get it working smoothly.
First, shut off the faucet water supply before disassembling it. Check beneath the sink or along the wall for the shut-off valve.
Rotate the valve clockwise to shut off the faucet water supply. If the sink doesn’t have a dedicated shut-off valve, then turn on the main water supply from the main valve next to the water meter.
Next, check for a screw somewhere on your faucet. If your faucet comes with a single handle, then you’ll probably find the screw somewhere at the bottom of the faucet area facing you.
On other faucet models, you’ll probably find the screw somewhere along the side. If the screw is covered with a cap, use a flat screwdriver to remove it.
Once you locate the screw, use an appropriate screwdriver to unscrew it by turning it counterclockwise. Then remove the handle.
Doing so will expose a nut that holds the valve in place. Use a wrench to remove the bolt. You can take a photo of the cartridge to remember the correct placement when replacing it.
Detach and Clean the Cartridge
Use a pair of pliers and grip the cartridge. Then pull it up. In case the cartridge doesn’t move, determine your sink’s brand name and get a matching cartridge puller tool to assist with removing it. Upon removing it, inspect it for corrosion. Corrosion is the main cause of a faucet that won’t turn on.
Scrub the corroded part with a stainless steel wire brush until the corroded surface smoothens. Using a rag, apply white vinegar on the corroded surface to loosen the rust further.
You can reuse the cartridge in case it’s not damaged extensively. Replace it with a new cartridge if it’s badly damaged. You can carry the old cartridge with you when shopping to get a matching replacement.
Check whether other parts of the faucet are corroded and scrub them. Although a tight faucet is often as a result of a corroded cartridge, it’ll help to clean other faucet components to reduce the chances of the problem from recurring.
Once done, insert the cartridge from where you removed it. Insert the nut and tighten it. Reattach the handle and tighten the screw you had removed. Turn on the water supply from where you turned it off. Then turn on the faucet handle to test its functionality. It should rotate smoothly.