How to Repair a Leaky 2-Handle Faucet

Enhance your two-handle faucet repair knowledge with detailed installation instructions and a “How to” video.

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How To Instructions

Step-by-step Instructions

Your kitchen and bathroom faucet gets a lot of use, so you want to keep it in tip top shape. If you find that your brass-type faucet is leaking water, you can replace a few of its parts without spending a lot of time and money on a new faucet. We promise it’s easy, and the best part is, you can do it all by yourself.

Tools required: flat head screwdriver, Phillips head screwdriver, wrench, seat removal tool (optional)

1

First, determine the source of the leak. If water is leaking from underneath the handle onto the counter, the stem of whichever handle is leaking needs to be replaced.

If water is dripping from the faucet, turn off the hot water supply valve under the sink. If water is still dripping, you need to replace the cold stem (right handle). If the water stops dripping when you turned off the hot water valve, you need to replace the hot stem (left handle). Once you’ve determined the trouble stem, turn off the water supply.

2

Remove the Handle by lifting off the index cap with a flathead screwdriver. Next, remove the handle (so the stem is visible) by loosening the set screw by the screw counter-clockwise. Set aside the handle, set screw and handle button to reinstall at the end of the project.

3

Remove the brass stem by using a wrench and rotating it counter clockwise until it threads out entirely. Take a look at the washer which is located on the lower end of the stem. If the washer is squeezed flat or has a groove worn in it, a washer kit coupled with a new faucet seat will likely solve your problem. When replacing the faucet seat, you can remove and replace the seat with an allen wrench or a seat removal tool. Turn the seat counterclockwise to loosen, clockwise to tighten.

Once removed, you will need to take your stem to your local Lowes home improvement store and use the Perfect Match locator system or use the online Stem Selector Tool. This system makes it easy to find your replacement part.

4

Once you have purchased your new stem, you can install it into your faucet.

Install the brass stem by rotating clockwise until it threads entirely and tighten with a wrench.

5

Place the handle over the stem or handle adapter (if you are replacing your handles with new universal handles) and tighten. Secure the handle with the original set screw and snap the index button into place.

Finally, turn the water back on to ensure the leak is fixed.

Step-by-step Instructions

Your kitchen and bathroom faucet gets a lot of use, so you want to keep it in tip top shape. If you find that your cartridge-type faucet is leaking water, you can replace a few of its parts without spending a lot of time and money on a new faucet. We promise it’s easy, and the best part is, you can do it all by yourself.

Tools required: Pliers, Flat Screwdriver, Phillips Screwdriver

1

Turn off the water supply to the sink. Pry the handle cap off the handle to reveal the set screw.

2

Remove the handle by lifting off the index cap with a flathead screwdriver. Next, Remove the handle (so the stem is visible) by loosening the set screw by the screw counter-clockwise. Set aside the handle, set screw and handle button to reinstall at the end of the project.

3

If your faucet has a lock ring or lock nut, you will need to remove it with a screwdriver or pliers before you will be able to remove the cartridge.

4

Next, pull the old cartridge-type stem out of the faucet assembly. Take the stem to your local Lowes home improvement store and use the Picture Perfect Locator System or use the online Stem Selector Tool. This system makes it easy to find your replacement part.

5

You should also replace the seat or seats & springs at this time (whichever is applicable). You can remove and replace the seat with an Allen wrench or a seat removal tool. Turn the seat counterclockwise to loosen, clockwise to tighten.

You may find it easier to assemble seats and springs first on the countertop springs go in first, wide end down (if applicable) Next the rubber seats fit over the springs.

6

Insert the new spring and seat that comes with the replacement cartridge (or you can purchase separately) by placing on the head of a screwdriver and inserting into the assembly.

7

Install the new cartridge into the faucet assembly.

8

If your faucet has a lock ring or lock nut, you will need place it over the stem and tighten with a screwdriver or pliers.

9

Place the handle over the assembly and secure with the original set screw.

10

Replace the original handle button by snapping into position. Turn on the water and check for leaks.