Despite the fact that faucets are common household fixtures, many individuals do not know how to address issues related to them. One issue that frequently arises is a squeaky faucet handle, and most people are unaware of the proper methods to fix it.
Nevertheless, there are specific measures that anyone can take to tackle this frustrating problem. Continue reading to find out what they are!
To fix a squeaky faucet handle, you will need several tools and supplies. You need a screwdriver or drill, a piece of cloth, undiluted vinegar or lemon juice, a crescent wrench, and petroleum jelly, which is commonly available under the brand name Vaseline.
How to Fix a Squeaky Faucet Handle – Easy steps:
Step 1: Shut Off the Drain
It is important to turn off the faucet and securely close the drain before starting the repair process. This will prevent excess grease from going down the drain and solidifying, which can cause blockages and clog the pipes over time.
In addition, covering the drain in advance can prevent the small screw in the faucet handle from falling into the drain.
The next step is to disassemble the faucet, which can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with its components. To simplify the process, we will break it down into three steps: removing the screw, handle, and brass nut in sequence.
Step 2: Unfasten the screw located on the handle of the faucet
To detach the handle from the valve stem, locate the hole with a set screw, which is usually positioned at the back of the handle but can also be found on the right side.
Next, use a screwdriver of the appropriate size to turn the set screw counterclockwise while applying firm pressure. Keep turning until the screw can be gently pulled out of the handle.
If the set screw is difficult to remove even with forceful pressing, a screwdriver may not be enough. In this case, using a drill may be necessary to unscrew the set screw more forcefully, even at a low speed.
Step 3: Remove the handle by lifting it off
In some cases, removing the handle may be difficult due to the accumulation of calcium mineral deposits. This occurs when hard water causes calcium buildup under the handle, making it almost impossible to remove.
To overcome this issue, soak a piece of cloth in undiluted vinegar or lemon juice and wrap it around the handle for at least two to three hours. The high concentration of acid in these solutions can break down the calcium deposits, allowing you to easily remove the faucet handle.
One common mistake people make during this step is using impure vinegar or lemon juice. Such low-quality products are not acidic enough to dissolve calcium deposits. Therefore, if pure vinegar or lemon juice is not available in your area, you should make your own.
Step 4: Remove the brass nut
Using a crescent wrench, loosen the brass nut located beneath the faucet stem. Once the nut is loose, remove it from the stem.
Step 5: Apply a layer of grease to the internal components of the faucet
At this point, the cartridge, which is the inner part of the faucet stem, can be easily removed. While some people prefer to buy a completely new cartridge to eliminate the squeaking sounds, this may not be the most cost-effective option as a new cartridge can cost as much as 25 dollars and may also start squeaking after a while. Instead, it is recommended to apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the cartridge, which is a much more affordable option at only 4 dollars for a 13 oz jar. The thick consistency and greasy nature of petroleum jelly help to prevent the faucet from making unpleasant sounds, but it is important to use a liberal amount for effective and long-lasting lubrication. Applying a thin layer may lead to the faucet squeaking again, requiring more frequent repairs.
Step 6: Reassemble the faucet handle
To reassemble the faucet handle, start by putting the cartridge back in its original position. Next, place the brass nut around the cartridge and use the crescent wrench to tighten it with as much force as possible. Then, slide the faucet handle over the brass nut and put the screw back in place. Use the screwdriver or drill to turn the screw in a clockwise motion, ensuring the handle is tightened firmly.
Why does my faucet handle squeak when I turn it?
If you hear a high-pitched noise coming from your faucet when you turn the handle, it’s likely caused by the metal threads of the stem rubbing against the faucet’s threads. To fix this issue, you need to remove the stem and apply petroleum jelly to both sets of threads. The greasy texture of petroleum jelly acts as a lubricant, which reduces friction and prevents the stem from binding against the faucet’s threads. By doing this, you should be able to get rid of the squealing noise and make it easier to turn the handle.
What is the best lubricant for squeaky faucet?
The Danco Waterproof Silicone Sealant Grease is an excellent choice for lubricating faucet stems, cartridges, and valves. This type of grease is perfect for reducing friction, providing long-lasting lubrication, and helping hard-to-turn faucets work smoothly. It’s a waterproof silicone sealant that can withstand high temperatures, making it perfect for use in faucets and other plumbing fixtures.
After going through the detailed instructions, you should now have a good understanding of how to fix a faucet handle that is making a squeaking noise. With a little bit of practice, we hope that you will become proficient in this simple and easy-to-follow process.