How to Fix Squeaky Faucet: A Step-by-Step Guide
A squeaky faucet can easily be one of the most annoying plumbing issues in your home. Hearing that irritating creak every time you need to use the running water can just about drive a person crazy.
If you’re unfamiliar with plumbing or have never worked on a sink before, you may be confused about how this happens:
- Why does your faucet start to squeak after a while?
- What parts of the faucet are making those sounds?
- Can anything be done about it?
- Will I have to be plagued by this dreadful squeaking forever?
Luckily, fixing a squeaky faucet is much simpler and more straightforward than you’d think. Even if you have no experience with even minor plumbing, the instructions should be relatively easy to follow.
Here are eight steps to getting your squeaky faucet back to normal. If you follow these simple directions, you will fix your sink in no time, and you can return to a state of calm, quiet, and peace of mind.
Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with Your Faucet
Faucets come in all different styles and designs, so first, it’s important to see what kind of faucet you have. Make sure you understand what parts are involved and where they are located.
When it comes to faucet handles squeaking, this is most often caused by the handle turning against the handle stem without any lubrication to help it. So you’re going to want to get a good look at the handle and what parts are holding it into place.
We’ll go into more detail about removing the handle in later steps. If you find yourself working with a nonstandard model or you can’t determine what parts you’re looking at, call the experts at All Dry USA for assistance.
Step 2: Diagnose the Problem
It’s good to have a clear understanding of what your problem is before you get started removing any parts from your sink. Do some troubleshooting early on to make sure you’re addressing the right issue.
If the squeaking noise only happens when you are actively turning your faucet handle, as in when the handle is turning on the stem without lubricant, you should be all clear to move on to the next steps lubricate the stem.
However, if you hear squeaking or other strange noises at other times, or if the handle is having additional problems besides just making noise, you may want to do further investigating before you proceed.
Consult with the professionals at All Dry USA if you are unsure about the diagnosis.
Step 3: Gather the Proper Equipment
Once you’ve determined that your problem is definitely a squeaky handle that needs lubricant, it’s time to gather all the tools and materials you’ll need for the job.
The tools that are essential to removing the faucet’s hardware to allow access to the handle stem are the following:
- A screwdriver
- A wrench or pliers
- A lubricant of your choice
Make sure to check the screws ahead of time so you can see if you’ll need a Phillips head or a flat head screwdriver. We also recommend plumber’s grease as the best lubricant for this task.
If you’d like to make your job a little easier, you could also use:
- A drill
- A screw extractor
- Extra screws
These are not absolutely necessary but can save some time and effort.
Step 4: Remove the Faucet’s Cap
Now that you understand the problem and have all the equipment you need, it’s time to get to work. The first thing you need to do is remove the faucet’s cap to expose the hardware underneath it.
To do this, all you need to do is pry the cap off using gentle pressure. It helps to stick the end of the screwdriver under the cap to loosen it up and push it off.
If the cap is still affixed too tightly to remove, you can use some pliers to loosen it. Just grip it with the pliers and rotate it clockwise. One way or another, the cap should come off sooner or later.
Step 5: Remove the Screw and the Knob
The next step is to remove the screw under the cap so that the knob can come undone. All you need to do is use your screwdriver and turn the screw clockwise until it comes completely out of the socket.
Feel free to use a drill or screw extractor if you have them, as these will make the unscrewing go by much faster. However, it’s perfectly feasible to do this step by hand.
Be sure not to discard the screw! You’ll need it again later. Alternatively, you can replace it with a brand-new screw to ensure that it will hold.
Step 6: Apply Lubricant to the Handle Stem
Now that you have removed the cap, screw, and knob, it’s time to lubricate the handle stem. This will effectively stop the squeaking, as it will provide less resistance when the handle rotates.
Apply the plumber’s grease or your lubricant of choice liberally to every visible area of the stem. It’s that easy!
Step 7: Replace the Knob
Now that the stem has been properly lubricated, all that’s left is to reattach all the handle parts. Put the knob back in place and set the screw inside the channel. Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise to affix the screw in place.
You can expedite this process by using a drill but it is still perfectly feasible to do by hand.
Step 8: Replace the Cap
Now, all there is left to do is put the cap back on! You won’t need any screws or tools for this—just place it over the knob and apply pressure with your hands until it snaps into place.
You may need to turn the cap clockwise to tighten it. And that’s it!
There you have it! Getting your faucet to stop squeaking really is that easy!
Still haven’t managed to get rid of the dreadful squeak after all that work? Or does your faucet have another problem that’s complicating the situation?