A leaking kitchen sink faucet can prove annoying and costly if your water bill starts to rise. Luckily, the fix is usually simple if you have a few simple tools. It also helps to know what type of faucet you have, as that determines how the fix is performed.

Single lever faucets are popular in kitchens because a single handle moves from left to right to switch the water temperature. The single lever is easily operated with the back of your hand while cooking, which is why it is such a kitchen staple. Faucets are further defined by the operating mechanism inside the faucet. Ceramic disc-style faucets have a ceramic disc with holes that allow for water to pass.

If you have a leaking single lever, ceramic disc-style kitchen faucet, here is how you can try and fix the annoying problem.

What You Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Clean kitchen sponge
  • Replacement disc seal, if needed
  • Plumber's business card, if needed

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Shut off the water supply to the faucet using the shutoff valve under your sink. Raise the lever and allow the water currently in the faucet to drain out completely. Put in the sink stopper as a precaution against any dropped and lost screws.

Locate the screw that holds the faucet cap onto the faucet. Remove the screw and place it safely to one side where you can easily locate it again. Pull off the cap and place it next to the screw.

You should now see a large nut, which you can unscrew with a wrench, remove, and place aside.

Step 2: Remove and Replace the Seal

Below the nut is the ceramic disc assembly, which is topped with a rubber seal. Remove the assembly from its hole by removing its retaining nut or screw. Pry the seal away from the top of the assembly by placing your screwdriver just under the edge of the seal and popping it up. Check the seal for any signs of damage, or you can simply replace the seal without checking. Replacement seals can be found in the kitchen supplies aisle at the hardware store.

Clean the top of the cartridge using a lightly dampened, clean kitchen sponge. Attach the new rubber seal, if using, and press down firmly to ensure the seal holds. Place the cartridge back into its hole and replace the nut or screw to hold it into place.

Step 3: Reassemble the Faucet and Test the Water

Reattach the nut and the faucet cap. Leave the lever pushed up when you turn the shutoff valve back on and turn the valve slowly so as not to damage the ceramic. Let the water run for a few seconds before turning off the lever and checking for leaks.

If you fixed the leak, your job is done for the day. If the faucet is still leaking – or no water came out at all – you might want to call in a plumber for some backup.