Step 2: Remove the handle

unscrewing a single-handled kitchen faucet with a cartridge under the handle
Photo: Craig Raine
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To figure out the next step, "look at the faucet and try to understand how it was put together, then go in reverse," advises Richard. This single-handled kitchen faucet has a cartridge under the handle. The cartridge has holes that mix the hot and cold water to deliver different temperatures depending on how the handle is turned. If it’s worn or cracked, water will seep through to the spout. To remove and replace it, Richard first uncovers it by using a pocket knife to pry off the decorative plastic cap—similar to those on two-handled "hot' and "cold" units—to expose the screw that holds the handle in place. Richard removes the screw; then he gently wiggles the handle back and forth to loosen it and slides it off.
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    Tools List

    • pocket knife
      Pocket knife, used to pry off the plastic cap)
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Screwdriver, for removing the screw that holds the handle in place)
    • adjustable pliers
      Slip-joint pliers, to unscrew the bonnet and grip the stem)
    • needlenose pliers
      Needlenosed pliers, for grabbing the retainer clip)

    Shopping List

    1. Faucet Replacement Cartridge (Bring the old one to the store with you to match it.)

    2. Valve O-Rings, if necessary

    3. Plumber's grease, if replacing the O-rings