How to Tighten a Bathroom Faucet: 4 Easy Steps

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Did you know that, on average, a leaking faucet costs you 20$ a month? To make matters worse, a leaky faucet is only a symptom of an even bigger problem — leaking pipes, which can cost you up to 600$ a month. Fortunately, you don’t need to call a professional to tighten a loose faucet. Find out how to tighten a bathroom faucet with these quick and easy tips. 

Turn off the water supply and cover the sink drain. You should then dismantle the faucet using a screwdriver. Remove the screws on the faucet handle and access the cartridge. Clean the cartridge, then tighten all the parts you removed properly.

When a bathroom faucet starts leaking, it can waste a lot of water. This can force you to pay a higher water bill than what you may be used to. Even if you have a quality bathroom faucet, it may start leaking at one point. Knowing how to tighten it without any help can prevent water wastage. Here is more!

What can make a bathroom faucet start leaking?

One of the reasons why the bathroom faucet can start leaking is when the cartridge is faulty. This part is located inside the faucet’s handle. The cartridge helps control the water flow. Since it is often made from plastic, it can easily break down and make the bathroom faucet start leaking.

Apart from a faulty cartridge, the bathroom faucet can also start leaking if the valve seats corrode. The valve seats are the components that connect the faucet to the tap. Water contains different natural minerals that can build up on the valve seats. This makes the valve seats corrode, leading to a leak.

Washers hold the valve seats in position. The constant friction from the water that flows through the tap can make the washers corrode. If this happens, you may notice some dripping around the faucet’s spouts. To fix this problem, you should consider replacing the washers with new ones. Take note that installing the wrong-sized washers can make the bathroom faucet continue leaking.

How can you tighten a bathroom faucet?

Turn off the valves

The valve is usually found at the bottom of the faucet.
Always ensure that the valves are turned off before you begin fixing the faucet.

Before you start working on the faucet, you should first turn off the water supply. Follow the pipes at the back of the sink until you locate the water valves. These are found in a cabinet down the sink. Turn off the valves clockwise so that you can cut off the water supply. If you overlook this step, the bathroom can flood with water fast.

Use a rag to cover the sink drain

When fixing a leaky faucet, always make sure to cover your sink drain with a rag.
Cover your sink drain with a rag to prevent small screws from falling in.

For you to tighten the bathroom faucet, you have to work with some small screws. These can easily fall into the sink drain if you start the task without covering it first. You can remove the rag once you have tightened the bathroom faucet.

Dismantle the faucet

You need a screwdriver to dismantle the bathroom faucet. The screwdriver can help you remove the caps on the top part of the sink handle. Do this until they are loose. Be careful with this to avoid scratching the caps. Beneath the cap you have removed, you will notice a screw on the top part of the faucet handle.

Put the tip of your screwdriver into the slots of the head screws and turn it counterclockwise to loosen them. Once you have removed the screws and faucet caps, you should place them in a safe place, such as inside a bowl, so that they don’t get misplaced.

Access the cartridge

You should now have access to your faucet cartridge and inspect it for damages.
Inspect the cartridge for any dirt or abrasions and wipe them off.

You should then inspect the cartridge to find out if it is causing the bathroom faucet to leak. Since you have already removed the screw, you should lift off the bathroom faucet handle from the base with ease. Place the handle in a safe place to prevent it from rolling away. Once you do this, you will notice the nut that holds the cartridges in position.

Unscrew this nut using a wrench that is covered with duct tape. Turning it counterclockwise should loosen the nut. You can unscrew it further with your fingers before lifting it off. You should also remove any plastic clip that may be holding the cartridges in position using needle-nose pliers.

Assess the exposed cartridge and check how it sits inside the faucet handle’s body. You should find square latches that can help you secure the cartridge in the right position. If you notice any dirt or abrasions that could be causing the leaks, you should wipe them. Once you do this, you can now reinsert the cartridge into the bathroom faucet. Tighten all the parts that you removed and test the faucet to see if the leak is gone.


Every homeowner experiences a leaky bathroom faucet at one point. If you can relate, you need to identify the cause of the problem and try the steps above to tighten the bathroom faucet. If the task is too challenging, feel free to call a local plumber.


How can I properly install a replacement cartridge into my bathroom faucet?

Ensure that you align the square protruding tab on the replacement cartridge with the hole in the faucet handle. Place the nut on the cartridge, then tighten it by turning it clockwise using channel lock pliers.

Can I clean the bathroom faucet using steel wool?

No. You should avoid doing this. Instead, use a soft cloth and mild soap to get rid of any dirt off the faucet.

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