For any non-professional, removing a faucet handle without screws looks like a hard task but this guide is going to make it easy. Many faucets don’t have visible screws to give them a sleek and modern look, but how do you remove a faucet handle when there isn’t a screw? More often than not, there is a screw there, it’s just hidden. Once you know where to look, removing a faucet handle is straightforward.
You will need a few simple tools to remove a faucet handle with no visible screws. The method depends on the faucet handle but there’s usually a screw hidden underneath a cap. Remove the cap and use an Allen wrench to remove the screw then pull the handle away.
5 Reasons to Remove Kitchen Faucet Handles
There are many reasons why you may need to remove a faucet handle:
To clean it
You cannot thoroughly clean a faucet handle unless you remove it. Distilled white vinegar cleans any stains and mineral deposits that are blocking the faucet drain. A good clean will improve the efficiency of the faucet.
It is leaking
By removing the faucet you can check the O ring and compression valve seat to see if they need replacing. Once you know which part of the faucet has become worn or damaged, you can fix the problem and stop the leak.
The filter needs replacing
The filter traps contaminants to stop them from passing through the faucet. Maintaining filters is necessary to keep them in tip-top condition. Replacing a faucet filter is a common job that ensures the filter is doing its job.
The cartridge needs changing
A faulty or worn cartridge is usually responsible for water pressure problems. If you are finding the water pressure is not up to par then switching the cartridge can solve the issue. Replacing a cartridge is an inexpensive task.
To replace the faucet handle
Maybe it’s just time for an upgrade. Faucet handles can become worn or dated so you may just want to replace them with a newer version.
Tools Required to Remove Faucet Handles
- Flathead screwdriver
- Hex/Allen wrench
- A cloth
- White vinegar (for cleaning mineral deposits)
How to Remove Faucet Handle (6 Easy Steps)
Step 1: Shut the Water Supply Off
Before you do anything, let’s avoid a flood in the kitchen by turning off the supply of water. This is a simple precaution, removing sink faucet handles while the water is on shouldn’t be a problem. However, a broken or defective cartridge will result in a sudden fountain of water that can really dampen your home repair spirit. We like to turn the water off just in case. It’s quick and easy to do and prevents problems.
Turn the water supply off with the shut off valves under the sink. You can also turn off the mains supply if you’d prefer. If you look under the sink, there should be two shutoff valves, turn the handles for these clockwise as tight as they go. After you have done this, turn the handle to check if the water is off. There will be a small amount of water initially as this will be the water that is already in the pipes. If there is still water coming out of the faucet, it could mean malfunctioning or worn out valves. In this case, it is worth replacing the valves.
Step 2: Close or Cover the Drain
Once the water is off and the faucet has stopped dripping, put a cloth over the drain to avoid losing screws or tools down the drain.
Step 3: Find the Cap
While there are no visible screws on your faucet, there is usually a removable cap on the top or on the side of the faucet. Most faucets have the screws where you would expect them to be but they are covered with a cap or plug. Look carefully to find the ring or button cap.
If you can’t find a cap, your faucet may not have one. Find out what kind of faucet you have as this will help you to determine how to remove it.
If there is no cap and no set screw on the side of the faucet, you may have a friction fit faucet handle. In this case, you can take off the faucet handle with a gentle pull, if this doesn’t work hold the faucet tightly and turn the base of the handle counterclockwise to remove it.
Step 4: Take the Cap Off
The cap can be gently removed with a flat-head screwdriver. It should just pop off and underneath you’ll see a hidden set screw.
Step 5: Remove the Set Screw
Now you have found the hidden screw it is time to remove it. Use an Allen wrench to do this. This is the screw that holds the handle in place.
Step 6: Remove Faucet Handle
With the screw now removed, the faucet handle can be gently pulled off. Wrap the bottom of the handle in a piece of cloth and use the pliers to pull the handle off. The cloth is there to make sure the tap doesn’t get scratched.
With the faucet handle now removed you can move onto cleaning, repairing or replacing the faucet. At this stage, you can clean the faucet to remove mineral deposits or any stains that have built up over time. Distilled white vinegar tends to be effective for this.
If the cartridge needs replacing, you can do that now if you have a replacement faucet cartridge. Make sure the water is off before doing this, once you remove the cartridge there is nothing stopping water from pouring out if it is not shut off. The process is quick and easy, you simply need to remove the nut, retaining clip, O-ring and then replace the cartridge.
If any of the other parts need cleaning or replacing, now is the time. Once you have cleaned, fixed or replaced all the parts that need it, you can reassemble the faucet.
This Should Help You Remove the Following Screwless Faucet Handles:
Moen Faucet Handle
Most faucets made by Moen feature a screw under the main handle cap or the red/ blue plug button. The cap can be pried off and then use a 7/64” hex wrench to remove the screw. Once the screw is removed, take out the retainer nut and remove the faucet handle from the base by pulling.
If your Moen faucet has a screw in the back of the handle, this can be loosened using a 3/32” hex wrench.
Delta Faucet Handle
There is usually a set screw on Delta faucets that holds the valve stem. This can be difficult to find but if you look under the decorative cap it should be there. Once the cap is removed, use a hex wrench to undo the nut and then the handle can be removed. It is quite common for the screw to be tight, if this is the case apply a small amount of lubricant such as WD-40 to help loosen it.
American Standard Faucet Handle
An American standard faucet handle usually has a set screw at the base of the handle facing the sink. This can be removed with an Allen wrench; once the screw is out the faucet handle can be removed by pulling it upwards.
Hiring a plumber can be expensive, even if the job is simple. Fixing the problem yourself can save you money and there is very little that can go wrong when removing faucet handles with no visible screws. Once you have found the hidden faucet handle screw, it takes a few simple steps to remove the handle. If your faucet handle is completely screwless then a gentle tug will remove it from the base.