How To Fix A Faucet That Won't Turn Off

How To Fix A Faucet That Won’t Turn Off

To fix a faucet that won’t turn off, first, shut off the water supply and then replace the faulty cartridge or washer. A faucet that won’t turn off can be a common plumbing issue that can be fixed by following simple steps. 

It’s important to act quickly to prevent water wastage and potential damage to your plumbing fixtures. We’ll discuss how to troubleshoot and fix a faucet that won’t turn off, providing you with the necessary guidance to tackle this problem effectively. 

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a homeowner facing this issue for the first time, these steps will help you address the problem and regain control over your faucet’s functionality.

Diagnosing The Issue

Diagnosing the issue when your faucet won’t turn off is the first step to resolving the problem. Identifying the underlying cause will help you effectively troubleshoot and fix the issue. In this section, we will cover the key steps to diagnose the issue with the faucet that won’t turn off.

Checking For Water Pressure

One of the common reasons for a faucet that won’t turn off is high water pressure. Elevated water pressure can put excessive force on the faucet’s internal components, resulting in difficulty in turning off the water flow. To check for high water pressure, you can use a pressure gauge that attaches to a hose bibb or faucet. Ideally, the water pressure should be around 40-60 psi. If the pressure exceeds this range, it could be the cause of the problem.

Inspecting The Faucet Handle

The faucet handle plays a crucial role in controlling the water flow. Over time, handles can become loose, worn out, or damaged, preventing the faucet from turning off properly. Inspect the handle for any signs of wear, corrosion, or loose connections. Sometimes, a simple adjustment or tightening of the handle may resolve the issue. If the handle is damaged, it may need to be replaced.

Identifying The Problem

When you encounter a faucet that won’t turn off, it can be quite frustrating. Before you can fix the issue, you need to properly identify the problem. This involves searching for leakage points and examining the internal components to determine the root cause of the malfunction.

Searching For Leakage Points

Leakage points are the most common cause of a faucet that won’t turn off. Start by looking for any obvious leaks around the faucet spout, handles, or base. Additionally, check under the sink for any signs of water accumulation or damp spots that could indicate a leak. Use a flashlight to thoroughly inspect the area, looking for any drips or streams of water. Make a note of any visible leakages to help pinpoint the source of the problem.

Examining Internal Components

Internal components could also be the culprit behind the issue. Begin by turning off the water supply to the faucet. Next, disassemble the faucet handles and spout to access the internal components, such as the cartridge, O-rings, or valve. Carefully inspect these parts for any signs of damage, wear, or debris that may be obstructing their function. Look for mineral buildup, corrosion, or cracks that could be preventing the faucet from shutting off properly.

Fixing The Faucet

Faucets that won’t turn off can be an annoying and potentially costly issue to deal with. If you’re faced with a stubborn faucet that refuses to shut off, don’t worry – you can fix it with a few simple steps. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of fixing a faucet that won’t turn off.

Shutting Off The Water Supply

If you haven’t already, the first step in fixing a faucet that won’t turn off is to shut off the water supply to the affected faucet. Locate the main water supply valve and turn it off. This will prevent water from flowing and allow you to work on the faucet without any unexpected leaks.

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Disassembling The Faucet

Once the water supply is turned off, you can begin disassembling the faucet. Start by removing the faucet handle to access the internal components. Use a screwdriver or Allen wrench, depending on the type of handle, to loosen and remove the handle. After the handle is removed, you will have access to the cartridge or stem, depending on the faucet type. Carefully remove the cartridge or stem, taking note of the order and orientation of the components as you do so.

Replacing Faulty Components

If your faucet is refusing to turn off, the culprit is likely a faulty component that needs to be replaced. Fixing a faucet that won’t turn off involves addressing specific problem areas, such as changing the O-ring and installing a new cartridge. By addressing these components, you can restore your faucet’s proper functionality and say goodbye to the constant drip that’s driving you crazy.

Changing The O-ring

One common cause of a faucet that won’t turn off is a deteriorated or damaged O-ring. You can fix this issue by following these steps:

  • Shut off the water supply to the faucet.
  • Remove the handle and unscrew the bonnet to access the O-ring.
  • Examine the O-ring for any signs of damage, such as cracks or wear.
  • If the O-ring is damaged, gently remove it and replace it with a new one of the same size and shape.
  • Reassemble the faucet, turn on the water, and check for leaks.

Installing A New Cartridge

If changing the O-ring doesn’t solve the issue, the problem might lie with the cartridge. Follow these steps to install a new cartridge:

  1. Close the water supply to the faucet.
  2. Take off the handle and bonnet to access the cartridge.
  3. Remove the old cartridge by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Insert the new cartridge following the manufacturer’s guidelines and reassemble the faucet.
  5. Turn on the water supply and check for any leaks or dripping.

Finishing Touches

After carefully reassembling your faucet and ensuring that all components have been properly installed, it’s time to test for proper functionality. Follow these steps to ensure that your faucet turns off smoothly without any leaks or issues.

Reassembling The Faucet

When reassembling the faucet, it’s crucial to pay attention to the order and positioning of the components. Start by carefully placing the faucet handle back onto the stem. Tighten the handle screw securely using a hex wrench. Next, reattach the packing nut and the decorative cap, making sure they are firmly in place.

Testing For Proper Functionality

Once the faucet is reassembled, it’s time to test it for proper functionality. Turn the water supply back on and slowly open the faucet handle. Check for any drips or leaks around the handle or the base of the faucet. If there are no leaks, turn the faucet off and observe if the water flow stops completely. If the faucet continues to drip or the water flow doesn’t stop, it may indicate an underlying issue that requires further attention.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why Is My Faucet Not Turning Off Completely? 

If your faucet won’t turn off, it could be due to a worn-out washer or a faulty cartridge.

How Can I Fix A Faucet That Won’t Turn Off?

To fix a faucet that won’t turn off, first shut off the water supply, disassemble the faucet, and replace the faulty components.

What Are The Common Reasons For A Faucet Not Turning Off?

The common reasons for a faucet not turning off include worn-out washers, damaged cartridges, or mineral build-up in the faucet. 


Fixing a faucet that won’t turn off requires attention to detail and knowledge of the underlying issues. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can effectively troubleshoot common problems and restore your faucet to proper working order. 

Remember to check for leaks and test the functionality to ensure a successful resolution. With the right approach, you can tackle this issue with confidence.

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