Kitchen Tap Leaking At Swivel? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

From time to time, you may notice that the tap in your kitchen sink is leaking. The unfortunate thing is that your tap has different components, so the leak could come from any of those. In particular, you may notice that the leak is originating at the point where the tap swivels.

If this is the case, it is important to determine the cause of the leak. Generally, this is due to the seal kit being defective or broken. The spout seal kit will need to be replaced. If that doesn’t solve the issue, then you may have to replace the entire spout.

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Why is the Swivel on My Tap Leaking?

The main reason that the swivel portion of your sink’s tap may be leaking is due to the spout seal kit. The purpose of the spout seal kit is to create a leakproof and waterproof seal that prevents water from leaking out.

When water does manage to find its way through the swivel, the primary reason is because the sprout seal kit is damaged or broken. Try replacing this first and foremost. If you notice that the leaking in this area persists, you may have to replace the spout entirely.

Why is the Mixer Tap Leaking from the Base?

When your mixer tap becomes cracked or worn over time and frequent use, water can begin to seep down along the surface of the body and out of the bottom of the unit when your valve is turned on. There are times, however, where leaks can be caused by an inner cartridge that has worn down.

In most cases, the fix can be as simple as changing out the O-ring. Try to replace that first and see if it fixes the leaking issue. If not, it could be one of the other components of the faucet leaking. You’ll need to check those out individually or replace the faucet as a whole.

How to Fix a Leaky Kitchen Faucet

Performing do-it-yourself repairs is a relatively easy endeavor. All it takes is the right parts, a couple of tools, and about an hour of time to implement the repairs. Follow this step-by-step guide and you should be able to solve most leaky faucet issues.

Step 1: Examine the Source and Cut Off the Water

As mentioned previously, a leak can come from a number of different spots with a leaking faucet. Instead of wasting the time taking apart the entirety of the faucet, take a look around to identify the source of the leak.

Leaks around the base of the spout, for instance, will require a different process of repair than some of the other components like the end of the spout. When you feel confident that you have identified the source of the leak, turn the water supply off so that you don’t get sprayed with water when you start taking things apart.

Step 2: Begin Disassembly

Whenever you are taking things apart, it is a good idea to denote the order and orientation of the parts as you begin to remove them. Far too many do-it-yourself tasks have gone awry because the person didn’t know how to put things back together. Use a camera if you must, just make sure you know how to return things back to their proper order.

Disassemble your faucet, carefully inspecting the interior portions for any deterioration or deposits of minerals. Many times, a leak is caused by these two things and the latter can simply be wiped away using a fine abrasive pad or a cloth. For any mineral deposits, you can try soaking them in vinegar first.

Step 3: Clear Plugs and Inspect the Pieces

One of the most common reasons that your sink may be leaking is because of a plugged hole somewhere in the body of the faucet. Try using a penknife or a small screwdriver to dig them out and free the hole.

You will also need to inspect the various components of your faucet during this step. You may notice worn rings or other components; worn components will need to be replaced in just about every instance.

Step 4: Reassembly

When you feel confident that you have addressed all of the potential issues, it is time to start reassembling your faucet. Make sure that you follow your instructions or photos closely to ensure that it is put back together properly.

When the faucet has been completely reassembled, open up your faucet to its middle position and then slowly open up each of the shutoff valves so that the water turns on. Leave the faucet open to ensure that the water flows properly out of the faucet and that all of the air has been released from the pipes.

If water flow out of the faucet is still slow here, there is a chance that your aerator may be plugged up. You’ll have to remove that, clean it out, and try everything again.

How Do You Seal the Base of a Faucet?

If you notice that there are slight leaks coming from the base of the faucet, you can seal them in a few different ways. The first is to roll out a piece of plumber’s putty until you get a rope that is about 3 inches in thickness.

Apply that putty to the bottom of the faucet’s base all along the edges. Make sure that you use enough of the putty as you need to cover the entire edge of the faucet’s base. The putty, when it adheres and dries, should work to stop the leaks.

Should You Caulk Around a Kitchen Faucet?

Generally speaking, most faucets come with a rubber gasket that is meant to prevent leaking. In some cases, that gasket may not be there or may be faulty entirely. If this is the case, you can use caulk to seal the faucet.

Lightly apply the caulk around the base of your faucet and wipe away any excess to ensure that the water is unable to leak out.

Why is My Tap Leaking from the Top?

You may notice that your kitchen tap is starting to leak around the top (the shroud). The most logical explanation for this is that the O-ring or gland has been damaged and isn’t sealing properly. Locate the small screw that is either underneath or on the side of the cold/hot cap.

You can also try to seal the leak off by tightening the gland nut. If it is stripped or damaged, you’ll want to replace the nut entirely to prevent further leaking.

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Downsides of a Leaking Tap

While a leaking tap isn’t particularly dangerous, it can cause some major inconveniences. Whenever leaks are allowed to persist, they can permeate into your cabinetry and other areas of the kitchen, causing water damage along the way.

When water is allowed to pool, it can begin to erode joints and eat way at silicone. If this wasn’t bad enough, germs can begin to fester, and you could even be looking at a mold problem in the worst-case scenario. It goes without saying that you want to nip the problem of leaking in the bud as soon as you can to prevent further damage and a lot of money spent.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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