How To Remove Faucet Handle Without Screws :A Complete Guide

Table of Contents

Introduction of How To Remove Faucet Handle Without Screws

How to remove faucet handle without screws is a valuable skill for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. In many cases, handles are secured without visible screws, and understanding the proper removal process can save time and prevent damage to the faucet. This guide will take you through step-by-step instructions to efficiently remove a handle without the presence of screws.

how to remove faucet handle without screws

Safety Precautions

A. Shut off water supply

Before attempting any faucet repair or removal, it’s crucial to turn off the water supply. Locate the shut-off valves under the sink or near the faucet and ensure they are fully closed. This prevents water from flowing while you work, reducing the risk of leaks and accidents.

B. Turn off water heater (if applicable)

If your faucet is connected to a hot water supply, consider turning off the water heater to avoid any accidental burns or scalding during the removal process. This precaution ensures your safety and contributes to a smooth and worry-free handling procedure.

Tools Required

A. Adjustable wrench

An adjustable wrench is a versatile tool that allows you to grip and turn various nuts and bolts. It’s an essential tool for loosening components of the faucet handle securely. Choose the appropriate size for the nuts and bolts you encounter during the removal process.

B. Screwdriver (flathead or Phillips)

Depending on your faucet type, a flathead or Phillips screwdriver may be necessary for specific tasks. This tool is vital for removing screws, clips, or other fasteners holding the handle in place.

C. Allen wrench (if applicable)

Some faucets use Allen screws to secure handles. Having a set of Allen wrenches ensures you have the right size to fit these screws, facilitating a smooth removal process.

D. Plumber’s tape

Plumber’s tape, also known as Teflon tape, is essential for ensuring a watertight seal when reassembling the faucet. Applying this tape to threaded connections helps prevent leaks and enhances the overall performance of your faucet.

Identify Faucet Type

Identifying your faucet type is crucial as different faucets have unique removal methods. The four common types are compression, cartridge, ball, and ceramic disk faucets.

Look for Hidden Screws

A. Check for decorative caps or buttons

In some cases, decorative caps or buttons may conceal hidden screws securing the faucet handle. Carefully inspect the handle for any elements that seem removable or out of place.

B. Inspect handle for any discreet screw covers

Examine the handle for any covers or inserts that might be hiding screws. Some handles have discreet screw covers that can be pried off with a flathead screwdriver, revealing the screws beneath.

Determine Removal Method

A. Compression faucet – Loosen the packing nut

For compression faucets, start by locating the packing nut just below the handle. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the packing nut by turning it counterclockwise. Once loosened, you can proceed to remove the handle.

B. Cartridge faucet – Remove retaining clip or nut

Cartridge faucets often feature a retaining clip or nut that secures the cartridge in place. Use pliers or a screwdriver to remove the clip or nut, allowing you to access and extract the cartridge.

C. Ball faucet – Detach the cam and packing

Ball faucets have a cam and packing that need to be detached. After removing any decorative components, unscrew the cam and packing, allowing you to lift off the handle easily.

D. Ceramic disk faucet – Unscrew the set screw

For ceramic disk faucets, a set screw holds the handle in place. Locate the set screw, usually positioned beneath a decorative cap or button, and use an appropriate screwdriver or Allen wrench to unscrew it, facilitating the removal of the handle.

Use Penetrating Oil (if necessary)

A. Apply penetrating oil to loosen any corrosion

In case the faucet handle is stubborn due to corrosion, applying a penetrating oil can help loosen the components. Use a small amount of penetrating oil on the threads and let it sit for the recommended duration as per the product instructions.

B. Let it sit for a recommended duration

Allow the penetrating oil to work its magic by letting it sit for the recommended duration. This gives the oil enough time to penetrate and break down any rust or corrosion, making it easier to turn and remove the handle.

Apply Pressure

A. Use adjustable wrench to turn the handle counterclockwise

With the appropriate tools in hand, use an adjustable wrench to grip the handle securely. Turn the handle counterclockwise to apply steady and controlled pressure. The goal is to loosen the handle without causing damage to the faucet or surrounding components.

B. Use steady and controlled force to avoid damage

Avoid using excessive force, as this can lead to damage or breakage of the faucet handle or other parts. Apply steady and controlled force, periodically checking the progress to ensure you’re moving in the right direction.

Use a Faucet Puller (if required)

A. Position the puller over the handle

In cases where the handle is still resisting removal, a faucet puller can be employed. Position the puller over the handle, ensuring it is securely attached to provide even pressure during the removal process.

B. Tighten the puller to exert even pressure

Tighten the faucet puller gradually to exert even pressure on the handle. This tool is particularly useful when dealing with stubborn handles that may not yield to conventional removal methods. The even pressure helps prevent damage and facilitates a smoother removal process.

Remove the Handle

A. Continue turning until the handle is free

As you apply pressure and use the necessary tools, continue turning the handle counterclockwise until it becomes free. Once you’ve successfully loosened the handle, carefully lift it off the faucet stem, exposing the inner components for inspection or replacement.

B. Set aside the handle for inspection

After removal, set the handle aside for closer inspection. Check for any visible damage, corrosion, or wear that may indicate the need for replacement or repair. Cleaning the handle at this stage can also contribute to a more efficient reassembly.

Inspect and Clean

A. Check for any damage or corrosion

Thoroughly inspect the exposed components, including the faucet stem and handle. Look for signs of damage, corrosion, or wear. Identifying and addressing these issues during the removal process ensures a more effective and lasting repair.

B. Clean the exposed parts thoroughly

Before reassembly, take the time to clean the exposed parts of the faucet. Use a brush or a cloth to remove any accumulated debris, mineral deposits, or grime. A clean surface promotes smoother operation and helps prevent future issues.

Replace Parts (if necessary)

A. Replace damaged components

If your inspection reveals damaged or worn-out parts, it’s essential to replace them before reassembling the faucet. Purchase the appropriate replacement parts, such as O-rings, cartridges, or washers, to ensure the faucet functions optimally.

B. Apply plumber’s tape to ensure a secure fit

When replacing components, apply plumber’s tape to threaded connections to ensure a secure and watertight fit. Wrapping the threads with plumber’s tape helps prevent leaks and enhances the longevity of the repair.


A. Put the handle back in place

Once you’ve replaced any necessary components, carefully put the handle back in place. Align it with the faucet stem and gently press it down. Ensure that it sits securely and level on the stem.

B. Tighten all components securely

To complete the reassembly, use the appropriate tools to tighten all components securely. Pay attention to retaining clips, nuts, or set screws, ensuring each part is snugly in place. This step is crucial for the proper functioning and longevity of your faucet.

Turn On Water Supply

A. Gradually open the water supply

With the faucet successfully reassembled, gradually open the water supply by turning the shut-off valves beneath the sink. This allows water to flow through the faucet and prepares it for testing.

B. Check for any leaks

As you turn on the water supply, closely monitor the faucet for any signs of leaks. Check around the base of the handle and the spout, ensuring that all connections are watertight. Promptly address any leaks to prevent water damage.

Test the Faucet

A. Turn the faucet on and off to ensure smooth operation

Test the faucet by turning it on and off multiple times. Ensure that the handle moves smoothly without sticking or grinding. This step verifies that the reassembly was successful and that the faucet operates as intended.

B. Check for any unusual noises or issues

Listen for any unusual noises, such as rattling or whining, and observe the faucet for any unexpected issues. Identifying and addressing these concerns during the testing phase ensures a thorough and effective repair.


In conclusion, knowing how to remove a faucet handle without screws is a valuable DIY skill that can save you time and money on repairs. By following the outlined steps, you can confidently tackle this task, addressing issues with your faucet and ensuring its optimal performance. Regular maintenance and proper handling contribute to the longevity of your plumbing fixtures, allowing you to enjoy a functional and leak-free faucet for years to come.

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