How to Make a Faucet Spout Swivel Easily


Even the best high-end kitchen faucet may not swivel easily due to a lack of lubrication, mineral buildup, and worn-out faucet parts, like the O-rings.

A hard-to-turn faucet spout can make your kitchen life uncomfortable.

The good news is that you can make a faucet spout swivel easily. The easiest way is to replace the damaged or worn-out parts of the faucet. Also, lubricate the dry joints and parts.

How to Make a Faucet Spout Swivel Easily

6 Easy & Quick Steps to Make a Faucet Spout Swivel

Advice: Don’t force it to rotate because it can break or crack. Instead, make it turn easily using the following steps;

1. Assemble the Necessary Tools

Necessary Tools to Make a Faucet Spout Swivel Easily

You will require some tools to carry out the procedure. Ensure you have them before you begin the process. They include;

  • A piece of clean cloth
  • A small, straight screwdriver
  • A tube of silicone grease
  • Allen wrench
  • A sponge or spray

2. Switch Off Your Water Supply

Switch Off faucet Water Supply

After collecting all essential tools for the procedure, cut out the water supply to the faucet spout.

You can do it from the valve under the sink. Cut both the hot and cold shutoffs. Alternatively, you can switch off your house’s main water supply line.

3. Take Out the Handle

Take Out Faucet Handle

Remove the handle when you’ve shut all the water pipes to your faucet. First, wear protective gloves. Then cover the sink base with a cloth to prevent any small part you remove from the faucet from going down the drain.

Then look for a little spot on the back of the handle. It contains a set of screws. Use an Allen wrench to screw them out.

Some handles don’t have a screw spot but a small cap. Pop the cap using a small straight screwdriver. Be careful when removing the screws or the cap because it faces the opposite direction and not you. You can easily hurt yourself.

Also, the screws or the cap could have water deposits, making it a bit challenging to unscrew or pop out. In the process, they may tear up. The wrench or screwdriver may also slide when you try to force and injure your hand. That’s where the protective gloves come in handy.

Pull out the handle after popping out the cap or unscrewing the screws.

4. Pull Out The Spout

Pull Out faucet Spout

When you remove the handle, you may find a cap or not, depending on the faucet design you’re dealing with. The cap holds down the faucet sprout in place. If there’s no cap, pull out the spout.

But if there’s a cap, you have to remove it. You can unscrew it using your hands if not screwed tightly. Use a wrench to unscrew a hard-to-unscrew cap. Most caps may look like metal on the outside, but they’re plastic coated with metal. Be careful when breaking them free as they can tear up easily.

Pull up the neck after removing the cap. You can lift the sprout to a level you can comfortably grease the O-rings it seals on. Alternatively, take the neck out and clean it if it’s dirty. Take care not to break it.

You can clean it with a sponge or spray it with a suitable cleaning solution. Then place it in a safe place to dry.

5. Grease the O-Rings and Inside the Faucet Neck

Grease the O-Rings and Inside the Faucet Neck

After lifting the faucet’s neck, grease the two O-rings. One sits on the upper side of the faucet sleeve and the other at its base. Clean them first using a piece of cloth. Then grease them.

Next, grease the places where you attach the O-rings on the faucet neck. Then grease inside the entire neck. Use silicone grease. Regular grease damages the O-rings, which in turn causes leaking.

When you finish, slide the faucet neck back down.

6. Test If the Spout Swivels Easily

Test If the Spout Swivels Easily

Turn the faucet neck from side to side to check whether it rotates easily. Keep on applying more grease until it easily swivels.

A kitchen faucet hard to turn can be a hassle. Knowing the causes of a hard-to-swivel faucet spout can help you prevent some of them. Also, knowing how to solve these problems saves you money and time. The following is an insight into some of the most common causes and how to solve them;

3 Common Reasons Why Your Kitchen Faucet Won’t Rotate

1. Mineral Deposits Buildup

If you’re using hard water, mineral deposits accumulate in several parts of your faucet. Those that accumulate on your faucet mount’s under, and upper sides make it hard to turn. Why? Because it’s where the O-rings sit.

The mineral buildup surrounds the O-rings, making them stiff and tightened. As a result, the O-rings can break. The O-rings seal the faucet’s neck. If they are stiff or tightened, the faucet cannot rotate.

To solve the problem:

  • Take the faucet apart and remove the O-rings.
  • Clean them using a soft bristle brush and a concentrated mineral deposit or regular household bleach cleaner.
  • If the O-rings are damaged, install new ones.

Prevent this problem by adding a suitable water softener to any water going through your faucets.

2. Lack of Lubrication

Your kitchen faucet can be challenging to turn if it does not have enough lubrication. With time, the lubrication within the faucet decreases.

The rate at which the lubrication reduces depends on the faucet’s frequency of use. The more you use the faucet spout, the quicker the lubricant can erode. 

The O-rings stiffen with less or no lubrication. In return, the faucet’s spout becomes difficult to swivel. The solution to this problem is to uninstall the faucet and grease the O-rings inside the faucet neck. Continue applying and testing its rotation until it rotates easily.

3. Worn Out Parts

Hot water and air in the faucet affect the rubber O-rings. They wear out and become stiff, increasing the faucet’s friction. You should replace them with new ones. Otherwise, turning your faucet handle will not be a bed of roses. The hardened O-rings can also cause your faucet to leak.

You now know what’s causing your faucet not to turn or do so with difficulties. The knowledge will help you when fixing the problem. And how do you do it? Here are the steps;

How to Fix a Kitchen Faucet That is Hard to Swivel

Tools Required

  • Allen wrench
  • Channel-lock pliers
  • A small piece of a clean towel
  • Screwdriver
  • Non-petroleum grease

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Source

When you’ve collected all the necessary materials for the job, switch off the water source. You can either turn off the hot or cold valves under the sink or your home’s main water supply.

Then turn on the faucet’s opening valve to drain out any water and air in the faucet. Otherwise, you won’t love it when water spills on you and all over the place during the process.

Step 2: Loosen the Faucet

You will work at ease when the faucet body is a bit loose. Loosen it by unscrewing the nuts that secure it.

To find them, go under the sink and search for the screws that fasten your faucet. Then unscrew them using a screwdriver. You only need a small wiggle room, so don’t unscrew the screws completely.

Step 3: Remove the Handle

Following the loosening of the faucet unit, start removing its parts. The first part to take out is the handle. Begin by searching for the screw that fastens it. In most faucets, it’s behind the faucet and covered by a unique cover. Pop-out the cover using a flathead screwdriver.

Then unscrew the screw securing the handle using an Allan wrench. Next, pull out the handle.

Step 4: Remove the Nut Securing the Faucet Cartridge

After removing the handle, you’ll see a round nut that fastens the faucet cartridge. The material used to make it is similar to the faucet and its spout.

You should therefore twist it by hand. If hard to twist, use a channel lock to twist it. But first, wrap a towel around it to prevent the soft metal from breaking or damaging it.

Step 5: Take Out the Cartridge

When you remove the fastening nut, the cartridge is now visible. Pull it out. You can now see inside the faucet neck.

Step 6: Remove the Sleeve

Remove the faucet’s neck by pulling it and keeping it aside. Because you had loosened the faucet body beneath the sink, another slim plastic sleeve might come out with the faucet’s neck. It’s okay. Remove it also and keep it safe.

Step 7: Remove and lubricate or Replace the O-rings

One reason your faucet cannot turn easily could be damaged O-rings. Check if that’s the situation. If not, check their lubrication.

Take out old, disfigured, or damaged O-rings and replace them with new ones. For those in good condition, apply a non-petroleum grease.

Step 8: Clean the Sleeve’s Base and Lubricate It

When you finish with the O-rings, check where the faucet neck sits. Is it dirty? Does it have any mineral deposits? Wash the area spotlessly clean, then grease it.

Step 9: Lubricate Inside the Faucet’s Neck

Take the faucet sleeve and apply enough grease inside. Then put it back in its place. Remember to put back first the thin plastic sleeve that came out when pulling the faucet’s neck.

Then turn the faucet sleeve to test whether it swivels easily before reinstalling the other parts. If not, you should add more grease to its inside and the O-rings. When the faucet neck can turn easily, proceed to the next step.

Step 10. Put Back the Remaining Parts of the Faucet

Start with the nut that fastens the faucet cartridge. Ensure it tightens adequately before placing the handle. Then fasten the handle screw and return its covering cap.

Go under the sink and tighten the halfway unscrewed screws that fasten the faucet body.

How To Lubricate a Kitchen Faucet

Lubricating a black kitchen faucet effectively entails greasing all the necessary parts adequately. You have to dismantle the faucet to access the O-rings, valves, handle and spout joints, inside its neck, and the valve stems. Sounds hard? No. There’s nothing to it, and it takes a few minutes of your time. Here is how to go about it.

Materials Needed

  • Silicone grease
  • Hex wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • An adjustable wrench

Step 1: Shut Off Your Kitchen Faucet’s Water Supply

It’s the first thing to do because the water in the faucet’s pipe will spill around and distract the process. Your faucet’s hot and cold valves are under your kitchen sink. Switch them off.

Then run the faucet to get rid of any water in the pipe. Turn off the faucet opening and closing valve after all the water drains out.

Step 2: Remove the Handle

Remove the handle after cutting off the water supply lines. Use a screwdriver to remove the cap covering the screw that fastens the handle. It can be at the handle’s behind, bottom, or up. Unscrew the screw using a hex wrench.

Then pull out the handle.

Step 3: Unscrew the Retaining Nut

It’s also known as the retaining cap and rests over the valve. The cap secures the faucet’s bottom unit. Turn it anticlockwise with your hands to remove it. If hard, use an adjustable wrench.

Step 4: Remove the Valve

After taking out the retaining nut, you can see the valve. Some valves easily come out by pulling them straight up. You’ll have to rotate others in the opposite direction to unscrew them out. Use an adjustable wrench to remove a tight valve.

Step 5: Apply Grease

You’re supposed to grease all the joints and moving parts after removing the valve. Begin with the O-rings. Then grease the sleeve base, valve system, and inside the faucet’s sleeve.

Is your Moen single-handle kitchen faucet hard to swivel? You’re not alone. It’s a nagging problem for most homeowners. But with the following step-by-step guide, you’ll know how to fix it.

How to Fix a Moen Single Handle Kitchen Faucet that Won’t Rotate

Like other kitchen faucet types, fixing a non-rotating

Moen’s single-handle kitchen faucet is a doddle. You only need to follow the following steps;

1. Accumulate the Required Tools

You cannot carry out the procedure without the correct tools. Ensure you have;

  • A screwdriver
  • Waterproof silicone loop
  • 3/32 Allen Wrench
  • Sandpaper
  • Toothbrush
  • Emery Cloth
  • Safety goggles
  • Some CLR
  • Grimille tool
  • Kitchen knife
  • Small container
  • Brass brush

2. Close the Water Source to the Moen Faucet and Cover its Drain

After assembling everything you need for the job, close your faucet’s water source. You could do it from your home’s main water source or turn off the hot and cold valves below the sink.

Open the faucet valve to drain any water in the pipe. Then close it and cover the sink drain with its cover or a piece of cloth. It prevents the small faucet parts like screws from going down the drain.

3. Take Out the Handle

The next step is to remove the handle. Begin wearing your eye google to protect your eyes from any flying particle. Then continue by removing the plastic plug that covers the set screw hole using a reliable kitchen knife.

Then insert a 3/32 Allen wrench into the set hole and engage the set screw. It’s a little bit tricky, so take your time. When you engage the screw, turn it anticlockwise until you loosen the screw enough to pull out the handle.

4. Remove the Dome and the Crown Ring

After removing the handle, you’ll see a dome. Pull it to remove it. You’ll then see the crown ring. Remove it also using a screwdriver.

5. Remove the Spray Head

The next step is to remove the spray head. Pull the spray head and unscrew it from the hose.

6. Pull Out the Spout and Fix It

With the spray head out of the way, you can now pull out the spout. Grab it firmly, pull it, and slide it out. Next, investigate its condition. Are there any stains or mineral deposits? Is it corroded on the inside?

Use sandpaper to scratch out the corrosion. If the corrosion is from calcium found in hard water, use the CLC. Put some CLC solution in a small container or glass. Then immerse the spout until it covers all the buildup.

Scrub it with a toothbrush or soft brush periodically until all the buildup is gone. A Dremel tool and a brass brush will come in handy for stubborn stains.

7. Lubricate the Parts and Put them Back

After you’ve cleaned the inside of the spout, you need to lubricate it using a waterproof silicone loop. Then grease the O-ring at the faucet body’s bottom and the entire area it rests. Next, put back the spout after lubricating it and other necessary parts.

Begin by sliding the hose inside the spout, and push the spout down the valve body until firmly fixed. Verify that the spout swivels smoothly.

If the spout rotates with ease, replace the crown ring. Then lubricate the O-ring found on the spout’s upper part, and snap the dome back on the valve body. Next, put the handle back and secure the set screw. Ensure the handle works smoothly.

Afterward, screw the faucet’s spray head onto the hose and slide the nozzle back into the spout. Then put back the screw access cap.

Kohler Single Handle Kitchen Faucet Won’t Rotate – Here’s How to Fix

If your Kohler kitchen faucet doesn’t turn, follow the following steps to repair it.

Required Tools

Before starting the fixing process, collect the required tools for the task. They include;

  • Screwdriver
  • 1/8 Allan wrench
  • A plastic and rubber strap wrench
  • Household soap
  • Toothbrush
  • A clean towel
  • Silicon grease

Step 1: Remove the Handle

After collecting the required tools, remove the handle. You don’t have to switch off the water source when fixing a hard-to-rotate Kohler kitchen faucet.

Begin by popping out the little plastic cover behind the handle’s back using a screwdriver. Then insert a 1/8 Allan wrench into the screw hole and unscrew it. You don’t have to unscrew the screw all the whole way out. Loosen it, and the handle will come out when you pull it.

Step 2: Remove the Cap Covering the Retaining Nut

You’ll see a cover ring or cap securing the retaining nut to its position. Unscrew it off by hand. If you’re having trouble removing it, use a plastic and rubber strap wrench. It’s very cheap and available in the hardware next door. Avoid using an Allen wrench or pliers. They will damage the cap.

Step 3: Pull Out the Faucet’s Housing

After removing the cover surrounding the retaining nut, remove the faucet’s housing by pulling it. But first, unscrew the spray head and pull the hose out a little bit.

There’s no need to remove the retaining nut which contains the cartridge. The faucet’s housing will slip out when you pull it. The O-ring and a white bushing will also come out.

Step 4: Clean the Base, Where the Faucet Housing Sits

Use a piece of cloth, towel, or paper towels to clean the bottom area where the housing rests. Mineral buildups could have been the cause of your Kohler faucet not turning.

Also, clean the rubber O-ring and the white bushing using a toothbrush or soft brush and soapy water. You’ll have to replace them with new ones if they are damaged or worn out.

Step 5: Lubricate the Parts and Put Them Back

Grease all the clean parts with a silicone lubricant and replace them in their removing order. Test if the spout rotates easily before putting back the cap that secures the retaining nut.

If working well, put the handle back on. If not, add more lubricant to the greased areas and parts until the faucet swivels easily.

Key Takeaway

A kitchen faucet may fail to swivel due to various reasons. But the main causes are mineral buildup, lack of lubrication, and worn-out or damaged O-rings.

The solution is to lubricate the appropriate parts and replace the damaged or old faucet parts like the O-ring. Luckily, anyone can do it. First, collect the right task tools. Then follow the guide illustrated above on how to lubricate a kitchen faucet to the latter for optimal results.

Generally, the fixing procedure of a faucet that won’t rotate is similar for most brands.

Lisa Burks

Hi, I'm Lisa Burks, founder of the Sink Formula blog, and plumber of 5 years experience.

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