Many people use their kitchen sink daily, even if they don't cook. It's typically the largest sink in the house, making it convenient for washing hands, cooking, washing “hand wash only” items, and pets.
When an appliance is used this often, it will eventually wear out and break. If you're familiar with all the parts of a kitchen faucet, you can easily identify why water is all over the counter or why the hot water isn't working.
Knowledge is key to saving money when it comes to kitchen sinks. Many kitchen faucet parts are sold at home improvement stores and can be repaired without a plumber.
Even if you don't plan on taking on a DIY repair yourself, take a look at this list containing all the parts of a kitchen faucet so you can familiarize yourself with this versatile appliance.
24 Parts Of A Kitchen Faucet Every Homeowner Should Recognize
The Visible Pieces
These are the parts that you can see when you look at the sink, such as the handle, sprayer, and the faucet itself.
If something on this list breaks, it will be pretty easy for any homeowner to fix, even if you have limited plumbing knowledge.
An aerator is the screen piece where the water comes out of the faucet. It regulates how much water comes out at once by creating multiple streams of water.
Some aerators allow you to adjust the flow and number of streams of water while others have one setting.
The cap is sometimes called a dome, but both terms refer to the same thing. The cap is a piece between the lever and the body and of the faucet.
It covers the pieces that hold everything together so your faucet will have a clean look.
Commonly called an escutcheon, the deck plate is the piece that attaches the faucet to the sink. It's usually long, flat, and rounded on the ends, but it can vary based on the sink.
If your kitchen faucet also has a sprayer, the deck plate will have a hole for it to fit through, as well.
The diverter is a crucial part of the faucet if you have a sprayer. It's located in the faucet's body and redirects the water from the faucet to the sprayer attachment.
This piece can become dirty or clogged and cause the water to be only partially diverted. If water comes out of the faucet while you're using your sprayer, it's probably time to give it a thorough cleaning.
5. Faucet Body
The faucet body is the main piece that water travels through to come out of the spout. The body houses some important pieces and is attached to the cap and lever.
6. Faucet Lever
The faucet lever is the handle you turn the water on and off with.
Some sinks may use knobs that you twist instead of a lever, although these are typically more popular with bathroom faucets instead of kitchen faucets.
Some faucets may be motion-activated and not have a lever at all. Levers are usually small, but some models have more pronounced levers.
7. Hose Guide
The hose guide keeps the hose from tangling and is usually used for sprayer attachments. It has a screw-like piece that's hidden and has a cap with a hole that the sprayer sits on top of.
The visible piece is the cap.
8. Index Button
Index buttons are on the lever and show you which direction to turn for hot water and which direction is cold. Most levers use a single dot, half red and half blue, while others may use the letters H and C.
The letters are more common on knobs, while the colors are typically used on levers.
9. Set Screw
The set screw will be the screw you can see on the lever that holds the lever in place. Depending on which model you have, you will see the screw on the lever's front, back, or side.
The spout is the piece that the water comes out of.
Today, most kitchen faucets have tall spouts that curve downward in a U shape because most kitchen sink tasks are easier when the water comes from directly overhead.
Some sink spouts don't have the U-shaped arm but instead, go up at a diagonal angle until it's tall enough for the water to come out overhead.
11. Spray Hose
The spray hose is how water travels from the pipe to the sprayer attachment and is what will go through the hose guide.
The sprayer is an attachment that allows you to bring the water where you need it.
Some sprayers are attached to the kitchen faucet, while others are separate attachments with their own place in the deck plate. They're usually activated by pressing a button or holding down a trigger.
Sprayers often have a different water pressure than the regular faucet since they're used for power washing tough spots on dishes.
The Hidden Pieces
These are the pieces that are hidden inside the visible pieces or under the counter. Some of them are visible when you open the cabinet doors, and those pieces are typically easier to repair yourself. The smaller pieces within these pieces may require additional knowledge to repair yourself.
1. Adjusting Ring
The adjusting ring is located inside the faucet, where the lever meets the body. It ensures that the joint where different pieces connect is waterproof so leaks don't form here.
2. Ball Stem
A ball stem is used in faucets that use a single lever to control the flow and temperature of water instead of multiple handles or knobs.
The ball stem can move in several directions with the lever to control the water coming out of the spout.
3. Cam and Packing
The cam and packing, or cam assembly, is a piece that fits between the ball stem and the spout of the faucet. It's another piece that's used to control the temperature and flow of water.
If this part needs replacing, you'll need a wrench to fix it. However, you can buy this part by itself in home improvement stores.
4. Cartridge Valve
The cartridge valve is in the body of the faucet. It's a single unit that contains bits and pieces that control the flow and temperature of the water.
You used to have to fix several pieces, but now they come in one cartridge to make replacing it yourself convenient. Cartridge valves must be ordered from the manufacturer since they're made to precisely fit each model.
5. Cold Water Supply
The cold water supply is located under the counter and allows cold water to flow from the pipes and out the spout.
6. Compression Couplings
You'll see compression couplings under the sink. They connect pipes, hoses, and valves to each other and prevent leaks from happening.
Compression couplings allow you to easily connect and disconnect hoses without needing any special tools to do so.
7. Hot Water Supply
The hot water supply is located next to the cold water supply underneath the sink. It allows hot water to flow out of the spout. It's possible for one side to break, resulting in your sink only receiving hot or cold water.
8. Mounting Bolt
The mounting bolt is what's used to secure the deck plate (escutcheon) into the counter. There will be at least two with one on either side of the deck plate, but this can vary across models.
9. Mounting Nut
The mounting nut is what screws onto the mounting bolt to hold the faucet in place.
O-rings are found at the base of the faucet and are used to prevent leaks. They work just like adjusting rings do.
11. Seats and Springs
Seats and springs are spring-loaded pieces of rubber where the ball stem is located. They're held tightly against the ball to prevent leakage when the faucet is turned off.
Washers are between the aerator and spout and help keep the aerator in place.