How to remove the handle of a faucet

In order to be able to carry out repairs on a fitting in the bathroom or in the kitchen, it usually has to be dismantled a little. The cartridge, for example, the heart of the widespread single-lever mixer taps, is located under the handle. We'll show you how to dismantle it below.

Why pull off the faucet handle?

A frequently used utensil such as a bathtub, washbasin or kitchen sink mixer needs a little maintenance every now and then. Especially with very hard tap water, deposits not only develop on the outside of the tap body. Internal components such as the cartridge or the diverter valve in bathtub fittings can also show functional impairments due to limescale residues.

The handle must be removed especially for repairs to or replacing the cartridge, which is responsible for regulating the temperature and flow rate of single-lever mixer taps.

In this way, the handle can be removed from the fitting

The cartridge always sits under the handle base. The handle lever must therefore be removed. To find out where and how it is screwed on, you may have to do a bit of research. As a rule, there is a fastening screw at the bottom of the front of the handle base under the lever. It can be accessed in different ways. For example:

  • inside under a handle plug
  • behind a cover
  • directly through a slot

It may be that the fastening screw concealed inside the handle body lies behind a handle plug that is inserted in the hole on the front of the handle base. In order to get to the screw, such a plug must be pressed in. You can easily do this with a suitable Allen key.

Sometimes the hole for the screw access is also covered with a small round cap, which with its half-sided red and blue color also indicates the lever orientation for hot and cold water supply. Such a cap can usually be pried off with a slotted screwdriver.

In the case of some single-lever mixer taps, the screw access is not covered at all and simply appears in the form of an open slot.

Loosen the screw and pull off the handle

The screw itself usually has a hexagon socket, so it can be loosened with an Allen key. The screw sizes can vary between approximately 2.5 and 4 mm.

After the screw is loosened, the handle can be removed. If it doesn't move, it's usually simply due to the calcification. With a square piece of wood attached to the lower edge, you can usually loosen it with a few targeted knocks.