How Do You Remove A Screwless Faucet Handle?

Sometimes you may need to remove a faucet handle to change the filter or troubleshoot a leakage issue. Other times you may simply want to replace the faucet completely. But how do you do this if the handle has no screws? We've looked into the best method to remove screwless faucet handles, and in this post, we will share it with you.

Here are the steps to remove a screwless faucet handle:

  1. Gather your tools
  2. Find the faucet cap
  3. Remove the cap
  4. Turn off the water
  5. Remove the inner set crew
  6. Take off the faucet handle
  7. Clean the faucet handle

Some bathroom faucets may come screwless to offer aesthetic appeal. At first glance, figuring out how to remove the faucet handle may seem a bit daunting. Continue reading to learn the basic steps to remove a screwless faucet handle quickly.

Flowing water from faucet in kitchen with green wall, How Do You Remove A Screwless Faucet Handle?

Steps to Remove A Screwless Faucet Handle

Flowing water from faucet

For the most part, you can remove screwless faucet handles similarly. If you are unsure how to unscrew the handle, it's best to check the user's manual of the faucet if you still have it available. You can also find the manual online if you can't locate it.

Things you'll need:

  • A handle puller set
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Clean cloth
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Allen wrench
  • Distilled white vinegar (or metal cleaner)

1. Gather your tools

Gather your tools and place them on the side or top of the sink's vanity. Also, make sure that the faucet itself is turned completely off.

2. Find the Faucet Cap

Often, screwless faucet handles will come with a button or a cap usually located on the faucet's top or side.

3. Remove the cap

Once you locate the cap, take a flat head screwdriver and carefully insert it into the gap in the middle of the cap, and gently work it around the edge until the cap pops out. Take the cap and set it aside so that it doesn't fall down the sink's drain. Use caution when removing the cap, as they are known to crack rather easily.

Read the details about this flathead screwdriver on Amazon.

4. Turn Off The Water

Before removing any other components, turn off the water supply line that is connected to the faucet. You can do this by locating the valve beneath the sink and turning the lever to the right-be sure to turn it until you cannot turn it anymore. You can also do this by turning off the water to the entire building, which is usually located in the basement.

Next, turn on the faucet handles again and let any remaining water out so that the system releases any water pressure trapped in the line.

5. Remove The Inner Set Crew

After you remove the cap, you should see an invisible set screw beneath its location. Take your screwdriver and remove the set screw. It's helpful to put a rag or paper towel in the sink before performing the step to prevent the screw from falling down the drain, which happens frequently. If you lose the screw, you won't be able to re-attach the faucet handle. For this step, you can use an Allen wrench or a spanner.

Check out this Allen wrench set on Amazon.

6. Take Off The Faucet Handle

After you untwist the set screw, Grab a rag or towel wrap it around the bottom of the handle to avoid scratching it before its removal. Next, gently grab and remove the faucet handle from its position. It's best to do this with a faucet handle puller or a pair of pliers, as you'll need a firm grip to get it to wiggle it out of its position.

Check out this faucet handle puller on Amazon.

7. Clean The Faucet Handle

Now that you have the handle removed, take your distilled white vinegar or metal cleaner and apply it to your cleaning cloth to remove any grime, hard water stains, or other debris that may have collected around the faucet edges. You'll also want to take this time to check the faucet for any cracks in the cartridge, which can potentially cause leaks in the future.

Find distilled vinegar on Amazon.

How do you remove a stripped faucet handle?

Sometimes a faucet handle can become stripped when attempts to remove it have caused the set screw to lose its grip. However, this doesn't mean that it can't be removed; it just means that you'll have to use a different method to do so. Here's a method that you can use to remove a stripped faucet handle.

Here are the tools you need for this job:

  • Electric drill with a cobalt bit
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Rag or clean cloth

Step 1 - Attach your drill bit

The drill bit you'll need for this application will depend on the faucet you have. However, you'll likely need a cobalt, Phillips, or Allen-head bit for this task. Make sure that the bit is just large enough to fit securely inside the stripped faucet head.

Step 2 - Drill into the screw

Take your drill and drill through the center of the screw head until your drill bit is slightly below it. Next, remove the drill bit and replace it with one that is the same diameter as the screw. Now position the drill over the hole you just made and drill it into the screw again. The drill should cover the head of the screw completely. Next, take the drill bit out of the drill.

Step 3 - Remove the faucet handle

Take a rag or clean cloth and place it around the edge of the faucet. Next, grab your needle nose pliers and place a firm grip on the faucet and slowly pull it away from its position. You may need to jiggle the faucet from side to side to break it out if its set screw connection, so be sure to use caution when performing this step. Take the pliers and grab the end of the remaining set screw to twist it up slowly and out of the faucet.

How do you reverse a faucet handle?

Water tap with modern design in bathroom

Sometimes a faucet handle may be installed backward by an inexperienced plumber or DIYer. However, the faucet can be reversed in a matter of minutes. Here's how to perform this quick fix.

Here are a few things you'll need for this task:

  • Screwdriver
  • Clean cloth
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Slip-joint pliers or adjustable wrench
  • Allen wrench (optional)

Step 1 - Turn off the water

Turn off the water supply beneath the faucet or cut it off at the home's water supply. Next, place a cloth or stopper in the drain to prevent loose parts from falling into it.

Step 2 - Remove the inside screw

Use your flat head screwdriver to remove the decorative button or cap on top of the faucet. Next, loosen the set screw inside the handle with a small screwdriver. Hold the handle to the cartridge stem with a pair of needle-nose pliers and slowly wiggle it out of its position. Use caution when removing the handle so that you do not scratch the surface with your pliers.

Step 3 - Take out the cartridge

Now take your needle nose pliers or an adjustable wrench and remove the nut on the cartridge. Once the nut has been removed, grip the cartridge by the stem firmly and take it out of the valve. You'll need to exercise caution during the step to prevent cracking the cartridge with the pliers. Using a gentle back and forth rocking motion can help to loosen it from its position.

Step 4 - Re-align the cartridge

Once the cartridge is out, rotate it 180 degrees so that the two tabs are aligned with the slot on the body of the valve. Next, place the cartridge back inside the valve and secure it in place. If there is a retaining ring there, be sure to thread it on securely and then place the faucet handle back on top of the cartridge stem. Lastly, secure the handle in place with the set screw and then place the decorative cap back on top of the screw.

Step 5 - Turn the water valve back

Turn the water back on and test the faucet to ensure that it's working properly.

How do you loosen a Moen faucet handle?

Often you'll find that Moen faucet handles can be loosened by simply popping off the decorative cap on top of the handle and then unscrewing the set screw beneath it. To do this, you need either a hex wrench or a Phillips screwdriver.

Wrapping Things Up

Removing a screw loose faucet handle is a fairly straightforward process. The most important thing to remember is to exercise caution when gripping the handle with pliers to prevent damage to the handle.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

Are All Bathroom Sink Faucets The Same Size (Universal)?

Are Showerheads Universal?

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