Fix broken sink sprayer

A kitchen pull-out sprayer can be an invaluable tool at the sink when washing or rinsing dishes. For years, sinks have come with sprayer kits that fit into sink cut-outs and have coiled up hoses that connect easily to kitchen plumbing. But what happens when a kitchen sprayer leaks or if water stops coming out effectively? Well, as with everything, you either fix your kitchen sprayer or replace it with a new one. Here, we’ll cover some of the common problems associated with broken sink sprayers and how to fix them.




Kitchen sprayer hose leaks or is stiff and cracked
When you have this problem with your sprayer hose, it’s time to replace the hose. You can simply buy a whole new sprayer kit (which comes with a new hose), or you can replace only the hose with a new nylon-reinforced vinyl one. First turn the water shutoff valves under the kitchen sink. Then, using a basin wrench, loosen the nut connecting the sprayer hose to the boom of the faucet. You might find it easier to cut the hose first to get it out of the way. Then remove the spray head by unscrewing it from the coupling. Take the head and the old hose to the hardware store to make sure the new hose will fit. Also, pick up a new washer for the spray head.

To install the new hose, start at the attachment under the faucet. Wrap some pipe joint (teflon) tape on the male threads, then screw on the hose coupling nut and tighten it with your wrench. Bring the other end of the hose up through the precut hole in the sink and slide on the coupling, retaining ring, and washers (or plastic rings). Apply pipe joint tape to the male threads of the sprayer head and attach it to the coupling ring on the hose. Turn back on the water supply and test your sprayer with its new hose.

Sprayer head leaks
A leaking kitchen sprayer should be fixed soon after it starts. This will help your water bill and of course, save water. To fix, first close the shutoff valve under the sink to turn off the water supply. If the sprayer head leaks where it is connected to the hose, unscrew the head from the hose coupling and replace the washer in the head (there may be two). Also, make sure that the retaining ring that holds the coupling onto the hose is properly seated in the groove on the fitting at the end of the hose.

If your sprayer leak is coming from the nozzle, remove the nozzle from the head. On certain models, you’ll need to pry off a small cover over the screw. On other types, the whole nozzle housing screws onto the sprayer head. Carefully remove the parts. You should find either a standard washer or two, or a flexible seat. Replace these and reassemble.

Sprayer won’t spray
If your sprayer looks fine, but isn’t spraying anymore, or is only letting out a weak drip of water, then try the following. If you have hard water, the head may be clogged with minerals. Wrap a rubber band around the handle to keep it in the open position, and drain all the water form the hose. Fill a small glass with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Let the spray nozzle soak in the solution for a couple of hours. You may also try products like CLR or Lime-Away. Then, with hot water, try to use the sprayer. If the clog remains or the spray is inconsistent, take the nozzle apart and examine the perforated disc inside. Remove any debris with a pin or small wire. Reassemble the nozzle and test the sprayer again.

If your sprayer is still clogged, the problem is probably in the diverter valve under teh spout. Turn off the water supply and remove the spout. Most often you’ll need to remove a nut at the base (for dual-handled faucets), and unscrew the diverter from the top. Or you will have to remove the spout sleeve (for single-handled faucets) and pull the diverter out from the side of the assembly. Use a wire to clean debirs out from the inlet holes, or soak the assembly in a solution of vinegar and water (1:1 ratios). Then reassemble. Now try your sprayer and see if you’re back in business.

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