When you do repair work on sinks, you may run into a stripped faucet seat. The faucet seat is the part that provides housing for the valves, and it commonly deteriorates with wear and tear. The corrosion and damage make it difficult to turn, often causing the leak. In most cases, you should be able to fix the problem yourself by following these steps.

Prepare to Remove the Stripped Seat

To remove stripped faucet seats, gather:

  • rubber work gloves
  • flashlight
  • sponge
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • pliers
  • adjustable wrench or locking pliers 
  • hammer
  • penetrating oil (optional)
  • seat wrench (optional)

Turn off the water supply from the valves under the sink, or turn it off at the main water supply. Open a tap close by to relieve water pressure. 

Remove the Faucet Handle

To expose the faucet seat, you will need to remove the handle. If the faucet has a decorative cap, pry it from the handle by hand, or slide a screwdriver blade under it, then lay the cap aside. 

 Detach the screws with the screwdriver, and pull the faucet handle form the stem. Use the wrench to remove the hexagonal nut, turn the stem in 'on' direction, and pull it from the faucet with the pliers.

Fix the Valve Seat

Shine a flashlight on the valve seat. If it is dirty, scrub the debris with a damp sponge to view the seat, since some are not removable. Inspect the faucet for worn threads on stems and damaged washers.

A valve seat with a perfectly round hole in the center cannot be removed using a wrench, and seats that have a square or hexagonal hole are replaceable.

Mist the seat on the top perimeter where it screws on the faucet body with oil, and let it stand ten to twenty minutes. Insert the tip of a screwdriver that is slightly larger than the hole into the seat, and gently tap the screwdriver. 

Hit it hard enough to make the screwdriver tip go halfway into the hole, but don't hit it too hard. Grasp the screwdriver tip protruding from the hole with the adjustable wrench or locking pliers. 

Hold the screwdriver using one hand and the screwdriver handle with the other, then try to turn the seat. Remove you hand form the screwdriver once the seat has loosened. 

If hitting it from the top doesn't work, apply more oil, and try inserting the tip into the side of the seat. You may need to use a seat wrench when other methods fail. A seat wrench has a hexagonal tip and a square tip. For non-removable seats, replace the whole faucet or stem. Contact a service, like Marcum Plumbing Services, Inc., for more help.