Why Is My Bathroom Sink Faucet Won’t Turn Off? (Analysis And Fixing Process)

bathroom sink faucet won’t turn off

You woke up in the morning and used the bathroom sink to freshen yourself. Then, you turn the sink faucet to shut it off. Unfortunately, you see the bathroom sink faucet won’t turn off fully. The water keeps flowing.

At this moment, you would like to know why the bathroom faucet stopped working. Also, you will be keen to know the solutions to a bathroom sink faucet that isn’t working. So, why the bathroom sink faucet isn’t working?

There are three main reasons for an incapable sink faucet. Firstly, the faucet handle is damaged, and secondly, the washer of the faucet stem is expired. Thirdly, the handle seat of the faucet requires replacement. Also, debris and residual development around the handle prevent it from working.

You need to inspect the sink faucet closely to determine why it stopped working. Then, enact accordingly to fix the bathroom sink faucet.

The Reasons of Bathroom Sink Faucet Won’t Turn Off

Modern-day bathroom sinks are designed to offer premium comfort and convenience. Thus, they come with both hot and cold water supplies. It is useful when the season changes and requires different water temperatures.

Since the bathroom sink faucet has hot and cold water, it often comes with two handles. As a result, you need to find which handle isn’t working. There can be different reasons for the handle that has stopped working.

So, let’s see it so that you can fix it later.

Bathroom sink hot water faucet won’t turn off?

Hot water supply is necessary during the winter times. Otherwise, you may be unable to use the bathroom sink during wintertime. However, problems start when you see that the hot water faucet stops working. As a result, the water keeps running through the faucet and causes water wastage. But why does the hot faucet water stop working?

There are three main reasons you see the bathroom sink faucet won’t turn off all the way. So, let’s see it.

  • Usually, after years of use, residues and debris grow around the handle. So, it stops the faucet from turning properly. When you keep using the faucet for years and don’t clean it, residues will develop. So, it enforces the faucet from working.
  • Most commonly, the handle of the faucet will be stripped. As it gets damaged, the handle won’t turn entirely. Consequently, you need to replace the stripped handle.
  • The washer of the stem inside the faucet handle works to waterproof and tighten the handle. However, when the stem wears out, it will fail to work. So, you have to replace the washer.
  • Finally, the handle seat has become damaged. So, you must replace the handle seat with a new one to help the faucet turn properly.

As there’re multiple reasons for a bathroom sink faucet not working, you need to inspect it. Once you find the right cause, you can quickly start fixing it.

Bathroom sink cold water faucet won’t turn off?

In the last few decades, cold water supply has become an integral part of the water supply in our homes. Following it, your bathroom sink faucet will also have a cold water faucet. You will see cold water running through the sink faucet when it stops working.

But why the cold water faucet in your bathroom stops turning and water continues to run through it? The reasons are quite identical to the hot water faucet. These include:

  • The handle of the cold water faucet has been stripped. When it happens, you need to replace it.
  • The washer inside the stem has worn out and requires replacement.
  • Finally, you need to replace the damaged handle seat of the bathroom sink faucet.

Now, we know why both cold and hot water bathroom faucet stops working. So, it’s time to see the ways to fix it.

Tips on Fixing Bathroom Sink Faucet That Won’t Turn

It can be a grossing experience to see your bathroom faucet handle stop working. It will waste a massive amount of water. As a result, you must fix the faucet to help it turn properly ASAP. So, let’s get into it.

Step 1: Arrange Everything You Will Need

When you start working with the faucet, you can’t fix it with your hands. Thus, you will need a few tools to fix the faucet handle incapable of turning off entirely. The list includes:

  • Replacement parts for the faucet
  • Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers
  • Allen wrench
  • Plumbing wrench
  • Pliers
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Thread tape
  • Utility knife
  • Rags

You can work faster if you keep all these necessary items to fix the running sink faucet.

Step 2: Start Inspecting The sink Faucet

Once you are ready with all your repairing tools, you need to find out why the faucet is not turning entirely. Before proceeding to the inspection stage, you should turn off the cold and hot water supply lines. For this, reach underneath the sink and turn off the main water supply valve.

Now, look at the handle to see if it has developed residues. Also, consider the handle and its damages. Finally, look at the stem washer and see if it requires replacement. As you find the problem of the always running faucet, you need to enact accordingly.

Fixing The Faucet Handle:

You will most likely see a running faucet because the handle is worn out or damaged. The stem inside the handle controls the water flow. It also allows the water to go into the sink or bathtub. When the handle gets cracked or damaged, it fails to grip the stem. As a result, the stem won’t control the water flow anymore. So, water keeps running through it into the sink.

Here’s how to solve the cracked faucet handle:

  • Wear gloves to work safely. Then, turn off the water supply valve to stop flooding the bathroom floor.
  • Use your phone to capture an image of the faucet and handle. It will be useful for you to buy the right handle for the replacement.
  • You may get the replacement handle from local hardware or plumbing store. Alternatively, you can order it from Amazon.
  • Use the flathead screwdriver to reveal the screw of the handle by prying off the cover plate. Then, remove the handle screw and take off the handle.
  • Now, you should replace the older handle with the new one. Also, turning the handle screw will fix the problem in most cases.

Finally, you can reassemble the sink faucet and handle. WOW, congratulation, you have fixed the faucet.

If Fixing The Handle Doesn’t Work, Replace The Stem and Washer:

When the handle is in good condition, the problem might be with the stem and its washer. So, you must approach to replace the washer.

  • You must turn off the main water supply line as you start working. For this, reach underneath the sink and turn off the valve.
  • Locate the stem inside the handle by removing the handle cap. If you see residual development, use a toothbrush to eliminate the residues. If the debris is hard to remove, apply the distilled vinegar to weaken it.
  • Sometimes the washer may become entirely worn out and require replacement. If it happens, you need to get a new stem and washer and install them.
  • Temporarily, you can wrap the tip of the stem with a plumber’s thread tape to seal the washer. After that, turn the handle to lock it with the stem accurately.

This fixation will work for 1 to 2 years to hold the stem and handle it appropriately. You must replace the handle once the fixation expires.

What If The Handle Seat Requires Replacement?

The handle seat is responsible for holding the sink faucet in its place. When the handle seat gets damaged, you must replace it completely. However, to replace the handle seat, you should call a plumbing professional.

We don’t suggest you try to replace the handle seat at home as it is a costly investment. Call a plumber and let him do the job.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does my faucet keep running after I turn it off?

Answer: Even if your faucet keeps running when you turn it off, the valve may have become leaky. Also, residual development inside the cartridge or worn-out washer will cause the faucet to run after you turn it off.

How do you turn off a bathroom faucet?

Answer: You must fix the stem inside the handle or locking cartridge to turn off the bathroom faucet. Once everything fails, you must replace the faucet. It is required when you have used the faucet for 7 to 10 years which is its expiration period.

How do I know if my faucet cartridge is bad?

Answer: If you see water dripping from the faucet, it alerts you that the faucet cartridge has gone bad. Also, you will find it difficult to adjust the temperature of the water.


You don’t need to panic when the bathroom sink faucet won’t turn off. Usually, you can fix the bathroom sink faucet that won’t turn off all the way quickly. You should check the stem and see if it needs replacement. Also, wrapping the stem with the threaded tape will most times solve it. Otherwise, you should replace the faucet handle. It won’t cost you more than $100.

So, the next time you see water running through the pipe when turning it off, observe the faucet and fix it. It won’t require you more than 10-20 minutes.

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