Kitchen Faucet Won’t Swivel: Top 5 Cause and Quick Fix Solution

Kitchen Faucet Won't Swivel

Kitchen faucets are made to be easy to use and allow you to pour water into the sink from different angles to clean various things. Unfortunately, there may be a complication when the faucet becomes unresponsive and fails to swivel as it should. Consequently, it must be a cause for concern since it hinders the proper movement of the faucet.

However, there are various possible reasons why a faucet may not swivel. One explanation could be an improper installation, while another might be due to blockages in the O-rings or washers. Additionally, worn-out sleeves inside the faucet or scale development could be contributing factors.

In that case, you must first find out why your kitchen faucet won’t swivel. After that, you can quickly troubleshoot the problem to start swiveling the tap in the kitchen sink and using it usually.

Let’s find out the possible reason and solution to the problem immediately.

Why Won’t My Kitchen Faucet Swivel?

Homeowners frequently inquire, “Why isn’t my kitchen faucet swiveling?” when they observe that it is not moving laterally. Consequently, we will discuss the primary reasons for the faucet’s inability to swivel or how to fix it in the sink.

There are mainly five reasons why Kitchen faucets won’t swivel correctly. Have a look.

1. Blocked or Damage O-Ring:

A common cause of a kitchen faucet malfunction is a blocked or damaged O-ring and washer within the faucet and its handle. This can occur when water splashes food particles while cleaning dishes or utensils, leading to a sudden stop in the faucet’s swiveling motion.

The spout mechanism slowly accumulates food particles as you clean food residues, plates, and other cooking items after cooking. Over time, this will cause a buildup of food particles around the handle and O-ring.

If the O-ring is blocked, the faucet will be difficult to swivel. Cleaning the handle and faucet after each use is advisable to prevent residual buildup and O-ring blockage.

2. Incorrect Installation of Faucet:

When you discover that the kitchen sink faucet cannot move horizontally immediately after its installation, it is almost certainly due to an incorrect installation process. Typically, incorrect kitchen faucet installation can occur for four primary reasons.

  1. The plumber has over tightened the spout cap of the faucet 
  2. Sleeve nuts have blocked the sleeve from moving by holding it in its place
  3. Incorrect placement of faucet components is another vital cause of the tap malfunctioning.
  4. Failure to use the exact tool when installing a faucet will cause improper installation.

However, rotate the kitchen faucet to listen for any noises, which can indicate over-tightening of the spout cap.

If this is the case, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the sleeve nut and spout cap by turning them a quarter turn.

3. Hard Water Buildup:

Mineral buildup caused by hard water is a common problem in American households, affecting 80% of homes. This issue can lead to the development of scales around the kitchen faucet and handle over time. As the faucet is used for an extended period, minerals accumulate inside it, forming hard water deposits.

As a result, when the residues and minerals from hard water accumulate excessively, they can damage the swiveling mechanism of your kitchen faucet. It can lead to improper movement of the faucet sideways, resulting in inconvenience during use.

4. Damage Caused by Overuse:

Frequent use of the kitchen faucet can lead to damage to its sleeves. Over time, this damage can make it difficult for the tap to move smoothly from side to side. To ensure the proper functioning of the kitchen sink faucet, it is crucial to check the condition of the sleeves periodically.

Note: If they are damaged, they must be repaired or replaced to avoid further complications.

5. Accumulation of Debris and Dirt:

Another cause of a kitchen faucet not swiveling correctly could be the presence of debris or dirt in the swiveling mechanism. As the faucet is used over time, debris and dirt can accumulate inside the mechanism, leading to difficulty swiveling.

Note: You can disassemble the faucet and clean the swiveling mechanism using a soft-bristled brush and a mild cleaning solution to fix this issue. The process will remove any accumulated debris or dirt, allowing the faucet to swivel smoothly again.

How to Fix a Kitchen Faucet Won’t Swivel Issue (3 Particular Solution)

In our previous discussion, we have highlighted the common causes of a kitchen faucet’s difficulty in swiveling. We’ve got you covered if you’re wondering how to fix a faucet that won’t move. Below, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix a non-swiveling kitchen faucet quickly and easily.

1. How to Repair Moen kitchen faucet that won’t swivel:

Fixing a Moen kitchen faucet that won’t swivel can be a simple process that doesn’t require advanced plumbing skills. Follow these five easy steps to get your faucet moving sideways again.

System 1: Lubricating or Replacing the O-Ring

First, turn off the water supply lines of the Moen faucet. Then, use pliers and an Allen wrench to take apart the kitchen faucet handle and remove the metal collar. Once you can access the O-ring, remove it and check if it needs to be lubricated or replaced.

Next, remove the O-ring and check if it can be used again. If it’s still good, apply silicone grease to lubricate it. Then, put the O-ring back and check if the Moen faucet swivels. Remember to inspect the sleeves and check for any damages.

System 2: Replacing a Damaged O-ring

If you find that the O-ring or seal has got damaged, you will need to replace it. You can get a similar O-ring from any hardware store. However, clean off the spout and handle of the faucet before you replace the older O-ring.

System 3: Check and Adjust the Sleeve Nut and Receptor for Smooth Swiveling

Suppose the O-ring is functioning correctly, and you’re still experiencing issues. The problem could be related to the sleeve nuts in the spout mechanism. To address this, it’s essential to thoroughly examine the nut and determine if it’s been tightened too much. By loosening the sleeve nut, you can allow the handle to move more freely without any obstruction.

For those with a pull-down or pull-out Moen kitchen faucet, you may also need to remove the receptor of the faucet spout. Therefore check for any underlying issues that could be causing difficulties. This additional step can help to ensure that your faucet is working correctly and that the handle can swivel smoothly and efficiently.

2. How to repair Delta kitchen faucet that won’t swivel:

If you have a Delta kitchen faucet that’s stopped swiveling, you can take steps to repair it. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Turn off the water supply to the faucet. You can do this by shutting off the main water lines in your home. Then, unscrew the retaining screw using an adjustable wrench. If there’s a decorative cap covering the screw, remove it to access the retaining screw. Finally, take off the Delta kitchen faucet handle.
  • Next, remove the cartridge or ball of the faucet. To do this, grab the cartridge with an adjustable wrench and remove it carefully. To avoid any damage to the cartridge, it’s best to wrap it with gloves or a towel.
  • Access and inspect the O-ring of the Delta faucet. Check for any grime or residue buildup and clean it off. Apply a proper lubricating agent to the O-ring to help it function correctly.
  • If the O-ring is damaged, you’ll need to replace it. To do this, remove the spout housing of the faucet. You can lift the spout housing to access and remove the O-ring.
  • Purchase the appropriate O-ring from a store and install it in the Delta kitchen faucet. Finally, reassemble the faucet entirely before turning on the main water supply line.

Following these steps, you can fix your Delta kitchen faucet and ensure it swivels freely.

3. How to repair Kohler kitchen faucet that won’t swivel:

If your Kohler kitchen faucet won’t swivel, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and repair the issue:

  • Turn off the water supply before you begin any repair work. You can do it by turning the shut-off valves under the sink clockwise.
  • Next, check the area around the base of the faucet for any debris, such as food particles or mineral buildup. Clean any obstructions with a soft cloth and a mild cleaning solution.
  • Make sure that the mounting of the faucet is secure. Check to see if the mounting nut is tight and if any screws or bolts are loose. If the mount is flexible, tighten the mounting nut and any loose screws or bolts.
  • After that, check the O-ring at the base of the faucet spout. Over time, the O-ring can become worn or damaged, causing the faucet not to swivel appropriately. Remove the tap by unscrewing it from the base to check the O-ring. Inspect the O-ring for any cracks or damage. If the O-ring is damaged, replace it with a new one.
  • Over time, the faucet can become stiff and difficult to swivel. To lubricate the tap, apply a small amount of silicone-based lubricant to the O-ring and the base of the faucet. It should help the faucet swivel more smoothly.

In that case, these steps don’t resolve the issue; it may be necessary to call a professional plumber or the manufacturer for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does my kitchen faucet not swivel?

Answer: The most common reasons for a kitchen faucet not swiveling are residues on the O-ring, damaged washer and sealing, and over-tightened sleeve nuts. It’s important to thoroughly inspect the faucet mechanism to identify the root cause of the issue.

By doing so, you can take appropriate measures to fix the problem and restore the swiveling functionality of your kitchen faucet.

What are the benefits of using WD-40 on a faucet?

Answer: The benefits of using WD-40 on a faucet include lubricating the aerator and O-ring, allowing the faucet to move freely, and reducing noise caused by friction.

How to fix a loose kitchen faucet spout?

Answer: Remove the tap and tighten the mounting nut to fix a loose kitchen faucet spout. First, turn off the water supply. Then, use a Phillips head screwdriver to loosen the screws that secure the tap to the mounting nut. Next, use a wrench to loosen and remove the mounting nut.

After the nut is removed, you can adjust the connection, then reinstall the nut and secure the spout.


Seeing the kitchen faucet won’t swivel can be a cause for panic, but you don’t need to replace the whole fixture. You can instead save money and take on the repair yourself. To make the faucet swivel, lubricate or replace the O-ring, or loosen the sleeve nut. With a few easy steps, you’ll have your kitchen faucet swiveling in no time.

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