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Old 02-03-2016, 08:03 PM   #1
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How do I tighten a loose water knob?


Hopefully, this is an easy fix I'll feel silly for asking about. I had a towel get caught on a knob and now it's pretty loose. I popped off the cap, and am wondering how I go about tightening this? My sinks have the same style handles and have have a screw under the cap.

Here's the tub knobs under the cap:





For reference, here's the sink knobs:



Any thoughts?
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:00 PM   #2
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It looks like you broke the head off the screw that holds it to the stem. Does the handle come off?

If the handle comes off, take it off and see if the remains of the screw are still in the stem. If they are, hold the stem with a wrench and try to unscrew the remaining screw with pliers.
Then go to a hardware store, get a screw that matches the one in the good faucet, and you're done.

Do you know the manufacturer of the faucets? If the screw is broken flush with the top of the stem, you might have to replace the stem. You could try drilling out the remainder of the screw but that's tough to do on small screws without wrecking the threads.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:59 PM   #3
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I'll have to mess with it tomorrow. I didn't install it so I can't say if it's broke off or not. That was my first thought too, what's throwing me off is the two knobs on the tub are identical like that, while the four sink knobs all have heads.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:12 PM   #4
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Can you remove the handle of those faucets just by unscrewing them (turn them all of the way left until they stop, then gently start to unscrew), or by simply lifting them straight off the stem?

Try this gently. I have a reputation of tearing things out of fixtures, so be careful.

It doesn't look like a set screw. It might have a split spring, but that would be strange too.

I'm sticking with the theory that the screw heads broke off at some point. It doesn't make sense that the same style handle would use a different fastening system.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:33 PM   #5
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Bad Bird:

Take a compact mirror and look under the handle for a set screw holding the handle on.

If you find a set screw, be sure to put the plug in the drain before you start trying to remove it. You don't want to drop anything into the drain because then a small problem becomes a much bigger one.

Faucet manufacturers don't make their faucets a puzzle for DIY'ers to figure out. If there is a set screw holding that handle on, then it'll most likely be under the handle. If there's no set screw there, check around the rest of the handle. If you don't find any set screw, the handle should loosen up if you wiggle it a bit.

Sometimes faucet handles can "seize" onto the cartridge stem that they mount on and be quite difficult to remove. You can buy a faucet handle puller to remove stuck handles for about $5, but I don't know how well they'd work on your style of handle.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 02-04-2016 at 10:49 PM.
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