How to Get Stripped Screws out of a Faucet

One of the first steps in the process of making any repair to a faucet is to remove the handles.

On a standard faucet, the handles are secured to the valve stem with a screw. Over time, and with use, minerals from the water can corrode the screw and cause it to strip when you attempt to remove it. Removing a stripped screw from a faucet is accomplished with the proper tools and procedure in less than half an hour.

Select a drill bit that is the same size as the screw that is stripped. Install the drill bit into the chuck at the end of the drill. Some drills have a key that is used to loosen and tighten the chuck, and some chucks are operated by hand.

Hold the drill so that the bit is completely vertical to the screw in the handle. Squeeze the trigger and guide the drill into the cavity of the faucet handle as it drills through the screw. Drill out the screw until you can remove the handle.

Stuff a piece of steel wool into the screw hole at the top of the valve stem with a Phillips screwdriver. Turn the steel wool in the screw hole with the screwdriver to remove any residual particles of steel from the screw hole.

Spray lubricant into the screw hole in the top of the valve stem to help prepare it for a new screw when the handle is reassembled.

Things You Will Need

  • Electric drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Steel wool
  • Spray lubricant

About the Author

Damon Koch has years of writing experience ranging from software manuals to song lyrics. His writing has appeared in software manuals for Human Arc and on the CDs "Small Craft Advisory" and "Impersonating Jesus." He also has worked in building maintenance since 2004. He has attended Lorain County Community College as well as Cleveland State University.