Kitchen Sink Sprayer Is Stuck

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Most people think a sprayer is great for cleaning or washing dishes, but it is possible to develop kitchen sink sprayer problems.
Image Credit: drewhadley/iStock/GettyImages

Most people think a sprayer is great for cleaning or washing dishes, but it is possible to develop kitchen sink sprayer problems. These problems can range from a kitchen faucet stuck on spray mode to a sink sprayer that's vibrating.


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Usually, kitchen sink sprayer problems are caused by an issue with the spray nozzle or a problem with the diverter. The spray nozzle can be fixed easily, but checking the faucet diverter requires a little more work.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable pliers

  • Needle nose pliers

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Penetrating oil

  • White vinegar

  • Silicone faucet grease

  • Allen wrench

Step 1: First Thing’s First

Turn off the hot and cold water at the shut-off valves located under the sink. If there are no shut-off, you can turn the water off at the main shut-off valve located where your water pipe enters the house. This will turn off the water to the entire house. Turn the kitchen faucet handle to the "on" position to drain water from it.

Step 2: Fixing a Kitchen Faucet Stuck On Spray Mode

If the trigger of the sink sprayer is stuck on, work a flat-head screwdriver under the handle of the spray nozzle and push down on the spray button to stop the nozzle from spraying. If you can't get the spray button to move, put some WD-40 or other penetrating oil on the button and press the trigger several times to make it slide in and out easier. If this seems to work, turn the water valves back on and test it.


If your kitchen faucet is still stuck on spray mode or your kitchen sink sprayer vibrates, the problem is with the diverter, which diverts water from the faucet to the sprayer and is located inside the faucet. Turn the water valves back off. Loosen the handle set screw with an Allen wrench and remove the handle to access the faucet cap. Turn the cap counterclockwise with adjustable pliers and remove it, exposing the faucet cam.

Lift the cam and ball assembly from the faucet. Remove the spout by working it back and forth as you lift to prevent damage to the O-rings. Remove the diverter, located at the front of the faucet stem, with a pair of needle-nose pliers.


On a two-handle faucet, the spout does not need to be removed. The diverter is located under the cap at the back of the spout and can be removed by turning it with a flat-head screwdriver.

Step 3: Finishing Up

Clean the diverter by soaking it for a few hours in a bowl with a mixture of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup water. After it's cleaned, place the diverter back into the body of the faucet. Apply silicone faucet grease to the O-rings, then put the spout back on by working it back and forth as you push it onto the faucet body. Replace the cam and ball assembly, followed by the faucet cap. Turn it clockwise until it is hand tight, and then tighten with adjustable pliers.


Reinstall the faucet handle and tighten the set screw with an Allen wrench. Then, turn on the hot and cold water supply valves. While testing to make sure your kitchen sink sprayer problems are solved, check the faucet for leaks.



Gary Sprague

Gary Sprague, Master Plumber

Gary Sprague is a retired master plumber who now works as a writer. He lives with his family in Maine.