My faucet handles are stiff or difficult to operate

Hey there, we’re sorry to hear that you’re having issues with your Pfister faucet. We know it’s frustrating when something doesn’t work how it’s supposed to, but the good news is that there may be an easy fix to get you back up and running.

Review the information below and follow the links to find your specific model if you need to figure out what parts you need to order. And if at any point you feel lost, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service reps to help walk you through it.

Handles are Stiff Or Difficult to Operate

Problem: My handle(s) are hard to turn

Solution: Remove build-up within the handle.

Turn Off Water

Turn Off Water

Let's start by turning off the water supply to your faucet.

Remove The Handle

Remove The Handle (set screw)

There are two ways to remove your handle, depending on how it was manufactured.  If you feel a hole behind the handle at the base, you have a set-screw design.  Use a 3/32'' allen wrench to loosen the set screw and remove the handle. 

Removing Handle Hub

Removing Handle Hub

If there is no set screw hole, your handle will simply twist off.  Remove the handle hub by turning the handle hub (or base) counter clockwise.

Remove Water Build-up Within Handles

Remove Water Build-up Within Handles

Now that the handle is off, we can try and isolate the problem.  Using the handle assembly that you just removed, work the handle back and forth in your hand (while uninstalled). If the handle is stiff to rotate without the cartridge, then it is possible there may be some build-up within the handle preventing it from rotating smoothly.  Try soaking your handle in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water for 30-60 minutes to see if this helps clear the build-up.

Remove The Handle

Call Pfister

If your handle moved freely when separated from the cartridge, or if you soaked it, reinstalled and it is still difficult to turn, you may need a new cartridge.  We're here to help.  

Call us at 1-800-PFAUCET (1-800-732-8238) or
Send us your question.

In the meantime, you can speed up your call experience by using our online catalog search tools on this website to identify your product - just click on BATHROOM on the menu at the top of the page.  Tip: if your faucet is more than 5 years old, toggle the "show discontinued" button to make sure you are seeing every relevant style.  We have many cartridges and providing your service representative the faucet style name or model number will speed up your call.

If you need to replace a part...

Find your faucet to view a full parts list

View all possible matching faucets to find your specific model. Then view the full parts diagram to identify the correct part numbers to order.

Find your product

Contact us to help ID your faucet for you.

If you’re not sure what to do next, send us a photo of your faucet and we’ll identify it for you. We can usually get you an answer within 24hrs.

Contact Pfister

Still Have Questions?

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