The process of replacing the handles on a sink faucet involves shutting off the water supply, detaching the handles from the faucet stem, installing any adapters and mounting the new handle before restoring the water supply. Replacing broken or worn faucet handles is a simple repair that may restore a fixture to an operational condition. Handle replacements are also common when remodeling or renovating the interior decor.
Locate the water shutoff valve, which is typically found below the sink. Turn the valve clockwise until tight, or shut off the water supply where it enters the home if the sink valve is not accessible. Remove any decorative cap attached to the handle by inspecting the handle for a small slot along the edge of the cap and then inserting a small flat-head screwdriver in order to pry it off and expose the handle screw. Remove the screw, and unmount the existing handle.
Install any adapters needed to mount the replacement handle according to the manufacturer's instructions. Install an adapter over the faucet stem on models that require one. Position the replacement handles onto the faucet stem, and screw them into position. Replace the decorative cover before restoring the water supply and testing the operation of the new handles.