How to Repair a Leaky Faucet

How to Repair a Leaky Faucet

Drip. Drip. It’ll drive you nuts and could increase your water bill significantly if the leak is bad enough. The homeowner can easily fix many plumbing fixtures with just a few tools. Instead of calling a plumber, you can repair a leaky faucet yourself with a few tools. You will need a common screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, slip joint pliers, penetrating oil and replacement washers. If you don’t have slip-joint pliers, an adjustable wrench will also work.

Step 1: Turn of the water supply. If the sink doesn’t have a shut-off valve, turn the water off at the street. The valve at the street may be the type you can turn by hand or you may need a water meter tool. If the valve has a square or rectangle piece of metal on top of it, you need the tool or a pair of long-handled pliers or slip joint pliers.

Step 2: Turn the water in the sink on to make sure all the water is out of the pipes for that sink. Plug the sink so that anything you drop – screws, washers – don’t get lost down the drain.

Step 3: Remove the screw from the center of the handle with the appropriate screwdriver. You may have a common or flathead screw or a Phillips screw, depending on the type of faucet you have. If the faucet has two handles, remove the screw from each handle. You may have to soak it with penetrating oil to get the screw to loosen up. Don’t force it. Allow the oil to soak in for 10 minutes, then try again. Repeat two or three times, if necessary. If the screw is damaged when you remove it, replace the screw. If the stem is damaged, replace the stem.

Step 4: Replace the old washer with a new washer. If you have a double faucet, replace the washer on both sides. The washer must be an exact fit, or it won’t stop the leak. Make sure the washer is the same type that you take off the faucet, whether flat or beveled. The washer simply slides onto the stem.

Step 5: Screw the stem back into place by turning it clockwise. Put the handles back on and tighten their screws snugly. Do not over tighten the screws, as you could strip the screws or damage the handles.

Step 6: Turn the water supply on and check for leaks.

Should you need external help, do a search on the internet for a plumber service. The plumber would be able to assist you at an affordable cost.