How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

These steps will help you stop a leaky faucet, no matter if it is a drippy sink spout or a persistently leaky water faucet.

1. Turn off water

Before you do any repairs, make sure that the water supply is turned off. You will find the shutoff valves underneath the sink. They should be turned clockwise to ensure they are tightly sealed. Overtightening could cause injury, so don’t use too much force. You will need to shut off the main water valves if the valves don’t exist under the sink. They are typically located in basements or close to the hot water heater, washer dryer and heat pump. After you have shut the valves off, switch on the faucet to let out pressure and drain any remaining water from the pipes.

2. Get rid of the water!

As you disassemble the faucet you will need to use small screws. You don’t want these screw heads to get lost in the drain pipes. You can avoid disaster by covering holes or using plugs. A rag can be used to push the pipe down.

3. The system is broken apart

You may have to take out the sink’s faucet body depending on the type. However, if the issue is not obvious, then you can remove only the handle. Lowes explained that ceramic disc faucets can be removed by removing the set screw and removing the retainer nut.

The steps for a cartridge faucet are similar but the retaining clip/nut will need to be removed in order to remove the cartridge.

As you take apart the pieces, pay attention to their order. It makes it much simpler to reassemble the parts. You can also take photographs of your work or place the pieces in the same order that you took them apart.

4. All parts should be inspected

When a faucet leaks, seals, rubber washers, or O-rings can often be the problem. You should inspect them for signs of wear, like a worn washer or grooves. Replace them if they are damaged. To ensure that you are buying the correct parts, bring the worn-out pieces to the shop. To avoid future problems, you can replace the faucet with a washerless one.

5. Keep your surroundings clean

This is a great time to clean all parts and prepare them for reassembling. After parts have been removed, make sure to clean the seals and interior tubes. You should inspect the seat of the valve for any mineral deposits. This could lead to the washer not being flushed and causing leaks. Clean the surface with a damp cloth and soak it in white vinegar to loosen any mineral deposits.

6. Assemble the faucet

Those pictures from earlier are very useful here. You can reverse the process of removing the faucet and assemble it using the tools you have. Do not force the parts or push on the faucet.

7. Check the water flow

After you have completed the repairs, turn on the water again. You make sure your faucet is turned on and then turn it back on slowly. It can cause further damage, including cracking of the ceramic disc, if the faucet is set to the “off” position. Allow the water to flow until it is normal.

Replace instead of repairing

It’s a smart idea to replace an older faucet with a newer cartridge model if it is causing you problems. It’s best that you call a professional plumber if the source of the leak is not obvious or it takes too much time to fix it.

It is always good to be prepared for any home maintenance problems. 

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