Faucets are a key component of your home for a clear reason, they dispense water. Keeping your faucets in good condition is important and can save you a lot of trouble if properly maintained. A number of things can (and will) go wrong with your faucets at home over time, from water leaks to noise. Sometimes, you’ll need to replace a faucet entirely to solve the problem, although a last resort.
A leaky faucet is the most common plumbing problem as well as one of the easiest to repair. However, many people ignore it and leave the dripping faucet unrepaired. That costs money. A steady drip can waste $20 or more in water in a short time. Here are some plumbing tips on how to fix a leaky faucet:
Things to Do Before You Start
• Look underneath your sink & shut off the water under the sink.
• Close the sink drain, then cover it with a rag to catch dropped parts.
• Tape the jaws of your wrench with a layer of duct tape to avoid scratching the fixture.
• Establish a place to lay out parts in order of removal.
• Use distilled white vinegar and a soft scouring pad for removing mineral deposits on faucet parts.
Step 1: Shut Off Water Supply
Shut off water supply, and remove faucet handle held to main body of faucet by unscrewing tiny screw on top or at back of handle. Some screws are hidden by metal or plastic button or disc that snaps out or is threaded. Once you get button out, you’ll see top-mounted handle screw. If necessary, use penetrating oil, such as WD-40, to help loosen it.
Step 2: Remove Handle, and Look at Faucet Assembly.
Remove handle, and look at faucet assembly. Remove packing nut with large pair of slip-joint pliers or adjustable wrench, being careful not to scar metal. Twist out stern or spindle by turning it in the same direction you would to turn on faucet.
Step 3: Remove Screw That Holds Washer.
Remove screw that holds washer. Use penetrating oil, if necessary, to loosen screw. Examine screw and stem, replacing if damaged.
Step 4: Replace Old Washer with an Exact Replacement.
Replace old washer with an exact replacement. Washers that almost fit will almost stop the drip. Also note whether old washer is beveled or flat, and replace it with one that is identical. Washers designed only for cold water expand greatly when they get hot, thereby closing the opening and slowing the flow of hot water. Some washers will work for either, but you should make sure the ones you buy are exact replacements.
Step 5: Fasten New Washer to the Stem, and Reinstall Assembly in Faucet.
Fasten new washer to the stem, and reinstall assembly in faucet. Turn stem clockwise. With stem in place, put packing nut back on. Be careful not to scar metal with wrench.
Step 6: Reinstall Handle and Replace Button or Disc.
Reinstall handle and replace button or disc. Turn water supply back on, and check for leaks.