Dec 4, 2018

DIY: How to Fix a Leaky Faucet in 5 Steps

How to fix a leaky faucet

Drip…Drip…Drip…Drip. Everyone is familiar with that irritating, frustrating and annoying sound of a leaky faucet. More than a nuisance, it could be your faucet warning you of a more serious issue. Water can pool under your sink, and stresses can be put on your plumbing.  Overflows and drain clogs can happen quickly. Your grout or caulk may be breaking down. And of course, structural damage to your home like soaked floorboards and ceilings are always a concern. Listen to the warning signs of the dreaded drip! Learn how to fix a leaky faucet, and you’ll save big money on plumbing issues in the future.

You might be surprised when you learn how to fix a leaky faucet – it’s much more inexpensive and simple than you probably thought.  It doesn’t take much time, and you need just a few household tools and a couple of items from the hardware store.  There are four common types of faucets: Cartridge, Disc, Ball and Compression Washer. The Compression Washer Faucet is one of the oldest designs, and more likely found in older homes.  These are also the most common to cause leaking, so we’ll cover how to fix a leaky faucet, with emphasis on the Compression Washer Faucet.

Step 1 – Turn off your water supply. If the main line isn’t off, you could experience a huge mess and a LOT of excess water.

Step 2 – Remove the pretty handle knobs you spent months deciding upon. Those decorative parts need to be out of the way so you can fix the issues behind them. You should be able to use a simple flat-head screwdriver for this task. Pull the knob off, to expose the screw that mounts the handle to the stem. Use your screwdriver to remove the handle from the stem.

Step 3 – Look for the packing nut (you can’t miss it) and use a wrench to loosen it. Now, you should be able to see the stem and remove it.  Some will come right off with a little tug, while others need a bit of a twist.  Inspect each part as you remove it for damage.

Step 4 – From here, you’ll see the O-ring and washer. This is most likely the cause of your drip leak.  Replace this, but it needs to be an exact fit to properly function. An easy suggestion is to take the O-ring and washer you just removed to your local hardware store. Match that up with a new set in the exact same size.

Step 5 – It’s time to reassemble! Replace the old O-ring and washer with your newly purchased items. Then, reattach the stem, packing nut and handle in that order.  Turn on the water supply and slowly turn your faucet on.  If it’s still dripping, it could be a number of things causing the problem. Work backwards again to make sure each part is tightened properly.  If that still isn’t doing the trick, you could have corroded parts, worn-out seals or a more serious plumbing issue. Should that be the case, it’s time to call in the professionals at Fixd Repair. Schedule and appointment and we’ll take care of that leaky faucet for you.

Leaving a faucet to drip isn’t just a disturbing annoyance – it could be a sign of bigger issues.  Now that you know how to fix a leaky faucet, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and money.  Should your efforts fail to stop the drip, there are professionals standing by to help out.  Pat yourself on the back, no matter the outcome.  You now know how to fix a leaky faucet, DIY style!