Plumbing Fix #5: How to Fix a Dripping Faucet
If you’re sick of the constant sound of a dripping faucet, take control of the situation and repair it yourself! Depending on the type of faucet you have, the process of fixing a leaky faucet is fairly easy.
Repairing Leaking Compression Faucets:
These older type faucets use a rubber washer to stop the flow of water, which can wear out over time.
To replace the washer on a compression faucet:
- Turn off the water to the faucet at the shutoff valve.
- Remove the decorative cap on the faucet handle.
- Remove the screw under the cover in the faucet handle.
- Pull the faucet handle off to expose the valve.
- Use a deep socket wrench to remove the valve from the faucet.
- Remove the screw holding the washer on the end of the valve.
- Replace the washer with a new one of the same size.
- Apply Teflon plumber’s tape to the valve threads.
- Screw the valve back in the faucet.
- Tighten the valve with the wrench, being careful not to over tighten it.
- Put the handle and screw back on the valve.
- Press the decorative cover back on the end of the handle.
- Turn the shutoff valve on, and check the faucet for leaks.
Watch our video on How to Repair a Leaky Tub Faucet to find out more.
Repairing Leaking Cartridge or Ball Faucets:
These types of valves are found on newer, single lever faucets. Unlike compression faucets, cartridge and ball faucets have more parts, making them harder to repair.
- Cartridge Faucets: Pry off the decorative fixture, remove the handle, and replace the entire valve cartridge.
- Ball Type Faucets: Ball type faucets have many parts, so it’s often easier to buy a repair kit instead of trying to replace one part. Purchase a repair kit that fits your faucet at a home center or plumbing supply store, and follow the instructions included.
Watch our video on How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet to find out more.
Barbara Johnson works in real estate and enjoys finding her clients the perfect homes. In addition, she shares her home improvement and gardening tips with others through blogging.