The annoying drip from a leaky faucet can lead to higher water bills and irritation. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix yourself if you can identify the type of faucet and get the tools needed for the job. You don’t need to know everything about the plumber to fix your faucet. Don’t ignore that leaky faucet in your kitchen or bathroom. All those wasted water drops add up, and the solution can be simple, even for the casual do-it-yourselfer. In some situations, calling in a professional plumber will be necessary.
Whether it’s water pooling under your sink or the annoying sound of drips keeping you up at night, a leaky faucet is a nuisance that could turn into a full-blown problem if not handled properly. Fortunately, putting a stop to a leaky faucet, like the compression faucet in your kitchen, can be surprisingly simple and inexpensive. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of our best tips to fix a leaky faucet.
1. Make sure the water supply is turned off
Look under your sink for pipes that run-up. Along these pipes are handles that you can turn to shut off the water to your sink. Before applying a wrench or screwdriver to your fixture, ensure the water supply is turned off, from the handles above the sink to the knobs below that control the water supply from the main line. Turn clockwise to turn off the water.
After you’ve closed the water supply, open a faucet to see if the water is really closed. If water is still coming out of it, then return to the water supply, turn it the other way, and check again. Make sure that the water supply is closed to avoid any incident later down the line when you repair the faucet.
2. Plugging the drain
Use a sink stopper if you have one or a rag. Nothing will ruin your day faster than having a screw or washer down the drain. Because there is nothing worse than wasting water, especially in this climate when we are all trying out best to save our planet by taking greener steps, and fixing your leaky faucets is one of those steps.
3. Determine what type of faucet you have
A compression faucet has two screw handles, one for hot and one for cold, and is the easiest to recognize by sight. The other three types of faucets have a pivoting center arm that you can turn from hot to cold as you wish. You may have to disassemble your faucet before you know which one is right because the internal mechanisms at the base of their arms are all different:
- A ball valve contains a ball bearing.
- A cartridge valve contains a cartridge. The materials of the cartridge may vary, but the handle often has a decorative cap.
- A ceramic disc valve contains a ceramic cylinder. Remove all decorative parts from the handles.
4. Loosen the packing nut
A simple pry with a screwdriver will do. Under each knob, there will be a screw that secures the handle to the stem. Unscrew, then gently remove the handle with your flathead screwdriver. Using a penetrating oil can help loosen it, allowing you to remove the faucet handle from the stem. From there, you should notice the stem. Remove it as well. Depending on the faucet, some stems pull out once, while others twist off the faucet. Check for damage to the removed parts.
5. Carefully reassemble all parts
Slowly and gently turn the knob to test the running water and see if you have sealed the leak.
From there, carefully reassemble all parts (in the following order: washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, and handle). Slowly and gently turn the knob to test the running water and see if you have sealed the leak.
If, after all your efforts, you find that the valve is still dripping, the cause may be corrosion of your valve seat. If it is not cleaned over time, it can cause leaks near the spout. Other potential problems are worn seals, loose parts, or, worse yet, broken plumbing. The problem may also be with the mixing valve.
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