5 Simple Steps to Fix a Leaking Faucet


It’s not only annoying; a leaking faucet is also a waste of water! Every drop counts. That is why you should fix your faucet as soon as possible before it turns into a bigger problem. Let’s begin!

You’ll need:

• an adjustable wrench; C-wrench

• Phillips and/or flathead screwdriver

• Penetrating oil, such as WD-40 or CRC

• Replacement washers and O-rings

  1. Before anything else, turn off your water supply. You wouldn’t want to make a mess and turn your broken faucet into something completely irreparable. Check if the handles over the sink and the knobs underneath are turned off. Everything that controls the water from the main line should be off.

  1. Use a screwdriver to remove the decorative part of the handle knobs. If there is any, remove it with a flathead screwdriver. Then unscrew the mounts underneath every knob. They mount the handle to the stem. Loosen it using penetrating oil and remove the handle from the stem.

  1. Loosen the packing nut with a wrench. After which, remove the stem. Other stems need to be twisted off from the valve while others just pop off. Examine what needs to be done. Then check the parts you removed. Are they damaged or not?

  1. If there are no damaged parts so far, then study the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat. Most of the time, they are the reason for a leaking faucet. Remove the washer and replace it with a new one. Take note: your replacement for O-rings and washers should have the exact same size as the one originally used. If you’re not aware of the size, bring your old O-ring to the hardware store to acquire the proper size. Also, inspect the seat if the sides are for a flat washer or a cone-shaped one. A pack of O-rings with different sizes is available if ever you want to buy one.

  1. Reassemble the parts carefully. This time you must return the washer or O-ring, the stem, the packing nut, the screw, and the handle. To check if it’s still leaking, gently turn the knob to test the running water. If it’s still a naughty dripping faucet, you might have a problem with worn-out seals, corrosion in your valve seat, loose parts, or broken plumbing. If nothing worked, it’s probably high time to call an expert plumber.

There are different types of faucets as well. To know what you should do with yours once it gets broken, read the following and identify what type of faucet you have.

  1. Ball-type Faucets

This type has numerous parts, making it difficult to find what causes the leak. If you don’t have a lot of time to figure out the cause, you can replace all parts instead. To do this, you have to remove the handle set screw and take out the handle. Remove the cap and collar using adjustable pliers. From there, loosen the faucet cam and lift it with the cam washer together with the rotating ball. You can accomplish that step using the special tool in the faucet-repair kit you bought. Then, using your needle-nose pliers, remove the inlet seals and springs. Cut the O-rings off, coat the new ones in nontoxic, heat-proof plumber’s grease and place them where the old ones were. Put the new springs, valve seats, and cam washers. And that’ll do the trick.

  1. Cartridge Faucets

For this type, you first have to remove any decorative part on the handle. The handle screw should then be removed by tilting the handle and pulling it off. Usually, this type has a threaded retaining clip attached to it to keep the cartridge in place. If there is, use your needle-nose pliers to take it off. Then remove the cartridge. Take out the spout and cut the old O-rings with a utility knife. After coating them, start reassembling. You can replace the whole cartridge, just match the length of the new one with the old one. Also, make sure the new stem end? Where the handle is attached, has the exact same size as yours.

  1. Ceramic-Disk Faucets

Again, make sure your water supply is turned off. To repair this type, push the faucet handle back to reach the set screw. Take out the screw, the handle, then the escutcheon cap, in that particular order. Unscrew the disk cylinder which mounts the screws then pull out our the cylinder. Next, lift the neoprene seals out with a blunt screwdriver. Inspect the seals if they need replacements. Once the seals are lifted out from the cylinder, clean the cylinder openings. You can do this using a plastic scouring pad and distilled white vinegar. When you’re done, thoroughly rinse the openings. Replace the seals and reassemble your faucet. When every part is in place, turn the handle on and slowly turn the water supply back on. NEVER do this step fast. The pressure of the returning water can damage the ceramic disk.