The sound of a leaky faucet is not only annoying, but it is also the sound of your money going down the drain.
The good news is a leaky faucet often can be fixed with a simple repair kit, even if you are a plumbing novice.
Learn how to fix a leaky faucet
For novices, this job will take up most of an afternoon, while DIYers can fix these issues in less time.
The steps to fix a leaky faucet depend on the type of faucet that is leaking. The three most common types of faucets are:
- Cartridge faucet
- Compression faucet
- Ceramic disc faucet
Shut off the water
Before you get started, your first step is to shut off the water to the leaky faucet. You will find the shutoff valves under the sink — one for hot water and one for cold. Shut off each line individually by turning the knob or lever clockwise until it is tight. If the faucet is still leaking once the valves are closed, then you will need to shut off the main water supply.
How to fix a leaky cartridge faucet
Once the water is shut off, pry off the decorative cap on the handle and remove the handle screw. Tilt or pull up on the handle to remove it. In some instances, a threaded retaining clip may be holding the cartridge in place. If this is the case, remove the clip with needle nose pliers and then pull out the cartridge.
Next, remove the spout and cut off the o-rings with a utility knife. Coat the new o-rings in plumber’s grease. If you need to replace the entire cartridge, cut the length of the new cartridge to match the old cartridge. Place the stem where the handle attaches and reassemble the handle.
How to fix a leaky compression faucet
If you have a leaky compression faucet, it most likely needs a new seat washer. Pull off the decorative cap on the handle with a slotted screwdriver to expose the attachment screws. Unscrew the handle screw and pull off the handle. Unscrew the packing nut with a crescent wrench. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the stem from the faucet body.
Next, unscrew the rubber washer from the bottom end of the stem. Remove and replace the seat washer. Make sure to coat the washers in plumber’s grease. Pop the stem out of the packing nut and replace the o-ring. Reattach the faucet and handle.
How to fix a leaky ceramic-disc faucet
Pull the handle back to access the set screw. Remove it and lift off the handle. Remove the escutcheon cap and take off the disk cylinder mounting screws. Pull out the cylinder. Lift out the neoprene seals from the cylinder with a screwdriver. Any damaged seals will need to be replaced.
Clean the cylinder openings. Replace the seals and reassemble the faucet. Turn on the faucet to test the water flow.
Need help? Call Plumbers 911 in Boston!
If you do not feel you can complete the above steps to fix your leaky faucet, then you need to call Plumbers 911 Boston and be referred to a licensed, bonded and insured contractor who can repair your leaky faucet fast.