How to Fix a Leaking Faucet

Learning how to fix a leaking faucet, whether a kitchen faucet leak or a leaking tub faucet, is no big deal when you follow these simple steps. Read on to learn more about getting rid of that annoying drip that not only gets on your nerves but runs your water bill up as well.

Basically, faucets consists of two types: compression and washerless. Faucets with a single handle utilize seats and springs in an internal ball assembly to enable them to work, eliminating the need for a washer and hence the name washerless faucet.

Compression-type faucets (sometimes referred to as stem faucets) may have shaft going down into the body of it with one or more rubber washers along the side. If the insides of your faucet are encased in plastic, then it is a cartridge-type faucet of which the cartridge can be lifted out with all the pieces inside the cartridge.

Before doing anything else, turn the water valve (which is usually beneath the sink, but sometimes found on down the water line somewhere) completely to the off position, all the way to the right, as far as it will turn.

If you cannot find an inside valve, you will have to turn off the main water supply valve to the house, located outside, often near the street. Turn the faucet(s) to the on position to drain out any remaining water.

To get inside your double-handled faucets to determine which kind it is, you will need to pop the hot and cold tabs off the tops of the handles (which cover the screw tops), unscrew the screw, and then lift off the handle.

Using a crescent wrench, loosen the nut found there or, if the stem is screwed into the assembly, turn it counterclockwise to unscrew it and lift it out.

At the bottom of a stem will be a washer that may or may not need to be removed with a screw. Take the entire stem to a plumbing supply house to make sure you get the correct type washer, which you will then replace.

Put everything back together in the reverse order of which you have taken it apart, turn the valves on, and check for leaks. If everything has been done correctly, you are done.

See Also:

How to Install a Sink Faucet