Fixing A Leaky Faucet

One of the most common plumbing problems you should be prepared to handle or learn is the process of fixing a leaky faucet, so either call up your local plumber for a quick fix or roll up your sleeves and prepare to learn how to get your faucet working smoothly. Before we get into the process of fixing a leaky faucet, check that you have the necessary tools for the job. You will want an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver (both phillips and flathead), replacement washers and O-rings, and some WD-40 or some other penetrating oil. Now the first step is to turn off the water supply. There should be two water valves located under your sink. One controls hot water and one controls cold water. Go ahead and tighten both of the valves (by hand) so that no water is flowing. Now remove any decorative caps to reveal the leaky faucet handle underneath. Remove that handle as well. Keep in mind that different types of faucets will have different components, but most homes are equipped with a traditional compression faucet. If you have a cartridge or ball-type faucet, you will want to watch an instructional video for your specific faucet. At this point, if you have a compression faucet, this will reveal a packing nut along with a stem and the old O-ring. Use your wrench to loosen the packing nut and remove the stem (another thin, threaded knob). Finally, replace the worn down O-ring with the new one and screw back on each component in reverse order (washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, handle) . Assuming you’ve got to this point, you can pat yourself on the back and test whether or not the repair was a success! If all is well, congratulations! You just fixed your first of many leaky faucets! If not, consider troubleshooting for what needs repairing, or simply call a trusted plumber to handle the inspection or the entire process of fixing a leaky faucet for you!