A dripping faucet can be an incredibly inconvenient issue because it wastes water and drives up your monthly water bill. The good news is that repairing a faucet that is dripping requires only a moderate amount of effort and can be finished in just a few straightforward steps. In this post, we will take a step-by-step look at the process of repairing a faucet that is dripping water.
Before we get started, it’s important to make note that there are a wide variety of faucets, and the process of repairing each type may require a few steps that are slightly different from one another. We will be concentrating on the type of faucet that is used the most frequently, which is known as a compression faucet.
How to Fix a Leaky Faucet in 7 steps
In the event that you have a different model of the faucet, it is highly recommended that you seek specific direction from either a licensed plumber or the faucet’s manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 1: Turn off the Water Supply
The first step in fixing a leaky faucet is to turn off the water supply to the faucet. Look under the sink for the shutoff valve and turn it clockwise until it’s fully closed. If you can’t find the shutoff valve, you can turn off the main water supply to your home. This will ensure that no water is flowing to the faucet while you work on it.
Step 2: Remove the Handle
Next, you’ll need to remove the handle of the faucet. This is usually done by unscrewing a small screw located on the top or bottom of the handle. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw, then gently pull the handle off of the faucet. If the handle is stuck, you may need to use a wrench or pliers to loosen it.
Step 3: Remove the Packing Nut
Once the handle is removed, you should see a packing nut. This is a large nut that secures the faucet assembly to the sink. Use a wrench to loosen the nut and remove it. If the nut is stuck, you may need to use penetrating oil to help loosen it.
Step 4: Remove the Stem Assembly
Once the packing nut is removed, you should be able to remove the stem assembly. This is part of the faucet that controls the flow of water. Depending on the type of faucet you have, you may need to twist or pull the stem assembly to remove it. Be careful not to damage any of the components while you’re removing the stem assembly.
Step 5: Replace the Washer
Once the stem assembly is removed, you should see a small rubber washer at the bottom of the assembly. This washer is usually the cause of a leaky faucet. Inspect the washer for any signs of wear or damage. If the washer is worn or damaged, you’ll need to replace it. You can find replacement washers at most hardware stores.
Step 6: Reassemble the Faucet
Once you have replaced the washer, it’s time to reassemble the faucet. Start by placing the stem assembly back into the faucet body. Make sure it’s aligned properly and push it all the way in. Then, replace the packing nut and tighten it with a wrench. Finally, replace the handle and screw it back onto the stem assembly.
Step 7: Turn on the Water Supply
With the faucet reassembled, it’s time to turn the water supply back on. Slowly turn the shutoff valve counterclockwise to restore water flow to the faucet. Turn the faucet on and check for any leaks. If there are no leaks, you’ve successfully fixed your leaky faucet!
You can help save water and reduce your water bill by turning off the water supply, removing the handle, packing nut, and stem assembly, replacing the washer, and then reassembling the faucet. It is important to note that different types of faucets may require different steps to be taken in order to repair them. If this is the case, it is best to seek the assistance of a trained professional or the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Fixing a dripping faucet will not only help you save money and water, but it will also protect your sink and the plumbing system from any potential damage that could be caused by the leak.