Is a leaky faucet keeping you up at night? Few things are as aggravating as this common household problem. That unwanted and obnoxious drip is sending money down the drain. Luckily, there is plenty that you can do to ditch the drip without waiting on a local plumber.
The Five Step Faucet Fix
Fixing a leaky faucet might be easier than you think. In fact, you can almost always do it in five simple steps:
- Turn off the Water: Before starting the job, shut off your water supply. The sink knobs should be in the off position, and the water control on the main line should also be turned off. This will prevent an unwanted flood during the repair process.
- Prep: You will need an adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, penetrating oil (think WD-40), and replacement washers and O-rings. Once you have these items, remove any decorative parts of the sink, like the handle knobs. Under each knob is a screw that mounts to the stem. Using the appropriate screwdriver, unscrew it. You may need some WD-40 to help loosen it. Finish prepping by removing the handles completely.
- Remove the Stem: Once the knobs are off, you will see the stem. Using your wrench, loosen the packing nut. Your stem will either pop or twist off of the valve. Once you've removed it, check it for damage to rule out it being the cause of the leak.
- Inspect the O-Rings and Washers: If the stem is intact, worn out or defective washers and/or O-rings may be the culprit. They are located inside of the valve. Remove, inspect, and replace them. Replacement washers and O-rings must fit exactly, otherwise they will leak. It's best to take the originals with you to the hardware store to find exact replacements.
- Reassemble: Once you've replaced the hardware, you can reassemble the faucet. When the washers, O-rings, stem, and knobs have been replaced, turn the water supply back on and slowly test the facet by turning each knob to the on position. When returned to the off position, the leak should be licked!
If these five steps fail to remedy the problem, it is possible that the valve seat has become corroded. A thorough valve seat cleaning should fix the problem. If your troubleshooting venture leads you to suspect a more complex problem, the drip just may need a professional assessment, and you will need to contact a professional plumber. To learn more, contact a plumbing services company like Mildren Plumbing Inc.