A leaky faucet can be annoying and can cause an increase in your water bill. Living in Utah, we also have to think of water as a precious resource and therefore do our part to conserve water by fixing any leaks as soon as they are discovered. The good news is fixing a leaky faucet can be an easy DIY home repair project. It shouldn’t take you more than an hour. However, we also know time is a precious resource, so if you’d rather have a plumber come out, reach out, and we’ll take care of it for you.
Step One- Turn Off The Water Supply
Before beginning any plumbing project, the first step is to turn off the water supply. Faucets generally have a hot water and a cold water valve, these will both need to be shut off. The water supply valve(s) can be found under the sink. Simply locate the valve(s) and turn them off. Test that the water is fully off by turning the faucet on to ensure no water is coming out.
Step Two-Dissemble The Faucet
The two most common reasons a faucet starts to leak is because the washer or the cartriage, has hard water build up on it or needs to be replaced.
To make necessary repairs, you will first need to remove the handle. To Remove the handle use a screwdriver or Allen wrench to remove the handle from the faucet. Look for a small hole or set screw on the handle near the base. Unscrew it, and the handle should come off easily.
Next, remove the retaining nut located underneath the handle, there’ll be a retaining nut that holds the valve assembly in place. Use a wrench to loosen it and remove it.
Pull out the valve stem you should be able to pull out the valve stem once you’ve removed the retaining nut. Now that the faucet has been dissembled you’ll be able to inspect and repair the washer and the cartridge.
The washer can be found at the bottom of the valve stem. Go ahead and remove this washer and replace it with a new one. It’s important that the new washer is the exact same size and shape as the old one. New washers can be found at your local hardware store.
The Cartridge or Ball
Once the faucet’s handle has been removed you be able to access the cartridge or the ball inside the faucet.
Remove the cartridge by pulling it out carefully. You should then inspect the cartridge for any damage or wear and tear. If the cartridge is damaged or worn out, It will need to be replaced with a new one. On the other hand, if there is no visible damage to the cartridge, you can clean it with a vinegar solution to remove any mineral build-up that might be causing the leak.
For a ball faucet, you should remove the handle and then the cap and collar. You can then use pliers to remove the cam and packing. After removing the cam and packing, you should inspect the ball for any damage or wear and tear. If the ball is damaged or worn out, you should replace it with a new one. If there is no visible damage to the ball, you can clean it with a vinegar solution to remove any mineral build-up that might be causing the leak.
Step Three- Reassembe The Faucet
Once you have cleaned or replaced the washer, cartridge, or ball, you should reassemble the faucet. Follow and reverse the steps from above. To reassemble the faucet, make sure to tighten the retaining nut snugly. Next, turn the water supply back on to test for any leaks.
Still, Need A Plumber?
Fixing a leaky faucet can be a simple DIY project that can save you money and reduce water waste. However, if you are not comfortable fixing the faucet yourself, or you’d rather just have someone else do this for you, give us a call, and we’d be happy to come out.
About The Author
Hello, My name is Alma Bradshaw. I’m a licensed plumber with over 20 years of experience in the industry. It’s important to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest plumbing techniques, innovations, codes, and regulations. Learn more about plumbing here and feel free to comment below with any questions.