The dripping sound from a leaky faucet annoys just about every homeowner or renter who’s had to deal with it. Aside from the irritation, however, a leaky faucet could be an indication of bigger problems out of sight.
And in plumbing, out of sight should never mean out of mind! Over time, a dripping faucet can cause some serious structural damage, and it wastes water. The sooner that you fix the leak, the better.
Meticulous Plumbing has the tools and the know-how to handle all your plumbing needs, including leaky faucet repair.
Contact Meticulous Plumbing today to find out how we can help you put a stop to that drip, drip, drip — once and for all!
How to Fix a Leaky Faucet
If you feel like learning a little bit about plumbing and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, there are some easy-to-follow steps that you can take to both troubleshoot and possibly fix a leaky faucet.
First, make sure you have the proper tools:
- Replacement O-ring
- Replacement washers
Note: If you’re concerned about damaging your faucet’s finish, you may want to put tape around the jaws of the wrench. Otherwise, there’s a possibility that you might put a few dings in it.
Next, locate the valve that controls the flow of water to the tap and shut it off. This is an important step; if you don’t shut off the water supply, you’re going to end up all wet. Turn off the handles over the sink, as well.
Ready to get your faucet fix on?
1. LOCATE THE PROBLEM
What type of faucet do you have? Determining this is going to be key in your leak repair journey. Sinks and faucets come in all shapes and sizes, and each comes with its own unique problem areas. If you aren’t quite sure, you can either contact the company that installed it or run a quick Google search.
Compression faucets often have a series of rubber washers that create a valve seal. In these faucets, the most common cause of leaks is a cracked or worn-out washer.
Cartridge faucets have an interior cartridge that pumps water to the tap. If this type of faucet is leaking, it usually means the cartridge must be replaced.
Ball-type faucets have many parts, which can make it difficult to identify the problem. Instead, we recommend purchasing a low-cost ball faucet replacement kit (which comes with all the parts) to avoid any unnecessary hassle.
Ceramic disk faucets, the latest improvement in faucet technology, have ceramic washers instead of those pesky rubber ones. With this type of faucet, leaks are typically caused by the inlet and outlet seals or sediment buildup in the inlets.
2. HAVE A REPLACEMENT PART ON HAND
Now that you’ve identified the cause of the leak, make sure you have an exact replacement on hand. Take the part to your local hardware store to find a match, or consult your faucet’s manual to find a full list of parts. Remember: The replacement part must be an exact match!
You don’t want to remove your entire kitchen faucet just to have the wrong part for your faucet body. Trust us.
3. DIAGNOSE AND REPAIR
Before making the repair, close the drain on your faucet and put a towel in the bottom of the sink to catch any dropped pieces.
4. REMOVE ANY DECORATIVE KNOBS
Perform this task with a screwdriver. Unscrew them carefully and take off the faucet handle from the stem. Next, use a wrench to loosen the packing unit. You should then be able to see the stem in order to remove it. Depending on the faucet, some stems will come off easily. Others may need to be twisted to come off.
5. INSPECT THE O-RING AND WASHER INSIDE THE VALVE SEAT
This is often the cause of leaks. Remove the washer and put a replacement inside the seat, ensuring that they are an exact fit. A helpful way to ensure you’re getting the correct O-ring is to bring it with you to the hardware store to verify that you’re buying the right size. You can also buy a package that contains various sizes in it and take that home to see which one is the exact fit.
6. TAKE THE FAUCET APART PIECE BY PIECE
Inspect each element until you find the faulty one. Coat the new piece in plumber’s grease before inserting it back into the faucet.
7. REASSEMBLE THE FAUCET
Next, you’ll need to reassemble the parts of the faucet and tighten the joints before turning the water back on. The correct order of reassembly is:
- Packing nut
Once things are reassembled, slowly turn the knob to test the running water to see if it’s still leaking. If you’ve followed these steps and the faucet is still leaking, that may be a sign that something more serious is going on with your pipes, such as corrosion. In this situation, it is best to call in the experts if you do not have extensive knowledge of plumbing. Otherwise, you might accidentally cause additional problems.
Meticulous Plumbing: Locally and Family Owned/Operated
Not everyone is going to be comfortable with taking apart their sink or removing their faucet, and that’s okay! If you’re not comfortable doing these types of repairs and your random white vinegar DIY method (maybe vinegar doesn’t fix everything) isn’t working, please don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Meticulous Plumbing.
We are more than happy to help resolve your leaky faucet. In fact, fixing leaks is one of the many high-quality plumbing services that we offer.
We’ll do a thorough inspection and get things back to working order as fast as possible, that’s the Meticulous guarantee!