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 leaking faucet can cause structural damage, and it wastes water.

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:

  1. Wrench
  2. Screwdriver
  3. Replacement O-ring
  4. 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.

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?

  • 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.

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!

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:

  1. Washer/O-ring
  2. Stem
  3. Packing nut
  4. Screws
  5. Handle

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 the faucet is still leaking, that may be a sign that something more serious is going on with your pipes, such as corrosion.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Meticulous Plumbing to help resolve a leaky faucet. We’ll do a thorough inspection and get things back to working order as fast as possible.

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