How to Fix a Dripping Faucet
The first thing you must do is prepare your faucets to be repaired. This means shutting off the water supply and learning how your plumbing functions before you get started.
- Shut the supply off – Turn the water supply off to your faucet using the shutoff valves. They are often under the sink or nearby it. Turn the handles clockwise to shut off the flow of water.
- Stop the Drain – Cover up the drain with a plug or stuff a rag in it to keep parts from falling down in. The last thing you want is to lose a screw down the drain!
- Identify the faucet type – Look closely at your faucet to determine its type. A compression faucet uses a handle for hot and one for cold. A ball faucet has a ball bearing in the handle. A cartridge faucet relies on a small cartridge that’s usually covered by a decorative cap. A ceramic disk faucet comes with a small ceramic disk within.
Fix Your Compression Faucet
- Remove both handles – Pull off the decorative cap covering each, usually this requires removing a screw up top.
- Remove the nut below – Now that the handle is off you need to unthread each of the nuts down below the handle using a wrench.
- Remove the stem – With the nut out of the way you’ll see the stem. Pull it out to expose the seals of your sink. Replace the small O-ring up top if the handle is leaking, replace the thick seat washer at the bottom if the faucet is dripping. Be sure to coat with plumber’s grease before seating in place.
Fix a Ball Faucet
Ball faucets require special kits to repair, but they are affordable at around $20.
- Unscrew the handle and remove it from the sink.
- Remove the cap and collar – Take a pair of pliers and turn the cap and collar counter clockwise to unthread it.
- Remove the old seals and springs – Reach inside the top of the faucet itself and pull the springs and rubber seals out with needle nose pliers.
- Replace the seals and springs – Use parts from your repair kit to replace the seals and springs for your faucet to get it functioning properly. Also install new cam washers while the mechanism is open.
Fix a Cartridge Faucet
If you have a cartridge faucet a leak is usually simple to repair. Here’s an overview of the process.
- Take off the handle – Start by removing the handle of the faucet to get at all the internal mechanisms. Do this by unscrewing it.
- Pull out the retaining clip – Use pliers to remove the plastic retaining clip holding in the cartridge.
- Extend the cartridge – Pull the cartridge out so that it is fully extended out of the housing.
- Remove the faucet end – Pull off the faucet head from the assembly to expose the O-rings.
- Replace the O-rings – Swap the old O-rings out for new ones to create a good reliable seal.
Call in the Pros
If you don’t feel like going through all the steps above, or you simply don’t have the time to deal with the problem, just call in a plumbing professional instead. It will only take you minutes to get a professional to come to your home, and the problem will be dealt with properly. It’s easy to do and a good solid investment for you to make as well.
For fast help with your plumbing problems, give us a call at 831-431-6593 and you will have the help you need fast.