Skip to content

Fixing a Leaky Faucet: Your Ultimate DIY Guide


Hi I’m Your Plumber Ken

I am a licensed plumber with a passion for fixing leaks and keeping homes running smoothly. With years of experience under my belt, I have become the go-to plumber in the area for all things plumbing-related. Give me a call at 844-423-0056 when your plumbing issues pop up or use the form below.

Nothing is more unpleasant than a constant drip from a leaking faucet. Not only does it waste water, but it also increases your utility cost and can leave ugly stains on your sink or tub. The good news is that you do not need to be a professional plumber to resolve this frequent problem. With a few tools and a little patience, you can halt the drip in its tracks. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on fixing a leaky faucet on your own.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdrivers (both flat-head and Phillips)
  • Pliers
  • Replacement parts (O-rings, washers, cartridges)
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Penetrating oil (like WD-40)
  • Cleaning cloth

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

Before you start any repair, ensure the water supply to the faucet is turned off. Look under your sink for the shutoff valves and turn them clockwise until they are fully closed. If your faucet doesn’t have individual shutoff valves, you may need to turn off the main water supply to your home.

Step 2: Plug the Drain

Small parts can easily slip down the drain, making your job much more difficult. Use a sink plug or a cloth to cover the drain opening to prevent any mishaps.

Step 3: Disassemble the Faucet

The method of disassembly will depend on the type of faucet you have. Here’s a brief overview of the three most common types:

  • Compression Faucet: These have separate handles for hot and cold water.
    1. Remove the decorative cap on each handle.
    2. Use a screwdriver to remove the handle screw.
    3. Pull off the handle to access the stem.
  • Cartridge Faucet: These usually have a single lever or two handles.
    1. Remove the handle screw and lift off the handle.
    2. Use pliers to remove the retaining clip if present.
    3. Pull out the cartridge.
  • Ball Faucet: Often found in kitchens, these have a single handle.
    1. Unscrew and remove the handle.
    2. Use pliers to remove the cap and collar.
    3. Lift out the ball assembly and the seals/springs.

Step 4: Inspect and Replace Worn Parts

Examine the O-rings, washers, and other parts for signs of wear and tear. Common culprits for leaks include:

  • O-rings: These are small, circular rubber rings that help create a watertight seal. If they are cracked or worn out, replace them.
  • Washers: Flat, round disks that fit against the valve seat. They can become worn or dislodged over time.
  • Cartridges: In cartridge faucets, the entire cartridge might need replacement if it’s damaged.

Take the old parts to your local hardware store to ensure you purchase the correct replacements.

Step 5: Clean the Components

Use a cleaning cloth to wipe away any mineral deposits or grime on the faucet components. For stubborn build-up, you might need to use vinegar or a mild cleaning solution. Ensure all parts are clean before reassembly.

Step 6: Reassemble the Faucet

Reverse the disassembly process to put your faucet back together. Make sure all parts are seated properly and that you do not over-tighten screws and nuts, as this can cause damage.

Step 7: Test the Faucet

Turn the water supply back on and test your faucet. Let the water run for a few minutes to ensure there are no leaks. If the faucet still leaks, you may need to disassemble it again and check for any missed or improperly installed parts.

Pro Tips:

  • Use Plumber’s Tape: Apply plumber’s tape to the threads of screws and valves to ensure a tight seal and prevent future leaks.
  • Penetrating Oil: If parts are difficult to remove, apply penetrating oil and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen them up.
  • Routine Maintenance: Regularly check your faucets for signs of wear and perform maintenance to prevent leaks before they start.

When to Call a Professional:

If you’ve tried the steps above and your faucet still leaks, it might be time to call in a professional plumber. Persistent leaks could indicate a deeper issue within your plumbing system. You might even be able to get a handyman plumber for a leaky faucet to help you out.

By following this guide, you can tackle a leaky faucet with confidence and save yourself the cost of a professional repair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.