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Fixing a Leaky Faucet: Advice for West Virginia Homeowners


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A leaky faucet isn’t just an annoyance; it can also lead to higher water bills and potential water damage over time. For homeowners in West Virginia, addressing a leaky faucet promptly is essential. With the right tools and some basic knowledge, you can fix most leaks yourself. Here’s a comprehensive guide tailored for West Virginia homeowners.

Why Fixing a Leaky Faucet is Important

  1. Water Conservation: West Virginia’s water resources are precious. Even a slow drip can waste gallons of water over time.
  2. Cost Savings: A leaky faucet can significantly increase your water bill.
  3. Preventing Damage: Persistent leaks can cause water damage to your sink, countertop, and even cabinets.

Common Causes of Leaky Faucets

Before you start fixing your leaky faucet, it’s important to identify the type and cause of the leak. Here are the most common culprits:

  1. Worn-Out Washers: Over time, the rubber washers in your faucet can become stiff, torn, or dislodged.
  2. O-Ring Issues: The O-ring is a small disc attached to the stem screw. It can wear out and cause leaks.
  3. Corroded Valve Seat: The valve seat connects the faucet and the spout. Corrosion here can cause leaks.
  4. Loose Parts: With regular use, the components of your faucet can become loose.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and flathead)
  • Replacement washers and O-rings
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Penetrating oil (if parts are corroded)
  • Cloth or sponge

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Leaky Faucet

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

First and foremost, shut off the water supply to the faucet. Look for the valves under the sink and turn them clockwise to close. If the valves are stuck, apply a little penetrating oil and try again after a few minutes.

2. Plug the Drain

Use a sink plug or a cloth to block the drain. This prevents small parts from falling into it.

3. Disassemble the Faucet

Carefully remove the faucet handle. This usually involves removing a decorative cap to access the screw underneath. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw and lift the handle off.

4. Inspect and Replace the Parts

  • Washers: Examine the washer for wear and tear. Replace if necessary.
  • O-Rings: Check the O-rings for signs of damage and replace them.
  • Valve Seat: If the valve seat is corroded, it may need to be replaced or reseated. Use a seat wrench for this task.

5. Reassemble the Faucet

Once you have replaced the necessary parts, reassemble the faucet by reversing the steps above. Ensure all components are tight but avoid over-tightening as this can cause damage.

6. Turn the Water Supply Back On

Slowly turn the water supply back on and test the faucet. If the leak persists, recheck the parts to ensure everything is properly installed.

Local Considerations for West Virginia Homeowners

  1. Hard Water Issues: West Virginia has areas with hard water which can lead to mineral buildup in your faucets. Consider installing a water softener if this is a recurring issue.
  2. Seasonal Changes: The state’s weather can vary significantly. During colder months, ensure that your pipes are insulated to prevent freezing, which can cause leaks.
  3. Local Hardware Stores: Support local businesses by purchasing your plumbing supplies from West Virginia-based hardware stores. They often carry parts specific to local plumbing standards.

When to Call a Professional

While many faucet leaks can be fixed with a DIY approach, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber if:

  • The leak persists after multiple attempts to fix it.
  • You notice significant corrosion or damage to the faucet components.
  • The leak is coming from the base of the faucet or underneath the sink, indicating a more complex issue.


Fixing a leaky faucet in your West Virginia home is a manageable task with the right tools and knowledge. By addressing leaks promptly, you can conserve water, save money, and prevent potential damage to your home. Remember to consider local factors such as hard water and seasonal changes when maintaining your plumbing. For persistent or complex issues, professional help is always a good investment. Get help even with a DIY leaky faucet from a plumber.

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