How to Fix a Dripping Faucet
Don’t Let a Dripping Faucet Rain on Your Parade!
When it comes to a leaky dripping faucet one drip each second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. That’s enough for 40 bathtubs! The annoying dripping faucet is bad enough, but it also wastes an incredible amount on your household budget.
Leaks can really do some damage to the plumbing in your home. They may stain sink surfaces, corrode drains, and waste energy (when hot water is leaking).
The best way to deal with a leaking faucet is by doing it yourself. The process of replacing or repairing this common household appliance does not require expensive plumbing skills and can be accomplished in just about 30 minutes!
Finding the Culprit of a Dripping Faucet
Every faucet is equipped with either a sink cartridge or compression valve that controls the water flow. With most faucet leaks, it’s a matter of replacing worn parts to cure the problem. Cartridges or stem assembly washers could be at fault for your water woes.
What to do When it’s a Worn Cartridge
Most single and double-faucet handle faucets have a sink cartridge that controls the flow of water. Sink cartridges are made of plastic or metal, but they cannot be repaired. Luckily for you though we have replacement options.
You can remove your old one in favor of a new upgrade with all the same benefits as before. If you have a favorite brand or model of faucet in your home, then it’s important to find the right sink cartridge for them. Cartridges come from different manufacturers and can be purchased at any store that sells plumbing products.
What to do When it’s a Worn Compression Faucet Washer
If you have an older home then you might have a compression valve faucet. A compression faucet shuts off the water when you turn its handle, compressing a stem washer located within. The water will slowly leak out of this faucet and never quite shut off.
You can try tightening it as much as possible, but the fixture won’t be able to hold its own weight due to worn-down rubber or silicone washers. The quick and easy way to fix a compression faucet leak is by replacing the stem washer. This simple repair is rather easy, making it an inexpensive fix that takes care of most issues.
Your Dripping Faucet and the Steps it Takes to Fix
The first thing you should do when your sink starts leaking from the faucet is turn off the water at its closest point of attachment. Open up the cabinet underneath and check both braided lines for leaks, then shut them off separately by turning knobs or levers clockwise until they are tight enough to not leak anymore.
If you’re experiencing a water emergency, turn off the main shut-off valve to your house. This is often located on the inside of your home and will be facing outwards towards the street.
Instructions on Repairing a Cartridge Faucet
- Locate and remove the screw counter-clockwise on the handle using whatever tool it calls for (hex, allen, or philips).
- Plug the drain of the sink.
- Lift the faucet handle straight up for removal.
- Loosen the retaining nut counter-clockwise with adjustable pliers.
- Pull up on the sink cartridge to remove it (you may need to wiggle first before removal).
- Apply silicone faucet grease lightly to the body of your replacement cartridge.
- Make sure the tabs of the cartridge line up with the slots on the faucet then tighten the retaining nut with a wrench.
- Screw your faucet handle back on with your required tool.
- Turn the water back on and make sure you are leak-free.
Instructions on Fixing a Compression Faucet
- Make sure the water is shut off and the drain is plugged.
- With an allen key or a philips head remove the screw on the faucet handle.
- If the valve stem assembly has a cover simply remove it with pliers.
- Unscrew the valve stem assembly counter-clockwise.
- With a philips head remove the washer screw off the stem washer.
- Using a utility knife remove the washer from the stem assembly.
- Make sure the new stem washer is firmly in place then screw the washer screw on top.
- Replace the valve cover (if available) and reattach the handle.
- Turn the water back on and check for any further leaks.
Sometimes you Need to Leave it to the Professionals
Not everyone has the time to tackle these tough plumbing jobs that may arise. When that happens it’s comforting to know you can leave it to the professionals at Trusty Plumbers. We have all the tools and experience to make sure the job gets done right the first time. So what are you waiting for? Call the experts at Trusty Plumbers today!
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