The most common plumbing issue in every household is a leaky tap or a leaky faucet. Did you know? A leaky faucet is the first sign that shows a problem with one of the parts needing a replacement. To fix a leaky faucet, you must determine the source of the drip & also the mechanical components of the faucet. It is important to know that there are four main types of faucets that depend on disc, cartridge, compression & mechanism.
Before attempting to fix a leaky faucet, you need to figure out the type of faucet. You will require some tools to fix it like:
– O-rings & replacement washers
– Adjustable wrench
– Philips screwdriver
In this blog, we shall discuss about how to fix a leaky faucet in 6 easy steps.
1. Turn off the water supply- Before putting a wrench or screwdriver to the fixture, make sure that you have shut off your water supply from the handles near the sink. Also. You will have to stop the water supply from the handles underneath the sink, which controls the main water line supply. Turning off the water supply is the foremost step to fixing a leaky faucet otherwise you will have to deal with a watery mess later on.
2. Remove the decorative parts- This step is especially for those who have a widespread faucet with decorative covers over the valves. Most of the times there is a fine thread on the valve assembly; so you must attempt to unscrew the trim piece. Beneath each knob you will see a screw that mounts the handle to the stem. You will need to unscrew the handle & gently remove it. Remember that sometimes the faucet will not come off the stem easily. In that case, spray the WD-40 on this part to loosen it.
3. Loosen the packing nut with the wrench- After loosening the packing nut, search for the stem. You will have to take out this part completely. At this point, you will notice different faucets that have to be dealt with differently. For example:: you will find stems that get off easily while others will have to be twisted from the valve. Gently remove everything. Be careful not to damage the parts as this could aggravate the problem of a leaky faucet.
4. Pull the cartridge- Your faucet will have a cartridge only if it is under 25 years old. Basically the seats of your faucet has been worn out because of constantly turning it on & off for 25 years. Try to pull the cartridge directly out using a set of channel lock pliers. Since a scale has built up & locked them in place, sometimes the cartridges are difficult to remove. Give the cartridge a slight wiggle while pulling & it should work itself out. Call for a professional plumber, if you can’t remove the cartridge as they possess the appropriate removal tools.
5. Check the o-ring- Look at the washer & the o-ring inside the valve seat. Sometimes, this part causes leaks when damaged & the seal starts to wear off. In that case the washer has to be removed & replaced with a new washer. The o-ring will only be replaced if it is damaged. First check if the washers & the o-rings fit perfectly. If unsure, look at the seat to check if the sides will fit with the flat washer. If not, you will need to buy the right size.
6. Take the old O-ring to a hardware store & reassemble the parts- To but o-rings of the perfect size, take the old o-ring to a hardware store for the best buy. You can also buy a packet of o-rings of multiple sizes that can help you to find the right o-ring for your faucet. Lastly reassemble the parts as you have taken out to have your faucet free from any leaks.
Conclusion- Fixing a leaky faucet can be a tricky job. For the best help, call for a professional plumber who will deliver freedom from a leaky faucet, conveniently.