fix a leaky faucet

As leaky faucets are a common plumbing issue for homeowners, it is essential for them to have knowledge of how to fix them. While hiring a professional plumber may appear trivial, you may prefer the certainty of repairing the faucet yourself. The process involves getting under the sink and following the steps outlined below, but it is not a complicated task.

To repair a leaky faucet like a professional, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Find where the faucet is leaking from.

To fix a leaky faucet, start by shutting off the cold-water supply valve beneath the sink to detect the leaky faucet valve. If the leak stops, the issue is with the cold-water faucet. If the leak persists, close the hot-water valve and reopen the cold supply valve. If the leak stops, the issue is with the hot water valve. If the problem continues, then both valves need maintenance.

Step 2: Remove the cap of the faucet handle.

To fix a leaking faucet, turn off the water supply valves located below the sink and open the faucet valves. Then, use a slim screwdriver to take off the decorative cap that covers the faucet handle.

removing the cap of a faucet handle

Step 3: Take out the screws holding the faucet handle

To remove the handle, you’ll need a screwdriver. Find the screw that holds the handle to the cartridge and use the screwdriver to loosen it. When the screw is out, gently pull the handle away from the cartridge until it comes off. If the handle is difficult to remove, apply a little force, but be careful not to damage any other parts of the faucet.

Step 4: Remove the Retaining Nut to Fix a Leaky Faucet

To take off the holding nut, use a wrench to turn it counterclockwise until it loosens. The retaining nut is situated below the handle assembly and holds the cartridge in place. After loosening the nut, remove it by hand, taking care not to damage other parts of the faucet.

Step 5: Remove the cartridge to fix the leaky faucet

To fix a leaky faucet, the next step is to remove the cartridge. After extracting it, examine the cartridge for any wear or damage that may be causing the leak. The most frequent cause of a leaky faucet is a worn-out cartridge.

If the cartridge is not worn out too much, cleaning it may resolve the problem. Check the cartridge surface for mineral buildup or debris that can obstruct the water flow. After inspecting, cleaning, or replacing the cartridge, reassemble the faucet by reversing the previous steps to fix the leaky faucet.

Removing the cartridge to fix the leaky faucet

Step 6: Remove the Seal and Spring from Your Faucet

To remove the seal and spring, use needle-nose pliers or a pair of tweezers. These components are situated inside the faucet body and can be taken out after removing the cartridge.

After reaching the cartridge opening, use pliers or tweezers to hold the top of the seal and spring set and gently pull them out. Be sure to pull them straight out and not at an angle to avoid bending them.

Inspect the seal and spring for cracks, tarnishing, or other damages that may cause the leak after removing them. A worn-out or damaged seal is a frequent cause of a leaky faucet. Therefore, to fix a leaky faucet, it is crucial to clean, repair, or replace the seal as needed before reassembling the faucet.

Step 7: Reassemble the faucet

With the damaged components addressed, it’s time to put the faucet back together. Start by reinserting the seal and spring into the faucet body and using your pliers or tweezers to ensure they are seated properly. Be sure to align the seal on the spring correctly if you have replaced either part.

To continue fixing a leaky faucet, carefully place the cartridge back into its designated spot, making sure the grooves on the cartridge are correctly aligned with the tab on the faucet body. Use a cartridge-pulling tool or light hammer taps to help position the cartridge, if needed.

After that, use a wrench to tighten the retaining nut by turning it clockwise until it is securely in place. However, be careful not to tighten it too much as it may damage the cartridge.

To complete the process, put the handle back in its position by firmly pushing it onto the cartridge stem. Use the screwdriver to secure the handle by tightening the screw. Check the handle for any looseness or wobbling and make sure it moves smoothly.

Great job! By following the steps and carefully reassembling your faucet, you have successfully fixed the leak. It’s important to regularly maintain your faucet and promptly address any leaks to prevent further damage and save water.

Step 8: Think about hiring a professional plumber for more complicated issues

If you have attempted all of the steps and the faucet still leaks, it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional plumber. An unrepaired leaky faucet can result in expensive water bills and even cause water damage to your property.

Professional residential plumbers possess the expertise, tools, and experience required to identify and repair leaks that may be beyond your DIY capabilities. Additionally, they can advise you on whether it is more cost-effective to replace the entire faucet, particularly if your current one is outdated or significantly damaged.

If you suspect that your leaky faucet may have a more complex issue that requires specialized attention, do not hesitate to contact a professional plumber. With their help, you can ensure that your faucet is completely repaired and any potential leaks are resolved. By seeking professional help, you can save time and money and avoid any further damage to your plumbing system.

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