How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Leaky faucet? Concerning water bill? If you perform regular maintenance on your sinks, you’ll save big on water bills. A leaky faucet costs more than you’d believe. Follow these easy faucet maintenance tips and keep your kitchen and bathroom up to snuff!

Faucet Maintenance Prep

Faucets are easy to fix and maintain, even if you’re a total novice.

In most cases, faucets leak because washers in the handles or the base of the spout wear down and suffer damage.

Before you get started, shut off the water to that particular faucet using the valves located underneath the sink. Turn the valves clockwise (always remember: righty tighty, lefty loosey).

If you don’t see valve knobs, you probably have a penny valve. This looks like a flat screw. Use a flat screwdriver to turn clockwise. Then test to make sure no water comes out of the faucet in question.

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Figure out what kind of faucet you’re dealing with, and then following the steps listed below.

Single Handle Faucet

how to fix a leaky faucetUsing an Allen wrench, remove the screw and the handle.

Remove the cap.

Remove the cam, washer and the ball lever.

Remove the O-rings.

Examine everything carefully. Is the washer worn or warped? How do the O-rings look? Package up the damaged, warped or worn parts in a plastic container for good keeping.

Take damaged washer or O-rings to the local hardware store and buy replacement washers or O-rings.

Install the new O-rings exactly where the old ones were.

Replace the cam, washer and ball lever.

Put the cap and handle back on. Tighten the screw that keeps the handle in place.

See if your faucet works properly!

Double Handle Faucet

If you’ve got two handles, you need to check each side. Turn off one valve, and open up the other, and wait to see if it leaks. No leak? Try the other side. Dripping? That’s your problem handle. Once you know which handle needs attention, shut off both valves.

Using a flat screwdriver, remove the cap on the handle.

Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the screw and handle.

Using a crescent wrench, remove the lock nut.

Take a good look at the cartridge or stem. (You may wish to take a picture of how it is configured.) Check the O-rings to see if they are worn or damaged.

First try replacing the O-rings as described for single handed faucets.

If the O-rings were not the problem, the entire cartridge or stem may need replacing.

Package up the damaged cartridge or stem, bring it to the store or write down what type of cartridge or stem you need and buy a replacement at the hardware store.

Install the new cartridge/stem by lining up the notches and securing in place.

Restore the handle in the reverse order used to disassemble it.

Check the faucet! Working? Not leaking? Then you’ve accomplished your goal!

Need a Charlotte Plumber to Fix a Leaky Faucet?

If you’re not handy or you just plain don’t have time to fix a leaky faucet on your own, give us a call at 704-846-5371. We’ll fix that faucet in no time!

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: How do I fix a leaky faucet?

To fix a leaky, single handle faucet, remove the screw and handle with an Allen wrench. Next, remove the cam, washer, and ball lever, and O-rings. Examine for damage, replacing anything faulty. Install new O-rings back in place. Replace the cam, washer, and ball lever. Put the cap and handle back on, then tighten the screw that stabilizes the handle.

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