How to Repair a Leaky Faucet

The constant drip of a leaky faucet is enough to drive anyone crazy, and your water bills won’t make you feel any better. If unwanted water is coming out of your faucet, you need to get the problem taken care of before it becomes more serious. While it’s always best to call the professionals, here are a few things you can try on your own.

Before You Start

Before you start taking apart your home’s plumbing, there are a few precautionary steps that need to be taken.

  1. Turn off the water flowing to your faucet. There should be a pipe underneath your sink that connects to the main plumbing. Somewhere along those pipes is a handle that can be used to disconnect the water to the sink.
  2. Close off the open sink drain with a sink plug. If you don’t have one, use a rag. This will prevent any small parts from falling into the pipe system.
  3. If you intend to take apart most of the faucet assembly, set out a towel or rag on the floor to lay out parts in order of removal and keep track of all your pieces.

Determine Your Faucet Type

To repair your faucet you also need to know what kind of fixture you’re dealing with. There are four types, each with their own unique assembly.

  1. A compression faucet has two screw handles, one for hot and cold, making it the most recognizable without taking anything apart.
  2. Cartridge faucets contain a metal cylindrical cartridge that rests below the handle.
  3. A ball faucet contains a ball bearing.
  4. Ceramic disk faucets contain two ceramic disks that control the flow of water.

Check for Common Wear and Tear

The most likely, and easiest to fix, problem behind your leaky faucet is general wear and tear of seals or retaining rings within the assembly. As you take your faucet apart, wipe down each part to remove any built up sediment or water residue that can erode the internal parts. Each faucet should have an O-ring, a small, circular, rubber-like piece that prevents water from leaking out of the handle. Replace it and any other seals you might find before putting the assembly back together and making sure everything is screwed tightly together.

Trusted Plumbing Professionals

Plumbing systems aren’t simple setups; there’s a reason why certified technicians have years of training and experience. If you need professional help to repair or replace your home’s plumbing or heating, contact South West Plumbing today. For more than 30 years we’ve been providing first-class customer service to residents in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Visit us online or call one of our many locations to schedule an appointment.