How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Do you have water pooling under your sink? Do you hear the annoying dripping sound of a leaky faucet? Well, if you have a leaky faucet in your kitchen or bathroom, fixing a leaky faucet is a quick and inexpensive fix. You shouldn’t ignore a leaky faucet because all those wasted drops of water add up. Did you know you could be wasting approximately 11 liters or 3 gallons of water? 

Tools and materials you need to fix a leaky faucet:

  • Rags
  • Hex key/wrench
  • Replacement parts or kit
  • Flathead and phillips head screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench 

Here are the step on how to fix a leaky faucet:

1. Shut off water

The first thing you need to do is shut off the water. You can do this by twisting the valve under your sink to shut off the water supply valve or valves. If you don’t have individual shutoff valves under the sink, shut off the water supply for the house. Then, turn on the faucet and leave it open to allow the remaining water in the line to empty into the sink.

2. Remove set screw and handle

The second thing you need to do is to remove the set screw and handle. You can do this by taking off the screw cover using a screwdriver or Allen wrench. Then, once you remove the cover, you’ll be able to reach the set screw. You’ll need to remove the set screw using a screwdriver, which will loosen the handle, and allow you to pull the handle free.  

3. Check adjusting ring

The third thing you need to do is to check the adjusting ring. Does the adjusting ring look loose? If so, tighten the adjusting ring with needle-nose pliers and test your faucet again. However, if the adjusting ring was already tight or this quick fix doesn’t help, then you’ll have to replace the seats and springs.

4. Remove handle cap and packing nut

The fourth thing you need to do is to remove the handle cap and packing nut. You can do this by wrapping a cloth around the dome-shaped housing to protect the finish and use tongue-and-groove pliers to loosen and remove the handle cap. 

5. Remove cartridge or existing packing

The fifth thing you need to do is to remove the cartridge or existing packing. You can do this by pulling out the round metal stem. This will reveal the cam which is a rubber and plastic insert and the ball assembly. You need to make sure you note the position of the holes on the ball when you remove it because you’ll need to return it to the exact position when you reassemble the faucet. Examine the cap and existing packing, if this is the cause of your leaky faucet, you’ll need to replace these parts. 

6. Dry and replace the seat and spring

The sixth thing you need to do is to pat dry and replace the seat and spring. After removing the ball, cam, and packing, you’ll be able to see small circles inside your faucet’s valve which is called the seat and springs. You can replace the seat and spring by using an Allen wrench or flat head screwdriver to pry out both sets. 

7. Install new cartridge

The seventh thing you need to do is to install the new cartridge. You can do this by replacing the ball assembly in its original position, then you’ll need to place the cam and packing over the ball. Next, you’ll need to live the tab on the side of the cam into the slot of the faucet body. Examine the o-ring for damages and replace if necessary. You should replace the o-ring on top of the cam. 

8. Reattach packing nut and handle cap

The eight and final thing you need to do is reattach the packing nut and handle cap. You shouldn’t use pliers to reattach the packing nut and handle cap. Then, replace the adjusting right and tighten with needle-nose pliers until the ball feels snug when you move the rod back and forth. Attach the handle and turn your water line back on and run both hot and cold water for a few minutes to ensure the aerator isn’t clogged. If your faucet is still leaking, then you should contact a licensed plumber. 

About Draintony

We are a locally owned and operated plumbing company, providing residential and commercial owner plumbing services. We specialize in Drain Repair, Drain Cleaning, Basement Waterproofing, Sump Pump Installation, Clogged Toilets and more. Our team at Draintony is dedicated to providing you premier plumbing quality and premier plumbing services.