How to Fix a Drippy Faucet

Having a leaking faucet can be a headache. Aside from the annoying drip-drip-drip sound that destroys your home’s peaceful silence, it also causes you to waste gallons of water and end up with a huge utility bill. Fortunately, if you’ve noticed that your faucet is leaking, you can do something to put a stop to it. Start by taking the following steps:

1. Gather All The Right Tools

Before you begin, get your toolbox and gather the things you’ll need to repair your faucet. These include an adjustable wrench, a Phillips screwdriver, needlenose pliers (if you have a ball-type faucet), and penetrating oil or plumber’s grease.

It’s also a great idea to buy replacement O-rings and washers, since these are the common causes of faucet leaks. You can opt to buy a pack of washers and O-rings in different types and sizes, but you can also wait until you’ve disassembled your faucet so you can bring your old parts to the store and use them to buy the right replacements.

2. Turn Off The Water Supply

It’s difficult — not to mention virtually impossible — to fix your faucet while water is gushing out of it. So, before doing anything else, make sure to turn off the hot and cold water valves (which are usually located under your sink). Next, open your faucet all the way so the remaining water in the lines can drain out.

3. Prepare The Area

After shutting off the water supply, cover the sink drain with a rag. This will catch any parts that you might drop into the sink and ensure they won’t shoot through the drain and end up in the sewer line. You should also pick a flat surface (such as the floor or the kitchen counter) and lay a piece of paper on it. This way, you’ll have a place where you can lay the parts you disassemble in the correct order and ensure you can reassemble the faucet with everything in the right place.

4. Disassemble Your Faucet

Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove your faucet’s handle knobs. You can use penetrating oil or plumber’s grease to loosen the screws and make them easier to remove. Once you’re done, use your adjustable wrench to remove the packing nut and the metal stem.

5. Check The O-Ring And Washer

Removing the stem and packing nut exposes your faucet’s washer and O-ring. Take them out and replace them with new parts. Make sure to use the right size; double-check everything to ensure that you’re installing the correct type of washer and the right O-ring size.

6. Reassemble Everything

Once you’ve replaced the O-ring and washer, put everything back together. Turn on the main water valves and test your faucet to see if it still drips or not. If it does, the leak is probably caused by a problem with the valve seat or the plumbing system. You can fix this on your own if you have the time and skills, but it’s advisable to get the help of a professional plumber.

Take these steps now to repair a leaky faucet!

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