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3 Steps to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Leaky Faucet

Not only are leaky faucets generally irritating, but with water being wasted with every drip, your water bill will be getting higher. Thankfully, faucets are fairly easy to fix, so you’ll be able to do it yourself – providing you have the tools.

1. Getting started on repairs

The first step in starting the project is to gather the required tools and materials. The various tools that you would need for fixing the leak are; an adjustable wrench, ball-peen hammer, tongue and groove pliers, deep socket wrench, basin wrench, screwdriver, allen wrench and long nose pliers. You will require the washers and other materials as per the faucet type you have. You should identify the type you have and then buy the materials accordingly.

The different types of faucets are:

i)     Compression faucet has two handles; one for the cold and the other for the hot. It utilizes a threaded stem for proper compression of the washer.

ii)    Washerless faucet are of three varieties

(1) The ball faucet that contains the ball bearing

(2) The cartridge faucet that contains the cartridge and has a decorative handle

(3) The ceramic disk faucet that contains the ceramic cylinder.

Once you have identified the style of faucet you have and bought the materials, you can move onto the next step. Firstly, turn off the supply of water to the faucets by turning off the valves. If it is still leaking, then turn off from the main supply. You will need to stop the sink drain so that you do not lose any small materials such as the screws or washers.

2. Fixing the washer

This step completely depends upon the faucet you have and is different for each type.


You have to first remove the decorative cap and then the handle. Unscrew the fixed faucet and remove it. At the end of the stem, you will find the washer that is held in its place by the washer screw. You have to remove the washer screw and put a new washer of same shape and size.

Also, check the valve in case it has got worn out, replace this valve too if necessary. Lubricate the stem using grease before starting the process of reassembling the faucet.

Before you tighten the nuts and bolts, make sure that the stem is put midway so that the new washer is not tightened too hard.


A leaking handle can be fixed by adjusting or replacing the ring or the can washer.  If the spout is leaking, then replace the worn out springs and valve seats.

If the ball is corroded, then replace it. When the base is leaking, you will need to install new O-rings and ensure that they fit the faucet. When you put it all together, make sure that the lug fits into the space of the faucet body properly.


In this faucet, the cartridge assembly gets worn out. You have to eliminate the trim cap and the handle.

Next, remove the screws of the retainer nut and take away the cartridge. Do pay attention to which of the stem’s side is flat and see which side it is facing. This is important as you may inadvertently reverse the hot and cold water. Change the O-rings of the old cartridge. Apply the grease that is heatproof and start the process of reassembling.

3. Reassembling the faucet

This step is the same for all style, wherein you reassemble the faucet and turn on the valve to check for the leakage.If done correctly, the leaking should have stopped.

All data correct at time of publication.