any things can cause your faucet to leak and the leak can be extremely annoying and expensive in terms of water bill as well as time for clean up. Reasons for a leaky faucet include problems with O-ring, corroded valve seat, worn out the washer, loose parts, incorrect installation of the washer, worn out seals and broken plumbing.
Knowing the cause of the leak is a vital part if you want to know how to fix a leaky faucet yourself. In most cases, the causes of the leaks are common. Ignoring such problems can lead to serious damages that can force you to replace the faucet, an undertaking that can range into hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. With the right information, you can fix the problem on your own without incurring too much. Here is how to go about it.
Fix a Leaky Faucet Yourself
Supplies you will need
- Adjustable wrench (C-wrench)
- Flat-head and/or Philips screwdriver
- Penetrating oil
- Replacement O-rings and washers
Steps To Fix A Leaky Faucet Yourself
You can save a lot of money by choosing to fix your leaky faucet on your own. The process is simple and inexpensive. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Turn off the water supply
The very first thing to do is to turn off your water supply. The water supplies off from the handles over the sink all the way to the knobs underneath the sink that regulate the water that comes from the main water line.
Step 2: Plug the sink drain
Once you have turned off all the water supply, it is time to plug the drain using a sink plug or just a rag if you do not have one. This will prevent screw, screwdriver, o-ring or washer from going down the drain and ruining your day.
Step 3: Remove decorative parts of the handle knob
With a simple prying by the use of a flat-head screwdriver, the decorative parts will be off. Under each knob, locate screw that mounts the handle to the stem. Unscrew it and then gently detach the handle with the screwdriver. Penetrating oil will help in loosening the screw to allow you take the faucet handle off its stem.
Step 4: Loosen the packing unit
Using a C-wrench, locate the packing unit. This will enable you to see the stem. Remove the stem as well. Faucets stems differ greatly with some models popping up right off while other models twist off right from the valve. Carry out a thorough inspection of the removed parts to see any signs of anomaly that could cause leakage.
Step 5: Inspect the washer and O-ring inside the valve seat
If all removed parts are intact then it is time to conduct a thorough inspection of the washer and the o-ring in the valve seat, as they are most likely the reason for the leaky faucet. If you are uncertain about their condition then you can go to a nearby hardware store and purchase replacement o-rings and washers in case you do not have any. Be careful to buy only the compatible o-rings and washers.
Step 6: Reassemble all parts
Once you have the right o-ring and washer, reassemble all parts with an extra keenness to ensure you have left nothing out. The order of reassembly is O-ring/washer, stem, packing unit, screw and then the handle. Turn the knob gently and slowly to test if the water is running to see if you have managed to correct the leak.
After you have followed the process and you are sure you have done everything accordingly but the leak is still there, then the problem could be corrosion in the valve seat. This results from irregular and infrequent cleaning of the valve seat. In such as case then full replacement is the best solution.
Quick Tips avoid leaking faucet
You do not have to wait for your faucet to start leaking to take action. You can do a few things to avoid having a leaky faucet. Here are some quick tips to help you out:
Choose a good product
Faucets come in various designs, shapes, and quality. Poor quality faucets are not durable and thus they will start leaking sooner for one reason or another. You would better spend a little bit more money and get a high quality and durable faucet than installing a cheap one that will require frequent replacement.
Use faucet correctly
The manner in which you use your faucet also determines how soon it might develop a leak. Stacking too many things on the sink counter can accelerate the speed with which your faucet may develop a leak. Always check under the sink for any abnormalities.
Check faucets as frequently as possible
A leak does not develop overnight. A good idea would be to check your faucets as frequently as possible to identify any problems before they become gross. If you notice any problem then you must take the earliest opportunity to correct it.
Clean the faucet valve seat frequently
A corroded valve seat is a major cause of leakage in faucets. Corrosion develops over time but you can prevent it from continuing and becoming worse by cleaning the faucet valve seat as frequently as you can.