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How to Fix a Leaking Faucet

Brand new intricate kitchen faucet

September 15, 2021

A leaking faucet may seem like a minor inconvenience but allowing a faucet to continue to leak can cost you in the long run. While it may look like just a drip, the EPA estimates one trillion gallons of water is wasted each year from household leaks.

The process for repairing a leaking faucet may vary depending on the type of faucet and sink. This guide will inform you how to fix a leaky faucet for most standard faucet repairs.

Step 1: Turn off the hot and cold supply stops for the faucet one at a time to determine which side is leaking. After you have determined which side is leaking, turn both sides off before any disassembly.

Step 2: Cover the drain to avoid small parts falling into the drain hole.

Step 3: Determine why the faucet is leaking by disassembling the faucet and identifying the broken piece.

Identifying common causes of a leaking faucet

O Ring

An O Ring is a gasket used to seal the connection between parts. O Ring issues occur in faucets that have a cartridge. The O Ring can become loose or corrode over time. If an O Ring is damaged, there will most likely be a noticeable leak around the handle or through the spout.

Corroded valve seat

Valve seats are the surfaces that press against the cartridge allowing the water to stop. These seats can be made out of rubber or brass and tend to wear over time with use. Determine which type of seat you have and replace it with the manufacturer specified seat. There are generic universal seats available, but it is always best to use manufacturer specific parts.

Worn out washer 

Some faucets use bib washers that are attached to the bottom of the cartridge as opposed to seats that are located in the valve body. These washers, similar to the seats, can wear over time with use. To replace the washer, you must remove the cartridge and determine the size. Replace the washer and re-install the cartridge.

Improper installation

When faucets are not installed to manufacturer specifications, they will not operate as intended. If you have a newly installed faucet and are noticing a leak, read through the supplied instructions and determine if it was an installation error or a faulty product. Most reputable brands have lifetime warranties and will replace a product that has a manufacturer defect.

Loose screws

Some faucets use screws to hold the cartridge in place or hold the bib washers to the cartridge. A loose screw can keep parts from seating properly allowing water to pass by them. Ensure there is no further damage before tightening a screw back down and re-assembling the faucet.

Step 4: Reassemble the faucet. Always pay close attention when disassembling your faucet and take note of the steps you will need to take to reassemble the faucet. Many video guides can be found online for specific faucet models.

While some faucet repairs can seem easy, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself from water damage. Call a local plumber for more complex faucet repairs or faucet repairs you are not comfortable fixing alone. If you live in the Winston Salem, Kernersville, Greensboro or High Point, NC areas, Contact Enduric Plumbing to get your leaking faucet repaired today!