How To Fix A Leaky Faucet – Forbes Home

Thứ Hai, ngày 11/07/2022 - 22:44
How To Fix A Leaky Faucet – Forbes Home

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The drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet is not only annoying, but it can also lead to a higher water bill and other headaches if it persists. But fixing a leaky faucet is an easy and cheap repair that will only take a couple of hours to fix. You’ll need to pick up a faucet repair kit or individual pieces if you have a bead on the source of the problem. Faucets typically leak because of mineral buildup or deteriorating washers.

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Repairing a leaky faucet requires tools that can easily slip off of faucet parts because there can be wet parts still. Begin by turning off the water to the faucet. The shutoff valve is typically located below the faucet but if you can’t find one, locate your water main and shut that off.

Faucets typically have a lifespan of 10 years before parts start to fail, so be sure to note the date of existing faucets and repairs in a home repair book so you know when it’s time for a fix. Note that ceramic disc faucets typically come with a lifetime guarantee from manufacturers because they are so durable and rarely need repairs.

You can either purchase seals and washers or just buy a faucet repair kit. Purchasing a faucet repair kit will include everything you need and save you more trips to the hardware store, so it’s an easier route.

Locate the shutoff valve for the faucet to stop water from flowing through the faucet. Most often, the shutoff valve will be located under the faucet. If you can’t locate the shutoff, you’ll have to turn off the water main. If you don’t know where your water main is, you might want to call a professional. After shutting off the water, cover the drain so you don’t lose any parts down the drain.

To get started on fixing a leaky cartridge faucet, you’ll want to duct tape the jaws of your slip-joint pliers to prevent any damage to the faucet. Also, have some distilled white vinegar in a bowl and a soft scouring pad in order to clean off any mineral deposits on any faucet parts.

Once you remove the cap on top of the faucet handle, unscrew the handle screw, then tilt the handle back to pull it off. As you remove faucet parts, you’ll want to keep them in order. You can label the parts or use your phone to take video or pictures of the parts to keep remember the order of replacing them.

If your leaky cartridge faucet has a threaded retaining clip, you’ll want to grab some needle-nose pliers to remove it. Once the retaining clip is removed, pull the cartridge straight up.

The replacement kit will come with a spanner cap, which you need to place over the cartridge in order to remove it. Remove the cartridge by gripping the spanner cap with slip-joint pliers and twisting back and forth.

Remove the cartridge by grabbing it with pliers and pulling it straight up. After that begin replacing worn parts. Remember to clean any parts that have mineral deposit buildup with distilled white vinegar and a scouring pad. Cut old O-rings with a utility knife and use plumber’s grease to coat the new O-rings.

Compression faucets typically leak due to faulty seat washers. The disassembly of a compression faucet is the same as a cartridge faucet.

Remove the handle cap with a screwdriver or utility knife to get at the screws.

Use a screwdriver to remove the handle screw and then pull the handle off.

Grab a crescent wrench to unscrew the packing nut, then use an adjustable wrench to loosen the stem from the faucet body.

There’s a rubber washer at the bottom of the stem you need to remove and then replace the seat washer. Remember to coat washers with plumber’s grease before placing them.

Remove the stem from the packing nut to get at the O-ring which will need to be replaced. The O-ring is typically the cause of faucet leaks but they range in size from ⅜-⅝ of an inch, so take note of the O-ring size or bring the damaged O-ring to a hardware store to find the right match. Before replacing the O-ring, coat the new O-ring in plumber’s grease.

The retainer is a round, recessed disc that contains a washer. If the retainer appears damaged, you’ll need to grind it flush and add a replacement retainer ring. If the faucet still leaks, the seat might have pitting. To fix any pitting, remove the stem and sand the top of the seat with an emery cloth to smooth it.

Push the faucet handle back to get at the set screw. Unscrew the set screw with an Allen wrench and turn counterclockwise and lift the handle off. Then unscrew or unclip the cap.

Remove the retaining screws on the disc cartridge, then lift the cartridge out.

The cartridge will likely show some mineral buildup so take the time to clean up mineral buildup with distilled white vinegar and a scouring pad or rag. Then turn the cartridge over and replace the rubber seals.

Remove the plastic disc and replace the O-ring seals under it. Inspect the faucet body holes and clean them if clogged. Beware if you have an older ceramic disc faucet when finishing repairs because early ceramic disc faucets were more fragile and could crack through a blast of pressurized air. To avoid that, leave the faucet open as you turn the water on again. The air will escape and wait until the water runs smoothly before turning the faucet off.

A ball-type faucet contains more parts than other faucet types so it’s important to pick up a replacement kit before getting started. Leaks can emanate from several spots so it’s better to replace them all than try to pinpoint one spot.

Lift the handle and remove the cover to get at the Allen screw. Use an Allen wrench to loosen the Allen screw by turning counterclockwise. Turn until loose enough to lift the handle from the stem. Take a look to see if water is leaking around the base of the handle. If so, the fix might be just removing the handle and tightening the adjusting ring. Turn the adjusting ring clockwise with a spanner tool found in the repair kit. If the faucet is dripping from its spout, then you’ll need to replace the seats and springs.

Grab some slip-joint pliers and wrap the jaws with duct tape to prevent any damage to the faucet as you unscrew the cap by turning counterclockwise with the pliers.

Lift the plastic cam and packing off, then remove the ball. Inspect the ball to see if it’s damaged. Replace the ball if it has cracks, wear or scratches.

Turn the water back on to look for leaks. If you notice a leak around the ball stem, tighten the adjusting ring with the spanner tool. Replace the faucet handle to complete the job.

If a leak persists and you can’t pinpoint then it’s time to call a plumber. Plumbers will typically charge between $125 to $350 for a leaky faucet. Plumbers usually charge between $45 to $150 an hour with a minimum charge of $50 to $100.

Nick is a content creator with a background in DIY home renovation, maintenance, repair and trends. When he's not writing, Nick likes to rehab vintage or kitsch furniture for his home.

Samantha is an editor who covers all topics home-related including home improvement and repair. She edited home repair and design content at websites like The Spruce and HomeAdvisor. She also has hosted videos on DIY home tips and solutions and launched multiple home improvement review boards staffed with licensed pros.

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