How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Step-by-Step - This Old House
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Learn about 4 types of faucets, what causes a faucet to drip, and how to repair them.
There are few things more annoying than a leaky faucet. It's a constant reminder that you're wasting water, plus the drip, drip, dripping sound is beyond irritating. Don't put up with it—fix it! Repairing a leaky faucet is an easy and inexpensive project. The key is in knowing how to fix your particular type of faucet.
There are four kinds of faucets: cartridge, compression, ceramic disk, and ball type. A compression faucet relies on rubber washers to seal the valve seat, which can wear out and need to be replaced. With the other three types of faucets, either the O-ring or neoprene seal that's causing the leak needs to be replaced. We’ll go over each of these fixes in more detail below.
Before you start, shut off the water under the sink. Cover the drain with a rag to catch dropped parts, and establish a spot nearby to lay out the parts in the order of their removal. Tape the jaws of your wrench with a layer of duct tape to avoid scratching the fixture, and have some distilled white vinegar and a soft scouring pad ready for removing any mineral deposits found on the parts.
This type of faucet contains a lot of parts, which often makes it difficult to find the cause of the leak. You can avoid the aggravation by buying a replacement kit and putting in all new parts.
Looking for help with repairs around your home? A home warranty may help. Check out these in-depth guides from the This Old House Reviews Team:
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