How to Fix a Leaky Faucet
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If the sound of a dripping faucet keeps you up at night and the thought of how much water you’re wasting worries you, you can relax. Fixing a leaky faucet is quick and inexpensive; even the most amateur DIYer can tackle this task.
The most common sources of a leaking faucet – a worn out washer or gasket, a loose O ring, corrosion in the valve seat – can be detected and fixed easily with most faucet repair kits. Damaged or deteriorated faucet parts are the leading cause of leaks in bathroom, shower and kitchen faucets, especially if you have an older one in your home.
This guide shows you the DIY steps to repair a leaky faucet.
The type of faucet in your kitchen or bathroom may be a single or double handle, has a modern pull-down wand design or is a twisting ball faucet on your shower or tub. Before you begin to fix a dripping faucet, your first step is to shut off the water supply.
Tip: Insert a sink stopper or cover the sink opening with a towel to prevent tools from falling down the drain.
How you remove the faucet handle depends on your faucet type.
Removing the handle of a leaky shower faucet or bathtub faucet requires a bit more work.
The faucet cartridge or faucet stem is found in most two-handled kitchen and bathroom faucet styles. This is the part that regulates the flow of hot and cold water.
Now that you’ve inspected the cartridge or stem and identified it as the source of your dripping kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet leak, you’ll have to replace it.
Cartridges and stems come in many shapes and sizes, and the easiest way to find the right replacement part is to know the name of the faucet’s manufacturer and the faucet’s model number. If you’re not sure, take the old cartridge or stem you’re replacing to the store so you can use a reference guide to match it to the exact cartridge you need.
Once you’ve installed the new cartridge or stem, return to the previous steps and reattach the faucet handle. Turn your water line back on and remove any debris or towels from your sink.
Run both hot and cold water through your faucet few for a few minutes to ensure your aerator isn’t clogged. The aerator is the piece that screws onto the end of the faucet spout. It can be easily removed and cleaned if buildup is hindering continuous water flow.
When you know the type of parts make up your faucet hardware, you’ll know how to classify your faucet. Fixing a leaky faucet takes some of your time and effort, but it is essential to have the right tools for plumbing repair or faucet replacement. Download The Home Depot Mobile App to shop for the materials you need to fix that leaky faucet at home.
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