IN THIS POST
– Why do Faucets Leak?
– Types of Faucet Mechanisms
– Required Tools
– How to Fix Leaky Cartridge Faucets
– How to Fix Leaky Compression Faucets
– How to Fix Leaky Ball Faucets
– How to Fix Leaky Ceramic-Disk Faucets
Have you ever turned off a faucet just to hear the sound of water dripping from the spout? Unfortunately, it’s quite a common occurrence that almost all of us must have faced at least once in our lives. The sound of incessant dripping is not only annoying, but it also leads to wasted water, and in some cases, water damage. Usually, homeowners tend to call the plumber to fix leaky faucets in their kitchens and bathrooms. However, did you know that it’s a fairly simple job that you can accomplish on your own?
Before we delve into our step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaky faucet, let’s quickly discuss why they leak in the first place, different types of faucet mechanisms, and required tools.
Why Do Faucets Leak?
There are quite a few reasons why faucets may leak, such as mineral build-up on the inner parts, corrosion and worn out O-rings.
Feeling confused? Well, here’s a simple explanation of how a faucet works.
Once you turn on the water, the faucet controls its flow by using a cartridge with rubber or neoprene washers that act as seals, opening and closing against the water inlet ports. These seals have to fit perfectly in place inside the faucet body once it is turned off. However, when they fail to do so, a small amount of water continues to trickle up to the spout and creates that irritating dripping sound we all know too well.
The most common reason the washers or seals are not able to function properly is either due to corrosion or mineral build-up. Both of these issues interfere with the working of a faucet, causing wastage of water.
Another reason behind the leak that is worth mentioning is the worn-out O-rings, which fit underneath the spout assembly in traditional faucets and can lead to the water dripping from it even after it is turned off.
Types of Faucet Mechanisms
There are four main types of faucet mechanisms that everyone must know about:
- Cartridge Faucet
- Compression Faucet
- Ball-Type Faucet
- Ceramic Disk Faucet
In the compression faucet, rubber washers are responsible to seal the valve set. If it wears out, you’ll need to replace it. Meanwhile, the other types of faucets have neoprene seals or O-rings, which can also cause problems if damaged and need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, if you are looking to buy faucets, here is a comprehensive guide on the pros and cons of different types of kitchen faucets that will help you out.
Tools Required to Fix Leaky Faucets
Whether you are planning to fix a leaky single handle faucet or one with double handles, here are some of the tools you will require to do the job.
- Needle-nose or flat-nose pliers
- Set of screwdrivers
- Utility knife
- Rags (to clean access moisture)
- Rubber washers
- Neoprene seals
- White vinegar
- Scouring pad
For your convenience, we have separately described the process to repair each type of leaky faucet without hiring an expert.
How to Fix Leaky Cartridge Faucets
Here is your DIY guide on how to fix a leaky bathroom sink faucet with a cartridge.
Step 1: Shut off the water.
Step 2: Remove the decorative cap from the faucet handle using a utility knife.
Step 3: Remove the handle screw and then tilt the handle back to pull it off.
Step 4: Use flat-nose pliers to get rid of the threaded retaining clip that is used to hold the cartridge in place.
Step 5: Pull up the cartridge and take off the spout.
Step 6: Take a utility knife to remove the worn-out O-rings. Replace them with the new ones.
Step 7: Reassemble your faucet.
Step 8: Turn the water on and off to see if it’s working perfectly
How to Fix Leaky Compression Faucets
Want to fix a leaky kitchen sink faucet? If it has a compression mechanism, here’s how to go about it.
Step 1: Shut off the water.
Step 2: Remove the decorative cap on the faucet handle to expose the attachment screws.
Step 3: Take a screwdriver and remove the screws to pull off the handle.
Step 4: Use a wrench to detach the packing nut.
Step 5: Unscrew the stem and loosen it from the faucet body.
Step 6: Loosen the rubber washer from the washer seat.
Step 7: Remove the old washers and replace with new ones.
Step 8: Replace the O-ring to ensure the faucet doesn’t leak when turned on.
Step 9: Reassemble the faucet.
Step 10: Run the water through the faucet to make sure it’s working fine.
How to Fix Leaky Ball Faucets
Are you looking for a way to fix a leaky bathtub faucet? If so, here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing a ball faucet.
Step 1: Turn off the water.
Step 2: Remove the index cover from the side of the faucet with a utility knife to expose a hex-head screw.
Step 3: Use a wrench to loosen the screw and pull off the faucet handle.
Step 4: Remove the cap and collar from the faucet using flat-nose pliers.
Step 5: Unscrew the faucet cam with a wrench.
Step 6: Lift out the cam, cam washer and the rotating stainless-steel ball inside the faucet body.
Step 7: Use needle-nose pliers to remove the rubber springs and seats from the faucet body.
Step 8: Replace the spring and rubber seat. If needed, also replace the faucet cam.
Step 9: Reassemble all the pieces.
Step 10: Turn on the water and make sure the faucet is not leaking any more.
How to Fix Leaky Ceramic-Disk Faucets
Want to know how easy it is to fix a leaky double handle faucet? If you have ceramic-disk faucets in your home, this is how you can stop them from dripping.
Step 1: Shut off the water.
Step 2: Push back your faucet handle to reveal the set screw.
Step 3: Loosen the screw to lift off the handle.
Step 4: Remove the cylindrical escutcheon cap and remove the screws holding the disk cylinder in place.
Step 5: Lift off the cylinder and remove the neoprene seals using a utility knife.
Step 6: Replace the damaged seals.
Step 7: Rinse the cylinder with distilled white vinegar and use a scouring pad to clean its openings.
Step 8: Reassemble the faucet.
Step 9: Turn the water back on slowly, as the sudden pressure may damage the ceramic disk.
If the steps above do not help you repair the leaky faucets in your home, then you may have to hire a professional to replace the fixtures.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions or concerns about how to fix leaky faucets, feel free to share them with us by dropping an email at email@example.com.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our tips on how to choose the best plumbing fixtures for your bathroom. Moreover, you can learn about different types of kitchen sinks as well as the best sink materials for your bathroom.
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