Leaky faucets are a common problem in the homeowner world. Before you call the plumber in for any major repairs, try fixing the faucet on your own with these easy-to-follow instructions.
- Remove the handle. Unscrew the screw attaching the faucet handle. Note that it may be under a decorative cover that you’ll need to pry off.
- Use a wrench to tighten the packing nut. Find the nut at the base of the handle’s stem. This could be the root of your leak. Tighten nut and see if your leak has stopped. If not, proceed to step 3.
- Turn off the water. There should be a shutoff valve for your faucet, most likely beneath the sink. Turn it to the right to turn off the water.
- Close the sink drain. Cover your drain with a rag to ensure you don’t lose dropped parts.
- Empty your faucet. Twist the top of the stem to open your faucet. Let all the water flow out before proceeding to the next step.
- Remove the stem assembly. Unscrew the packing nut to take apart the stem assembly.
- Replace the washer. On the bottom of your stem assembly you’ll find a screw holding on the washer. Replace the old washer with a new one and tighten the screw. To be sure you have the right size, bring the washer with you to the hardware store.
- Reassemble your faucet. Work backwards to replace the stem assembly and tighten up the nut.
- Turn the water on. Reattach your handle and turn the water back on by opening the shutoff valve.
- Rejoice! You’ve just mastered fixing a leaky faucet.
Bonus tip: To remove mineral deposits from faucet parts, use distilled white vinegar.
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