Wednesday, February 13, 2008

So, I was writing an article on How to Fix a Leaky Faucet for a specific place, found out it had all ready been assigned..and decided to post it here.
Because it happens to everyone eventually. And it can been expensive to hire a plumber...and if not done right..well you can flood your bathroom...and the kitchen..and any other room in the general vicinity. So..if you don;t know how to fix a leaky faucet here are the instructions you are looking for.

Leaky Faucets - How to fix on your own

Your faucet will be one of the following four types of faucets: compression, cartridge, ceramic disk,or ball type. These instructions are for the compression type.

A compression faucet relies on rubber washers to seal the valve seat. Rubber washers eventually wear out and be replaced . The other types are often called washerless faucets They do last longer but they can also develop leaks. When these cartridge, ceramic-disk or ball-type faucets leak, you can replace the O-ring or neoprene seal that's causing the leak, or you replace the entire assembly inexpensively.

Before You Start

There are a couple of things that you need to do once you have identified the type of faucet you have, but before you begin working on it. Visually go over the faucet, and the way it looks. If you are like me you might want to take digital photos as you take it apart so you can have a record of how it goes back together. Just in case you get confused.

Begin by finding the water shut off valve under the sink. Most sinks have them, although we have lived in some old houses that require that the water be shut off at the street before repairs are done. Be sure you shut off the water under the sink. If you have double faucets, and are replacing the valves in both of them, be sure to turn off both sides.

If you leave the water on, when you take off the faucet you will have a geyser that rivals Old Faithful, ask me how I know.

1. Be sure to close the drain to the sink and cover it well with a rag of some sort. Some of the parts are small and will bounce easily and you want to be able to keep them from going down the drain.
2. Some people use duct tape on the jaws of the wrench that that use fo this chore. By using tape you can avoid superficial scratches to your faucet.
3. Lay a piece of newspaper down on the floor. As you take each part off the faucet lay it carefully on the paper in order.

You will need the following supplies:

• Philips screwdriver,
• a small common screwdriver,
• common pliers,
• needle nose pliers
• a wrench.
• white vinegar for cleaning off mineral deposits

Remove the cap cover from the top of the leaking faucet handle.. The small common screwdriver may be needed to remove the cap.

Use the Philips screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the handle to the faucet valve stem. Once the screw has been removed, use the wrench to unscrew the nut that secures the valve stem to the faucet. Gently, if possible, use the pliers to remove the valve stem. Sometimes the stem will stick a little and require a bit of tugging.

Now you should see the rubber washer sitting on top of the spring in the valve stem. Pull this out with the needle nosed pliers.

Take the washer assembly, along with the valve stem to the hardware or home improvement store to find the exact replacement. By taking the assembly with you, you can match it up completely.

Re-assemble the faucet by placing the rubber washer on top of the narrow end of the spring and using your screwdriver as a guide to slide it into place into the valve stem housing area. The wide end of the spring should rest at the base of the valve assembly housing.

Next, install the new valve stem in the valve stem housing and secure with the nut.
Put the faucet handle back in place, on top of the valve stem and secure it with the screw. Push the cap back into place on top of the faucet handle.

Finally turn the water supply lines back on and check to make sure the leak is fixed.

Image:Morgue File


Angie said...

Great advice on fixing the leaky faucet. Pity the place you were going to write it for didn't need it any more.

Marye said...

Thanks Angie. :)