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No More Leaks: How to Fix a Dripping Faucet


Fix a Dripping Faucet

Most homeowners have had to contend with a leaking faucet, at least at one point. Apart from the increased water bills, you also have to deal with that awful drip sound that makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Leaking faucets vary from a single continuous dripping faucet to a full-blown plume. While the latter is much worse, you don’t need a professional to fix most leaking faucets with only a few exceptional cases.

In today’s piece, we’ll be looking at how to fix a dripping faucet. But before we get into that, let’s first look at why your faucet is leaking in the first place.

Why Is My Faucet Leaking?

Regardless of the type of faucet you have, they all use the same mechanism to regulate water flow. A cartridge with seals inside the faucet allows water to get inside and out of the valve. If the seals on the cartridge wear out, it allows water to leak from the faucet.

Stuff like corrosion, water scale, and age-related wear can cause the cartridge seals to fail. Tiny particles may also accumulate inside the faucet and loosen the seals.

What Tools Will I Need?

With so many causes of leaks, it can be a tad challenging to pin down the exact tools you’ll need for the job. Your best bet is to carry all of the tools needed for leaky faucet repair. They include:

  • Allen Wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • A pair of pliers
  • Scouring pad and a cleaning agent
  • Seals and washers

Gather all your tools and shut off the water supply. If you don’t, you might end up flooding the entire room. Turn off your home’s entire water supply if you can’t find your sink’s shut-off valves.

How to Fix a Dripping Faucet

As mentioned earlier, the steps you take to fix your leaking faucet depend on the type of faucet in question. That said, your faucet probably fall into one of the following categories:

  • Ball-type
  • Ceramic
  • Compression
  • Cartridge

Here’s how you fix each type of faucet.

Ball-Type Faucets

Ball-types faucets are the most complicated of the bunch, meaning it can sometimes be challenging to pinpoint the cause of the leak. To save yourself some time, you might want to consider getting a replacement faucet. This not only saves you time but also prevents further damage to the faucet.

That said, here’s how you fix a ball-type faucet:

  1. Using a knife, remove the small cover index from the side. Doing so reveals a screw with a hex head
  2. Loosen the screw with the adjustable wrench and remove the handle
  3. Remove the collar plus the cap using a pair of pliers
  4. Use a pair of needlenose pliers to probe into the faucet and take out the springs and rubber seats
  5. Take a pencil or pen, slide a new rubber seal onto it, then gently insert it into the faucet by sliding it off the pencil
  6. Do the same for the second rubber seal, then place the steel ball, ensuring it aligns with the faucet’s body
  7. Replace the gam cap and rubber gasket on top of the ball
  8. Tighten the top cap with a wrench making sure it’s tight enough
  9. Secure the nut back in place with the wrench, and voila! You’re done

As earlier mentioned, it can be somewhat challenging to fix a ball-type faucet leak. It’s best to get replacement parts and follow the above procedure. If you also find that difficult, you can get pros that specialize in plumbing and faucet fixtures to do your bidding.

Cartridge Faucets

Cartridge faucet leaks are relatively easier to address than ball-type faucet leaks. If you have a leaking cartridge faucet, here’s how you fix the leak.

  1. Take off the cap of the faucet
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw under the cap
  3. Remove the retaining clip with a pair of needlenose pliers
  4. Remove the cartridge
  5. Use a knife to take off the spout and O-rings
  6. Smear some grease on the O-rings before putting them back in place
  7. Insert the replacement cartridge, ensuring it fits the faucet.

Just like that, you’ll have taken care of the leak in your cartridge faucet. Remember, when looking for a replacement cartridge, make sure it matches the original one’s dimensions.

Ceramic Faucets

You can fix a ceramic faucet in five easy steps, and they are:

  1. Remove the screws on the faucet’s exterior and pull off the handle
  2. Take out the escutcheon cap, unscrew the screws and remove the cylinder
  3. Take a pocketknife and remove the seals
  4. Clean the cylinder with a cloth or scouring pad
  5. Install new seals and reassemble the faucet

Keep in mind that you’ll have to completely replace the cylinder if you see visible signs of damage. After reassembling the faucet, make sure you turn it on first to see whether it functions properly.

Compression Faucets

Fixing leaking compression faucets is a little challenging, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. If you have a leaking compression faucet, here’s how you fix the leak:

  1. Remove the cap with a screwdriver
  2. Unscrew the screws beneath and remove the handle
  3. Take off the packing nut and loosen the stem with a wrench
  4. Grease the washers ensuring they’re covered completely
  5. Insert the O-ring you coated
  6. If the washer aligns with the handle, insert a new retainer ring
  7. Use sandpaper to smooth the stem to finish the job

Sometimes the leak may persist even after the above procedure. If that’s the case, you might need to replace your entire faucet.

Fix Kitchen Faucet Dripping Today

You don’t have to scratch your head over a leaking faucet or necessarily call a nearby plumber. Now that you know how to fix a dripping faucet, you should ready your tools and get to work. A simple ten-minute exercise could save you a bundle in utility bills.

For some folks, fixing even the tiniest of leaks can be a little challenging. If that’s the case, you need to contact us for professional and expedient dripping faucet repair.

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