Replacing a Leaking Faucet Washer

dripping faucetdripping faucetA leaking faucet is not just annoying when people want to sleep and the sound of dripping water (and waiting for the next drop) keeps people awake. Every drop of water that goes down the drain is wasting water and money. It makes sense to repair the faucet as quickly as possible. Most often, a washer has worn out and needs to be replaced. It’s a simple job that many homeowners can do on their own.

Taking the Faucet Apart

1. Turn the water off under the sink by turning the supply valve handle. Turn the water faucet on to relieve any water pressure in the pipe; the water should stop.

2. Take a screwdriver and gently lift off the faucet handle cap. Place this aside so it is not lost. There is a screw that holds the handle in place. Use the appropriate screwdriver to take the screw out; remove the handle and place it aside with the screw.

3. Use a wrench to remove the faucet stem. Do this gently, as a stem is usually made from brass and is easily damaged. If any washers or o-rings appear worn out, torn or are missing, they will need to be replaced.

Replacing Parts

After you’ve taken apart the faucet, place the stem and other parts in a plastic bag. Take it to a local hardware or big box home store. It helps to write down the make and model of the faucet if known. The sales associate can help you match the type of stem in order to find the right washers and o-rings.

1. The washer at the bottom is held in place by another screw. Take care with this screw not to cause any damage when removing or replacing it. You must use the same type of washer that was removed in order for the faucet to perform properly.

2. Remove and discard the old washer and replace it with the new one. Insert the screw and tighten until the screw is against the washer. Do not over-tighten as this will crush the washer and allow water to get past it and the faucet will have a drip again.

3. Replace any worn out o-rings on the stem and insert it into the faucet. Tighten it in place with the wrench. Attach the handle using the screw that was set aside and replace the cap.

4. Close the faucet and turn on the supply valve under the sink. There should not be any leaks. Test the faucet by turning it on and off.

Watch a video of the steps for more information.

Not sure about your plumbing repair skills? Our team of Sacramento plumbers are available 24/7 to help. Take advantage of our coupons and save money on service as well as reduce water costs with the repair!