Stop Leaking Faucets

Leaking faucets are the most common plumbing problem experienced by homeowners. Wear-and-tear over time can cause leaky faucets. If it’s happening with a newer fixture, it might be faulty parts or improper installation. Often, homeowners can tackle this themselves. If you’re not sure about your ‘handyman’ capabilities, the Ace Sacramento plumbing experts can help install any fixture in the house.

Read on for plumbing tips and information on how to fix a leaky faucet.

Types of Faucets

There are four main types of faucets: ball, cartridge, disc, and compression. The first three types do not have washers.

1. Ball faucet: looks like the neck and head of an ostrich. Users move the lever to make the water flow. A metal or plastic ball seals the water in.

2. Disc faucet: has a handle over a cylinder. Turning the handle to the side rotates the discs to control water flow.

3. Cartridge faucet: uses a left-to-right motion for water flow.

4. Compression faucet: uses a rubber washer to impede water from leaking. It the most common type using pressure to control water flow and the most likely to leak.


Wear and Tear

You should inspect the faucets to see where the leak is coming from. Each faucet type has a slightly different construction, but all are damaged from normal wear and tear or improper installation. “” provides a great article on how to repair your leading faucet — perfect for DIYers!

1. Turn off the water. There might be a single fixture shutoff valve or a main shutoff for the entire home.

2. Pry or unscrew the outer cap on the handle. Most handles consist of a stem (long rod) that rotates when the handle is turned.

3. Remove the cap to reveal the screws. Next, remove the stem…the end of the valve stem has the rubber washer.

4. Remove complete assembly from faucet (most faucets). This should be done to get to the screw, stem, valve seat and washer.

5. Identify worn parts. Normal parts should be smooth, they should be replaced if they have worn or irregular edges. Homeowners should replace any worn parts, like the washer.


Washer Characteristics

Rubber washers expand and contract based on temperature. Normal washers should be flat or beveled. Washers become hard or brittle over time. The old washer should be replaced with an identical new part to complete the seal.

Do you have question about a leaking faucet or other bathroom fixture? Please contact us for more information.