Consumer Tips

DIY: How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

A DIY home repair can be quick and easy if you know what you are doing. Fixing a leak in your faucet is something you can do on your own to save you some money. Follow this 3-step process and you can fix that pesky leak completely on your own. The basic idea is simple: disassemble, repair, reassemble.

First, make sure you have the following:
  • Small rag or bowl
  • Wrench
  • Duct tape
  • Extra washers and O-rings
1. Disassemble: Begin by checking to see if the faucet is completely off. The last thing you want is for water to spray at you while you are trying to fix it. There are shut off valves underneath the sink – it is important to turn them off because it cuts off the water supply from the main line. You will also want to cover up the opening to the drain with a rag or place a bowl underneath so you don't accidentally lose any parts down there.

Pad your wrench with a strip of duct tape so you do not scratch the faucet while taking it apart. As you disassemble the faucet, it is important to remember the order in which you remove the parts; you will have to put them back in the same order. You should first remove the handle, and then the escutcheon, cartridge, threaded spindle, and disc.

2. Repair: If you see mineral deposits on any of the pieces soften them by soaking them in vinegar, and then use a cloth to clean them. Make sure to also clean out the aerator. A clogged aerator causes the water to flow slowly. It is also important to take notice where the leak is coming from. Check all of the seals, and make sure that all the parts fit together nicely.

Next, inspect the washers and O-rings. Ill-fitting washers and O-rings are a common reason for a leak. Replace them with the extra ones you have if needed. After you have done this, you can begin to reassemble the faucet.

3. Reassemble: Put the faucet back together in the same order you took it apart. It may help to lay them out in the order that you took them off, so this process is easier. Also don't forget to turn the water supply valve back on again.

Now the process is complete and your leaky faucet is fixed! If you need any additional help with home repairs, do not hesitate to contact a licensed and insured plumber.

Contact ELA Home Repairs for your plumbing installation or repair needs at 800-368-PROS (7767).