We have all experienced leaky faucets that drip constantly. Many of us simply run out and buy a whole new system while others call a professional to fix a problem that is as easy to fix as one could imagine. This article will guide you to being able to fix that nagging faucet drip whether it is in the kitchen, bathroom or bath tub. If you are tired of wasting water and paying a fortune for a repair that will cost you only a few dollars and roughly 30 mins. of your time, then continue reading this article.
The first thing you need to do is shut off water to the leaky faucet. If it is a form of sink then the shut offs should be under the cabinet beneath it. Simply close the valves to stop the water. If it is a tub faucet, you can shut off the main water valve to the house. These are generally located in the basement or near the water heater in a home without a lower level. You can also turn off the valve at the hot water heater if the leak is hot water. This saves from shutting off the main water valve and draining all the water from the tank for a hot water leak.
On your faucet handle is a small cap, plastic or metal. Pry this off with a small flat-head screwdriver. Underneath you will notice a screw. This is the screw that holds the handle on the stem which opens the water to the faucet as you turn it. Once the screw is removed, you can lift the handle off.
You will notice a stem that is held in place by a nut. You can use a smaller pipe wrench or larger crescent wrench to remove this stem. Look at the underside of the stem. You will see a rubber washer that is being held to the stem seat by a screw.
Unscrew the screw that holds the washer in place and go to your favorite store and buy a package of assorted washers. Simply replace the washer and tighten the screw. Screw the stem back in and snug it up with the wrench and replace the handle. Now buying the washers was added for beginners to the point the stem was removed for a reason instead of before the repair. Some faucets are called washer-less. If they do not have a screw holding the washer in place at the bottom and instead have what looks like a small metal tab or o-ring on a one piece stem made of plastic, you need to go to your local home store and buy a replacement stem. These are just under ten dollars, but as a beginner you may not know what you need the first time so it is best to take it apart first. If it is washer-less, simply replace the stem and put the handle back on. Turn the water back on from the shut off valves and you are ready for a drip free faucet.
This article covers both situations you may have and how to handle it. It is as simple as it is written here and will be easier the next time around as you will already know whether you have washer-less faucets or the old school stems with a 15 cent washer on the bottom. Keep some spare washers laying around or even an extra stem if you would like to make the next repair go even faster.