Dripping faucets are a common problem that homeowners have to deal with from time to time. A single dripping faucet can lead to extraordinarily high water bills due to continuous wastage of water.
Fortunately, it is straightforward to fix a dripping faucet. You may not even have to hire a professional plumber to do it for you. In this article, we discuss the simple steps you should take to fix a dripping faucet. But first, let’s start by understanding why faucets leak.
Causes of Dripping Faucets
Damaged Seals and Washers
There are several reasons why your faucets are dripping. For instance, if the inner stems or cartridges with rubber washers or seals are damaged, your faucets will drip continuously.
Corrosion is the other major cause of faulty faucets. It deforms water inlet ports, preventing washers and seals from stopping the flow of water. In this case, the only viable solution is to install a new faucet.
Worn Out O-Ring
If the O-rings around the faucet frame below the spout assembly are worn out, there will be leakage around the bottom of the jet. This problem is common with cartridge faucets and traditional compression faucets.
How to Fix Dripping Faucets?
If you want to repair the leaky faucet yourself, there are certain important steps you have to follow.
Turn off the Shutoff Valve
Before you disassemble the dripping faucet, turn off the shutoff valve to avoid flooding. If you do not want to switch off the main shutoff valve, you can shut off the fixture valve located below the sink. Just turn the handles clockwise to switch it off.
Remove Faucet Handles
How you remove the faucet handles depends on the type of faucet you are repairing. For standard faucets, you can use a screwdriver with a flat head to remove the handle screws. Make sure you record where each screw goes and how to install it.
Remove the Cartridge or Stem
Most standard faucets have plastic or brass cartridges that pull right out of the faucet. However, some have stems that have to be unscrewed from the main body. The removal technique you use depends on the style of the valve.
Replace the Faulty Parts
If the faucet has old, corroded, or worn-out parts, replace them with new ones. Make sure every new part goes to its rightful place. The easiest way to buy the right replacement parts is to carry the leaky faucet to the hardware.
Clean the Faucet and Reinstall It
Once you have tested the faucet and are certain that the problem has been addressed, clean the faucet and reinstall it.