How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet can waste hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water per year, and that’s not only a huge drain on the environment but a big waste on your water supply as well. However, while many people think these repairs are complicated and expensive, many are shocked to learn just how easy it actually is. Here is how to fix a leak in a few of the most commonly-found types of faucets you may have in your home.

Compression Faucets

A compression faucet is arguably the most common type you’ll find in your home, and you can easily identify them from the rubber washers that they use to seal their valve seat. In fact, these washer are usually the reason your faucet is leaking. Simply remove the decorative handle on the side of your faucet that’s leaking (usually located under a cap) and then remove the handle (which may take some significant effort—years of water exposure mean they don’t often like to move). From there, on the bottom of the valve you should find your rubber washer. If the washer is old, worn, and cracked, replace it with a new one.

From there, check the seat to make sure it’s even and the retaining wall for the washer to make sure it’s intact and either grind these items down to make them flat or replace them as needed. Then simply re-seat and screw the valve back together and replace the handle.

Ball Faucets

Finding the cause of a leak in a ball faucet isn’t as straightforward as a compression faucet because they usually have many other parts that can go wrong, but usually the rubber seats wearing out can be enough to cause a leak. To replace the seats, start by turning off the water to your sink at the source, then place a rag over the drain to prevent any parts from falling down it. Pry the index off your ball valve and loosen the set screw underneath it. From there, using a spanner wrench, loosen the ball mechanism until you can unscrew it and remove it completely.

From there, you should be able to see the rubber seats. Remove them and the springs beneath them and check their condition. If they’re worn and need replacement, use a number-two pencil to place a new spring and seat down into the hot and cold water valves and make sure they’re set right. From there, replace the gasket and tensioning cap, which are usually included with a repair kit you can buy from your local home improvement store. Replace the ball cap and tighten it down using a spanner wrench to make sure there’s enough tension to prevent the handle from being sloppy. From there, simply place the handle back on, re-tighten the set screw, and replace the index to cover it up.

Having trouble fixing a leaky faucet? Get help from a professional Bartlett Plumber from Smith’s Plumbing Services! Call us today at 901-290-1110 and request a service appointment!
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