Most of us will experience a leaky bathroom faucet at some point or another. Fixing this problem typically requires parts from your local hardware or home improvement store.
Before commencing any task involving the faucet or drain cover, turn off its water and cover its drain. Furthermore, have a bucket or container handy as you dismantle it — this way, all loose parts won’t get lost during assembly.
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1. Turn Off The Water
When dealing with plumbing leaks or repairs, it’s often beneficial to switch off your water source in order to stop its flow and work more efficiently on one fixture or pipe without worrying about other areas of your home.
Most houses built over the past 40 years feature individual fixture shut-off valves that allow homeowners to shut off the water supply without disrupting other aspects. Most often found underneath sinks, these valves feature round knob-like handles that you can rotate clockwise to shut off the supply.
If you need to work on a fixture or appliance that doesn’t have its own shut-off valve, find the main shut-off valve of your house. It is often found in a utility room or basement near your water meter; however, it could also be outdoors on your property and feature a large red circular valve, which you can turn clockwise to disable.
2. Remove The Faucet
Assuming you have all the appropriate replacement parts, the first step in faucet repair should be removing the old one. Use a bucket or container under any connections to collect any leakage when disconnecting water lines to help contain any fluid spillage when unhooking them.
Use a screwdriver to loosen and remove the handle screw. Lift off the handle, looking for additional screws, and secure the spout handle. Additionally, pry off decorative caps or escutcheons. It would also be wise to carry penetrating oil with you just in case these pieces are seized.
You can access the cartridge nut once the handles and spout have been taken apart. Unscrew it and pull up the cartridge. A rag may help collect any mineral deposits you break off as you work. Now that the cartridge is out, you can replace worn parts from within its body.
3. Replace The Seals
The handles and stems of your faucet serve as water controls; however, if they become corroded or warped over time, they can lead to leakage. To access their cartridge or washers under them, you’ll need to disassemble each handle by loosening its screws at each base; once there, they can be easily replaced by pulling off their old counterpart and sliding a new one.
4. Replace The Valve Seat
Under certain conditions, valve seats need replacing due to hard water or wear and tear. Since this repair job requires professional assistance, it would be prudent to consult your local professional plumber before undertaking it yourself.
To replace a valve seat, remove the handle from your faucet, cover the drain, and remove any decorative pieces, such as an escutcheon that might be attached at its base (along with its screw).
As with the other steps, using an Allen wrench-like device will allow you to loosen and then replace a valve seat. If it becomes stuck, penetrating lubricant may help loosen it further. When replacing it, however, a new seat of similar shape must be purchased.
5. Reassemble The Faucet
After replacing the necessary parts, it’s time to put everything back together. If it was removed, begin by reinstalling the valve seat and ensuring it is screwed in securely. After this, place the new cartridge or washer and fasten it to the cartridge nut. Ensure this is tightened enough to prevent leaks, but be careful not to over-tighten, as this can cause damage.
Once the internal parts are reassembled, you can put the spout handle back and reattach the handles. If your faucet had any decorative caps or escutcheon, these should be put back in place now. After everything is secure, turn the water supply back on and let the water run through the faucet for a few minutes to check for leaks.
6. Test The Faucet
After reassembling the faucet, it’s crucial to test the functionality and check for leaks. Turn on the water slowly, allowing it to run through the faucet. Check all the areas you worked on for any sign of water seeping out.