How Do I Fix a Leaky Faucet?
A simple annoyance can build up and become a much bigger concern when it’s not fixed right away, and in this case, it’s a leaky faucet. The sound of a dripping faucet can be annoying and distracting, but the possible water damage from the flow of water from an unchecked leak can be astronomical, not to mention the increase in your water bill.
There are several types of faucets, such as:
- Ball faucets
- Cartridge faucets
- Disc faucets
- Compression faucets
The way to tell them apart can be from the faucet handle, if it is a single handle faucet then it may be a ball faucet, disk faucet or cartridge faucet. If the faucet parts are separate, with handles/controls on either side of the faucet spout, then it may likely be a compression faucet, however there are two-handled cartridge faucets.
The main difference between these faucet types stems from either having rubber washers or being a washerless design. Ceramic disks that control the water supply to the faucet’s cartridge, where it mixes the water together in the faucet body, are part of the disc family.
These can be used for kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets, or any faucet in your home, and when it comes to faucet repair knowing which type of faucet you have can help cut down on trips to the hardware store to find the right retaining clip, packing nut, gaskets, new o-rings, or the right size allen wrench, pliers or screwdriver.
Time will eventually wear away and corrosion can eat away at the gaskets and washers in your home’s faucets causing leaky valve seats, or mineral deposits buildup and lead to a leaking faucet.
Fixing the Faucet On Your Own
If you aim to do this on your own, be sure to discover the cause of the leak before making any moves. While fixing it on your own is possible, it is encouraged to hire a professional to help you with your plumbing matters, particularly with leaky faucets, due to the complicating process.
This DIY home improvement project begins with a tool-gathering process. Here is what you’ll need:
- Hex or allen wrench
- Screwdrivers – flat-head screwdriver and phillips screwdriver
- Pliers – needle-nose pliers may be the most beneficial in this case, when grabbing on small parts
- Silicone grease or plumbers grease
- Utility Knife
- Adjustable wrench
- Replacement faucet ball (should be a metal one)
- Brand-specific repair kit – new cartridges, specific faucet parts, handle screws, aerator, decorative cap or other brand-specific replacement parts
When you have all the required tools ready, you can turn off the water valve under the sink, and then you can turn the faucet on until no more water is coming out. Then you’re ready to take apart your faucet. Loosen the setscrew with the wrench, then you can take off the handle and unscrew the cap with a rag. You will next have to take out the cam assembly; both the plastic cam and the cam washer will probably come out as one part. Then you can take out the rotary ball itself. Look it over to see if it needs to be replaced. If it’s damaged, it should be replaced. If it’s plastic, it may not last longer than a year, and you should probably go ahead and replace it now to save yourself time down the road.
Then there’s the faucet body to attend to. Be aware that this could take some time. You’ll need your screwdriver to take out every rubber seat in the faucet body. Then to remove all the springs inside, you will again use your screwdriver; you may have to carefully twist in order to get the springs free. Next are the O-rings. Take off the spout and get rid of the O-rings, cutting them loose with the knife if you have to.
Then you can line the inside of the faucet with silicone grease and put in new O-rings. Don’t apply too much grease. Then you can put in the new springs and rubber seats. The springs have to go in first, and you can finish off securing these and the seats by pressing with your fingers. Then the ball can go back in, with its tab slotting into a notch in the faucet body. Then you can screw the cam assembly and the cap back in place put the handle back in, and tighten the setscrew. Your faucet should be ready to go!
How The Professional Plumbers at A-1 Can Help
When a plumber comes to your location, they will first determine the cause of the leak and disassemble the facet to assess the damages. Next, they will determine whether or not parts need to be fixed or entirely replaced. Once they have done this, a skilled Kansas City plumber will have your facet back to working condition in no time.
If you are at all concerned that you will not be able to fix your drain on your own, call your neighborhood serviceman at A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. for an experienced Kansa City plumber who can help you! Our team is quick to respond and can repair your leaky faucet in a fast and efficient manner. Contact us today to discuss your plumbing needs, we are ready to help you!