You may have recently noticed that your kitchen or bathroom faucet has begun to leak. Maybe you've also discovered a surge in your water bill as a result. While you may need the help of a professional plumber, a simple leak might be a project you can tackle yourself. If you want to give it a shot, here's a few helpful tips on how to fix that annoying leak once and for all. Chances are, you will be able to get your faucet back in working order quickly and without spending a lot of cash. If however, you run into trouble or simply don't have the time to work on it yourself, the expert plumbers at Mr. Rooter are only a phone call away.
Identify Which Type of Faucet You Have
Today's faucets come in a variety of models and styles. To properly fix your leaky faucet it is important that you know what you're working with. The most common kind of sink faucets are either compression or ball type.
Turn Off the Water Valves
Be sure to turn off the water valves located behind the sink on the wall. If you neglect this step, your faucet may temporarily become a geyser when you start to remove the handle. Avoid an unnecessary mess by preparing ahead of time.
Use a Drain Plug or Towel to Catch Small Parts
Depending on which kind of faucet you have installed, there may be small components that could fall down the drain. Be sure to use a plug or lay down a towel so you don't end up with an extra plumbing project on your hands.
Remove the Screw Cap
Use a putty knife or thin blade to pry off the decorative screw cap cover. This will allow you to have access to the screw, so you can properly remove the handle. Some faucets may require you to use an Allan wrench or a Philips head screwdriver, so be sure to have both readily available.
Remove the Handle
Gently remove the handle and place it in a nearby location so it is easy to find when you're finished replacing your parts. Removing the nut or other fixtures may require an adjustable wrench. Use duct tape to avoid scratching the metal finish.
Replace the Appropriate Parts
If you have a ball-type faucet, it is recommended that you get a complete replacement kit, because there are usually numerous components and it can be difficult to pinpoint where the exact cause of the leak is coming from. Replacement kits are generally very inexpensive and using one will save you time. If you are replacing a compression faucet cartridge, check first to see if it simply needs a new rubber O-Ring. Other times, you might want to go ahead and replace the entire cartridge. Again, these replacements are usually very affordable and only a fraction of the cost of an entire faucet replacement. It is advisable to take your old cartridge to the hardware store to make sure that you are getting one that fits perfectly with your model.
Screw the Handle Back in Place and Test
Once you've replaced the cartridge, you can place the handle back on top, screw it down tightly and replace the decorative cap. Now turn the water valves back on, and check to be sure your leak is gone. If your faucet is still leaking or if you found severe corrosion during your attempt to replace any parts, you may want to call in a professional plumber.
Need Help with Your Leaky Faucet? Call the Professionals at Mr. Rooter for an Appointment
Our certified local plumbers are experienced in repairing even the most complicated leaks. If you have a leaky faucet and need it repaired right away, give us a call at Mr. Rooter and schedule an appointment today.