Plumbing – Fixing a Leaking Sink Faucet

Fixing a leaking faucet is one plumbing job that anyone who feels confident using a pipe wrench, screw driver and pair of pliers should be able to handle. Just remember to shut off the water supply and drain the water lines before you start–you’re supposed to be fixing a leaking faucet here, not making a slapstick movie.
There should be water shutoff valves for both the hot and cold water under the sink. If there aren’t, then you’ll have to shut off the water supply at the main shutoff valve located next to your house or apartment’s water meter. One more precaution you should take before starting the repair job is to lay a towel down in the sink to prevent a dropped tool from damaging it, or a small faucet part from falling down the drain. And if you use a toothed wrench or pliers on any visible faucet parts, you should first cover the teeth with tape to avoid scarring the decorative parts of the fixture.
There is of course a wide range of faucet makes and models available on the market. However, they commonly fall into two basic types: compression (faucets with washers) and washerless faucets.
In the case of compression faucets, the cause of the leak is usually a worn or hardened washer. To get to the washer, you’ll have to remove the faucet handle. First, carefully remove the decorative cap on top of the handle. You should find a Phillips head screw underneath the cap. Unscrew it and remove the handle from its broached Laying Of Pipes For Water Supply stem. Next, unscrew the stem’s packing nut and remove the stem by turning it counterclockwise. The washer screw is on the bottom of the stem. remove the washer screw and washer. The next step is to take any worn or badly corroded parts (the washer, washer screw and/or stem) to the store and buy the appropriate replacement parts.
If you find yourself replacing a certain faucet’s washers at fairly frequent intervals, then the valve seat, which is located inside the faucet body, is most likely damaged. Some valve seats are removable. If it has a screwdriver slot or a square or hexagonal hole in its center, it is removable. Removing and replacing the valve seat is a simple procedure if you have a special tool called a valve seat wrench–they are inexpensive and available at most hardware stores. If the valve seat is not removable, then you’ll have to reface it. There is also an inexpensive tool specially designed for this purpose called a valve reseating tool, or a valve seat dresser. It’s easy enough to use if you simply follow the directions.
The final step in repairing your leaking faucet is to put all the parts back together in the reverse order from which you disassembled them. It’s a good idea to lubricate the stem threads with petroleum jelly or silicone grease upon reassembly.
Washerless faucets come in several different designs: diaphragm-type faucets, cartridge faucets, ball-type faucets, and disc-type faucets.
Diaphragm-type faucets are similar to compression faucets but have diaphragms instead of washers. To fix a leaking diaphragm-type faucet, follow the same steps as for repairing a compression faucet.
Cartridge faucets have a single moving part: the cartridge. To fix a leak, you need to replace this cartridge. The first step is to remove the handle. This may not be as simple as it sounds because different makes and models have various methods of securing the faucet handle. Generally speaking, you’ll have to locate and remove a retaining pin or set screw in order to remove the handle. Once you’ve done that, you can replace the cartridge, and then reassemble the faucet.
In the case of ball-type and disc-type faucets, there are usually repair kits available at hardware or home improvement stores that contain Plumbing Epoxy Putty all the parts you’ll need to fix a leak. Once you’ve purchased the appropriate repair kit, just follow the instructions that come with it.

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