Drip...drip...DRIP- that darn leaky faucet!

dripping faucet

Drip...drip...DRIP- that darn leaky faucet!

We’ve all been there, trying to fall asleep and the only thing we can focus on is that dreaded sound: drip, drip,drip. So you get up and you think “I just have to turn the handle tighter to make the drip stop.” Yea, if it were only that easy!

We’re always happy to help. But you don’t always need to call a plumber and spend money on a service call. If you’re handy, with a few easy steps you can become your master plumber and check out the leak yourself.

The first thing you need to do is turn off the water supply to the sink, most of the time the valve is located right underneath, if not you need to follow the plumbing line to the nearest shut-off valve. If the valve resists being turned, put a drop or two of oil right where the stem disappears into the large nut. Then use a wrench to loosen the nut one complete turn, and tighten it back up by hand. Wait for a couple of minutes and then you should be able to turn the valve off.

The second thing to do is remove the stem from the top of the fixture. There will be a nut that needs to be turned counterclockwise to be taken off. Grasp the handle and turn it counterclockwise, as if you were turning on the water. The whole thing will lift out in your hand. If you have a ball-type fixture, there will be a set screw on the lower surface of the handle itself, remove the screw. There will be a plastic ring or cap- just unscrew and remove then pull out the ball assembly.

You’re almost finished, you just need to replace the washer, which should still be attached to the ball assembly you just pulled out. There is a screw holding it on so remove that, replace it with the new washer, and tighten the screw back on. (Be sure not to go too tight where the washer starts to become damaged.) Reinsert the stem assembly, and twist it firmly clockwise (don't over-tighten it). Tighten the large nut back into place. Turn the water valve back on and that’s it! If it still leaks it may mean you have to replace the valve seat or replace the entire fixture. You will need to purchase a repair kit that you can find at your local plumbing supply or hardware store.

If it still leaks and you’re feeling overwhelmed at this point, stop and give us a call at (910) 390-1742.

If you decide to hit the hardware store and get a repair kit, you can use the following steps to replace the ball-type fixture: Using the end of the screwdriver, lift out the rubber seats and springs. Replace them with the new ones in the kit. Tug the spout off the base by turning it from side to side and lifting it up. Then use the screwdriver to leverage the old O-rings off the base. If they need to be cut off, make sure that you clean off any remaining pieces. Roll the new O-rings over the base to replace them. Re-seat the faucet by turning it from side to side while pushing it down. Place the ball assembly back in there, and screw the rounded, knurled cap back on. Before retightening the adjusting ring with the special tool, turn the water back on. Then tighten the ring until no water leaks, but don't over-tighten it. Replace the handle, and tighten the set screw. You should be all set! 

It’s a good idea before starting this job to go to your local plumbing supply with the make of your faucet just to make sure that all the necessary parts are available for easy purchase. Another good thing to do is to check the web before shopping. “Google and YouTube can be great resources” I can’t count how many times they have saved me and others I know from frustration and disaster! Considering the many different manufacturers, makes and models, the sheer diversity is overwhelming.

Here are some examples:

  1. https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEU_enUS821US821&ei=rhZDXq2TEey0ggeNupmoBg&q=how+to+fix+a+leaky+delta+faucet&oq=youtube+fix+leaky+faucet&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0i71l8.0.0..66993...0.2..0.0.0.......0......gws-wiz.atmyYwRpaWY

  2. https://www.google.com/search?q=youtube+fix+leaky+faucet&rlz=1C1GCEU_enUS821US821&oq=youtube+fix+leaky+faucet&aqs=chrome..69i57.9631j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

  3. http://youtube.com/watch?v=f_uADyhDDpE

  4. http://youtube.com/watch?v=SYPFon69vKs

  5. http://youtube.com/watch?v=T5DImWddq5w

  6. http://youtube.com/watch?v=Z8vju54bgnM

  7. http://youtube.com/watch?v=dUWl-Ub_Ow8

  8. http://youtube.com/watch?v=_jWOdIjzljY

  9.  http://deltafaucet.com/design-innovation/inspiredliving/how-to-fix-a-dripping-faucet

Now, if all of that didn’t work, or if it just sounds like too much for you to handle, know that we are here for you and we will get to your problem quickly as a “Haire” if you need our help.