While some leaky faucets may require the assistance of a plumber, others can be fixed at home, as long as you have the necessary tools and the parts to replace the old or broken ones.
Repairing a leaky faucet will require the following tools:
- Allen wrench, 1/8-inch
- A pair of pliers – needle-nose
- A pair of pliers – tongue-and-groove
- Replacement parts
The following steps will help you fix most leaky faucets:
- Shut off both the hot and cold water supply valves that you find underneath the sink. Turn on the faucet to let the remaining water trickle out completely in order to drain the water lines.
- Take off the screw cover in order to remove the faucet. Using an Allen wrench or a screwdriver, remove the screw. Then remove the handle.
- Check the cap and adjusting ring. If it is the source of the leak, you can tighten the adjusting ring with your needle-nose pliers. If it continues to leak after tightening, the faucet’s seats and springs probably need replacement.
- Remove the adjusting ring after unscrewing it. Place a piece of cloth over the dome-shaped cap and unscrew it with the use of tongue-and-groove pliers. Putting too much pressure could bend it, so use care while unscrewing it.
- Pull out the round metal stem in order to remove the ball as well as the cam and packing. If this area is the source of the leak, you can solve the problem by replacing the cam and packing.
- Look into the valve to see the seats and springs. Note that they are very small. The spring is located underneath the circular spring. Pry out the seats and spring for the hot and cold water using an Allen wrench.
- Replace the old set of seats and springs with a new set. Thread one of the sets onto the Allen wrench on the flat side of the seat, and pass it through the skinny end of the spring. Use the tip of the wrench to tilt the set into the hole inside the valve. Do the same thing with the other set.
- Put the ball assembly back into place. Make sure to align the valve and pin to their slot on the ball.
- Replace the cam and packing by aligning the tab with the cam on the slot of the valve.
- Screw the valve cap using your hand. Put the adjusting ring back in place, and tighten it using the needle-nose pliers. Reinstall the faucet’s handle.
- Turn the water on and check to see if you solved the problem.
Fixing your first leaky faucet might be challenging, but the more you do, the easier it gets.