Repairing anything in your house can be a fun and rewarding experience, but repairing your leaky faucet can actually save you some money and stop the annoying dripping noise. Indeed, a consistent faucet drip can literally be money going down the drain. Even if you don’t have the most intrinsic plumbing knowledge in the world, there are still things that you can do to stop that leak. In fact, many faucet leaks are caused by problems that even the most uninitiated amateur plumber can figure out. So, if you want to avoid a call to the plumber, try some of these tricks.
Replace the Gasket
In some cases, the cause of your leak is the gasket within the actual faucet itself. Over time, the gasket can degrade or incur some kind of build-up of chemicals or minerals. The gasket is essentially supposed to ensure that no water gets through to the mouth of the faucet while the faucet is off. To check if your gasket is the problem, you should first turn off the water supply (there is generally a valve underneath the sink that you must turn). Once the water is off, take a crescent wrench and remove the faucet head.
Take a look inside and find out where the gasket is. The gasket is a circular piece of rubber that you can simply take out. If there is any grime or mineral build-up on the faucet head or in the location where the gasket was, you should clean it out with a toothbrush and some cleaning supplies. In some cases, this alone can solve your problem. In most cases, however, you will need to get a replacement gasket. To do this, just go to the hardware store with your old gasket in tow. While there, compare the size and width of your gasket with any new gaskets so that you can find the right one. When you do find the right one, put everything back in place with the new gasket and your problem should be fixed.
Replace the Washer
If you have a compression faucet (one that gets hot and cold water from two separate lines), then you might have an issue at the handles instead of the faucet mouth. This is because the water must go through a series of stops before it actually gets to your faucet mouth. To repair this, you should, again, turn the water off to the faucet. Then, take each of the hot and cold handles off. You’ll generally find a screw there that holds in a stem, an O-ring, and a seat washer. If the seat washer looks degraded, then that’s probably your issue. In some cases, the handles themselves tend to leak with compression faucets. If that is the case, you should replace both the O-rings and the washers.
In the end, one of the major issues with a leaky faucet is grime build-up. Sometimes you can just give the faucet a nice cleaning and go on with your life. Of course, there are some instances in which a leaky faucet can be a telltale sign of some major plumbing issues. Unless you want to call an emergency plumber, you should probably try to attack the root of the problem as best you can.
About the Author
Greg Lence has 20 years of experience as a plumber and shares his experience throughout the internet so that people can save money on their plumbing problems.