What is the Best Way to Fix a Leaking Faucet?
There is nothing worse than coming home from a long day of work to discover a leaky faucet. Majority of leaks can occur at several plumbing locations such as tubs, sinks and toilets. If you do come across a leaky faucet, the best action is always contact your local plumber. Buz Plumbing North Brisbane have stated that the most common areas of your homes for leakages are:
- Back yards
If your local plumber is unable to attend urgently, here are the necessary steps to rectify the leaking faucet.
How Can I Fix This?
There is a process to fix any minor leaks for several different faucets. You want to start with turning off the water to the leaky faucet, there will be handles on the pipework below to shut off the water to your sink. Next you want to plug up the drain, use a sink plug or simply a rag to do this. In doing this we can avoid any washer or screws going down the sink. The third initial step is finding out what kind of faucet you have:
- Compression Faucet – contains two screw handles (most common)
- Cartridge Faucet – this contains a cartridge, the materials of the cartridge can be different, but the handle will often have a decorative cap
- Ball Faucet – contains a ball bearing
Fixing your Compression Faucet
You want to begin by removing each handle, you can do this by prying off the cap if need be, unscrew it and take off the handles (usually displaying the words ‘hot’ and ‘cold’). For this next stage you’ll need a wrench to remove the nut present. Beneath this, you will find the stem on top of the O-ring, this sits on top of the seat washer. These seat washers are often made out of rubber and over time can slowly deteriorate, if you have a leaky faucet this is generally the problem.
After this, pull out the stem. In doing this, you will expose the O-ring. This will be thinner and you will see a thicker rubber part, this is the seat washer mentioned above. Remove the seat washer and replace it with a new one, we recommend taking the old one in with you when purchasing the new washer to receive the exact match. Resemble each handle and this should rectify the leaky faucet.
Fixing a Ball Faucet
First, you need to purchase a new replacement kit from your local hardware store. Ball faucets have several parts that need to be replaced with specialised tools.
Begin by unscrewing the handle and placing it to the side, use a pair of pliers to remove the cap and collar. Within your kit purchased, there will be a tool that allows you to remove the faucet cam. Remove this with the washer and ball. This looks like a ball and socket joint.
After doing this, you need to remove the seals and springs. To do this, you need to reach into the mechanism, it’s best to use such tools as needle-nose pliers to do this. Cut off the old O-rings and coat the new ones with plumbers grease which can also be purchased at your local hardware store in the plumbers section.
Install the new springs, valve seats and cam washers (included within the kit). Reassemble the handles and your leaky faucet should be rectified. If not, give Buz Plumbing a call now to have a further look.
Fixing a Cartridge Faucet
You want to start by removing the handle, taking off the cap if needed and unscrewing the handle. You need to remove the retaining clip as well if needed, this is a circular item that sometimes holds the cartridge into place. Pliers is the tool to complete this.
Make sure the cartridge is facing up when you pull it out, we then need to remove the spout, also setting it aside with the cartridge. Locate and replace the O-rings, cut the old ones with a utility knife, also coating the new ones with plumbers grease. Simply reassemble the handle and the leak should be rectified. Again, if there are still issues it’s best to give a professional like Buz Plumbing a call for further investigation.