A leaking faucet can cause water damage and ruin the look of your bathroom. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix most cartridge-type faucets with simple tools.
Start by shutting off the water supply to the faucet. Then, remove the decorative cap on each handle. Click https://oharrasplumbing.com/.com/ to learn more.
The handle controls the water flow, and when it becomes difficult to turn or snaps off entirely, it’s a clear sign that it needs to be replaced. The good news is that this is a simple and relatively quick repair that most homeowners can do themselves.
Before you get started, clear the space under your sink and remove any cleaning or kitchen supplies to make room for your work. Then slide under the sink, resting on your back and facing the underside of the faucet. Using a flashlight to increase your visibility, locate the retaining nut holding the handle in place.
Depending on the model of faucet you have, there are several ways to get to this screw. Some handles have a plastic decorative cap that conceals the screw, which you can gently pry off with a screwdriver to expose it. Others have a lever that unscrews from the base of the handle, revealing a screw underneath. Still others have a set screw visible at the bottom of the handle that you can simply loosen with an adjustable wrench. Once the handle screw is loose, pull off the handle and keep it in a safe spot to reattach later.
Once the handle is off, you’ll need to remove the old cartridge from the bottom of the faucet valve body. Fit your wrench to the large six-sided packing nut (5) and slowly loosen it, working carefully not to overtighten or damage the threads. After loosening, the packing nut will probably lift out of its housing and the bottom stem (7) should come with it. If it doesn’t, you can try applying a little petroleum jelly to the threads to lubricate them.
If you’re replacing the old cartridge, be sure to match the dimensions of the new one with the old one when you purchase it. Many hardware stores carry identical replacements for specific brands of faucet, and you can even bring the old one with you to help ensure a perfect fit. Once you’ve installed the new cartridge, replace the handle and reassemble the rest of the faucet. When you’re done, be sure to test the handle by turning on the water and observing any leaks or other issues.
The valve is where the actual control of hot or cold water occurs, and there are several ways that this part can break down and need to be replaced. For some faucets, you can re-lubricate the ceramic disks to prevent leaks and restore performance, while others will require replacing the cartridge itself. In any case, you’ll need to shut off the water supply to the dripping faucet so that you can disassemble it and replace the worn parts.
Before you start removing components, make sure that the water is completely shut off either under the sink, in the shower/tub wall or, if necessary, at the home’s main shutoff valve. Then, take a close look at the faucet handle to determine how it is attached. Some handles have a decorative index button that covers a screw that holds the handle in place; use a flathead screwdriver to remove this cap and expose the screw. If the screw is seized, you may need to loosen it with penetrating oil to get it to come off.
Once the handle is off, you can begin to disassemble the faucet cartridge and other internal mechanisms. Some cartridges have one or two tabs that fit into notches on the faucet body to hold it in place; remove these with pliers and pull out the cartridge. Be sure to note the orientation of the cartridge so that you can reinstall it in the same way.
A faulty seat washer is another common cause of faucet drips; this washer sits at the bottom of the cartridge and, when it gets brittle or cracked, can allow water to seep past it. If you suspect that this is the issue with your faucet, a replacement should be easy to find at your local hardware store.
Once you’ve removed the old cartridge, clean all parts of the faucet that you’ll be reassembling with a cloth or a fine nylon abrasive pad and distilled vinegar to remove mineral deposits. You can also use plumber’s grease to coat new O-rings for easier reassembly. Then, reassemble the faucet in reverse order of how you took it apart, being careful to line up and properly insert all parts as you go.
Inspect the components of your faucet regularly to look for signs of wear and tear. If you notice a problem, such as water leaking from the base of the faucet, it may be an indication that your O-rings and washers are worn out and need to be replaced. O-rings and washers are thin disks made of rubber or metal that provide a cushion and seal between faucet components that might come into contact with each other. The O-rings and washers often get worn out due to age, but they are an easy component to replace and are a relatively inexpensive repair for a leaky faucet.
The spout, aerator and cartridge are the primary components of a faucet. They are joined together by the escutcheon plate or base plate, O-rings and washers, and supply lines. These connections are critical to a functional faucet, as they prevent leaks and help the system deliver water at proper pressure.
If your faucet is noisy, check to see if the seat washer in the valve stem has become loose. Loose or worn washers can cause the handle to rattle when you turn it on and off. If you find a loose seat washer, tighten it with needle-nose pliers or a wrench.
In a disc cartridge faucet, the inlet and outlet seals can also be worn out. If these seals are corroded, it can lead to leaks in the handle or at the base of the faucet. You may need to replace the valve seat, or if you have a ceramic disk, you might need to grind the seat and add a new washer. A worn valve seat can also disrupt the flow of water from the inlet and drain, so it’s important to inspect and replace them periodically.
If your faucet is leaking from the base of the handle, you might be able to fix it by removing the handle and tightening the adjusting ring slightly. This nut is located underneath the handle and can be turned counterclockwise with a wrench or spanner tool included in your repair kit. In most cartridge-style faucets, the adjusting ring holds the stainless-steel ball and the two rubber seats and springs.
Over time, the O-ring can work loose or wear out. If not addressed promptly, this can lead to leaks that may also damage other components of your faucet. The good news is that repairing or replacing the O-ring is usually an easy fix. Regular cleaning and avoiding excessive force can also extend the life of your O-ring and reduce the need for repairs.
To replace the O-ring, first shut off water supply to the leaking faucet. Then, use a screwdriver to remove the decorative cap on the handle and expose the screw that secures it. A flathead screwdriver will likely be sufficient for this job, but if the screw is seized, you can try using penetrating oil to loosen it. Once the handle is removed, you can proceed to disassemble the faucet according to the type of faucet you have (cartridge, ball or ceramic-disk).
You will need a wrench to unscrew the packing nut that holds the stem in place. After the O ring is replaced, it’s a good idea to apply plumber’s grease on the new one to ensure that it stays in place and creates a watertight seal. Then, reassemble the faucet in the reverse order of how you disassembled it.
Depending on the type of faucet you have, you may need to replace other parts in order to resolve your leak. For example, cartridge faucets often need new O-rings, springs and valve seats, while ball or ceramic-disk faucets can have worn inlet and outlet seals that need to be replaced.
The best way to determine if your leak is caused by an issue with these or other components is to consult a professional plumber. They will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend any necessary repair or replacement services. In addition, plumbing professionals can provide expert advice about the proper maintenance of faucets and other common household plumbing issues. This can help you avoid costly repairs in the future and keep your home’s plumbing system running efficiently for years to come. A professional plumber will also have the tools and experience needed to perform a thorough inspection and complete any necessary repairs.