How to Fix a Dripping Faucet
A dripping faucet can be very annoying. People usually get frustrated by tightening the tap more and more trying to make those little drops to stop appearing again. Mainly, in the end, you would have to call a plumber to fix it for you, which can be irritating too, things can get messy, and of course it would cost you money, which is never pleasant. Is there another way?
You can fix all the dripping faucets yourself. There’s just a few little things that you need to know. You can find a complete guide to getting rid of the dripping faucets in your house here in this article. Dripping faucet fixed
Let’s Get Started
To get started you’d have to make sure to do all of the things described below:
• Cut off the water supply under the sink.
• Clog the drain of the sink. You can use a dirty rag for this purpose.
• Use duct tape to cover the jaws of the wrench that you are about to use to avoid damaging the fixture.
• Make a platform to put all the parts after the disassembly.
• To remove the mineral deposits from the parts of the faucet, use a scouring pad and distilled water vinegar.
Identification of the Faucet
There are 4 types of valves. Yours can be either one of those. There is the ball type, cartridge, compression and the ceramic disk. First of all, you would have to find the kind of faucet you have. After that, you can use the guidance provided below to fix your faucet.
The valve seat is sealed by the rubber washers that a compression faucet has. The thing with rubber washers is that they easily wear out and should regularly be replaced. There is also another type of washerless faucets, they can last a lot longer than the former ones, but they are also prone to developing leaks. When these ceramic disk, cartridge or ball type faucets leak, you can fix them by replacing the O-ring or the neoprene seal. Replacing the entire assembly of the dripping faucets would cost you less than $20.
The Ball Type Faucets
The ball type faucets have a lot of parts. They are often tough to identify in order to find the causative agent that is causing the leak. It can be fixed without all the hustle and bustle by just buying the replacement kit with which you can put all the new parts inside.
First of all, remove the screw of the handle set and lift the handle up to remove it. To remove the cap and the collar you can use pliers. A special tool placed in the replacement kit will help you lose up the faucet cam; this will let you lift the cam washer and the rotating ball along with it.
Use needle nose pliers to reach inside the body of the faucet and remove the springs and seals that are placed inside.
Moving ahead, you are going to have to cut the O-rings off. Use a nontoxic and a heat proof grease that plumbers use on the new O-rings and roll them on very nicely. After that put up the new springs, cam washers, and the valve seats as you move ahead to resemble the faucet. If your faucet is a little too old, it is recommended that you change the entire fixture. To do that you are going to need a basin wrench.
The Compression Faucets
The leakiest of the compression faucets require a change of the seat washers. To start, you are going to have to pry off the decorative cap that is on the handle, after that go ahead and remove the screw, unscrew the packing nut using the crescent wrench after you pull off the handle. After you have removed the stem, you will see a seat washer placed in its position with a brass screw, all you have to do is to replace that with the new one. Use a heat proof and non-toxic plumber’s grease to coat the washers. After that remove the stem, take out the O-ring and replace it with a newer one. O–rings are the main reason of leaky handles.
The O-rings are different in size. Be sure you have the right size of O-ring when applying the new one. Use the plumber’s grease to coat the ring and then reassemble the whole faucet after you have correctly placed the ring.
There are cases in which the faucet continues to leak. If that happens, it is mainly because the seat might be pitted. You would have to use a valve seat dresser to grind and smooth the valve seat. It is a tool that you have to screw down inside the faucet temporarily.
To get rid of the leakage here, you would have to disassemble the faucet first. Lift out the neoprene seals using a blunt screwdriver. Check if the seals are broken, if they are you would have to replace them. Clean the cylinder openings using white vinegar (distilled).
Wash it completely, and then replace the seals correctly. After you have replaced the seals go ahead and reassemble the faucet. Turn the faucet to “on” and let the water flow slowly. You have to open the water slowly because the force of water coming in with pressure can damage the ceramic disk.
Take the cap off of the handle, remove off the screw of the handle, tilt the handle to the side a bit and then pull it off. Use nose pliers to remove a threaded retaining clip that might be holding the cartridge in place. Eliminate the o-rings and take then out after removing the spout. After that take the new O-rings and coat them with the heat proof and non-toxic plumber’s grease. Carefully place the rings back on the place where they were before.
You can replace the entire cartridge of the dripping faucets for less than $10-$15 if you are looking for a longer lasting faucet.