If you haven’t experienced this problem before, you will at some point in your lifetime — one of the most common plumbing problems in any home is a leaking faucet. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.”
Leaks can be a drain on your wallet and your patience — so we’re breaking down what you need to know to fix this problem at home!
5 Steps to Fix a Leaking Faucet
Faucet leaks typically present in two fashions: either a constant dripping from the spout of the faucet or a leak from the base of the faucet handle. Since these are two very distinct areas of your fixture, you should have no problem identifying which one you’re dealing with.
Even the smallest leak can add up to thousands of gallons of water wasted each year, so it’s imperative that you fix this issue as soon as you notice it.
Step 1: Turn off the water
The first step of any plumbing project or repair is to turn off the flow of water. Fixtures typically have stop valves at the source, but some plumbing systems require you to use the main shut-off valve to cut off water to the entire home while you work.
Step 2: Open the faucet
Once you’ve successfully shut off the water, open the faucet and wait for any water sitting in the fixture to drain out. If your fixture has a decorative cover cap, remove this.
Step 3: Remove the handle
Remove the handle screw and gently remove the handle. Using an adjustable wrench, loosen and remove any additional screws and/or packing nuts.
Step 4: Check for wear
As you run through these steps, check each piece for signs of wear. Some common problems are easily identifiable:
- Water dripping from the handle of the spout (even if the handle is set to ‘off’) is likely caused by worn washers.
- Water seeping out below the handle can be caused by a worn o-ring.
- Over time, the seats (small rubber disc) in a quarter turn faucet can wear out, causing a leak.
Step 5: Replace worn pieces
Replace any worn-out portions of your faucet with exact replicas to prevent any other leaks. If you don’t know what kind of part your faucet needs, contact the fixture plumbing experts at EJ Plumbing! Our team can help you with repairs, installations, and replacements of any plumbing fixtures. Contact us online or by phone today: (650) 513-8852