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How to Fix a Dripping Bathroom Faucet

Do you have an annoying drip coming from your faucet? A dripping faucet can quickly push a water bill up into the stratosphere, so it is important to get it fixed as soon as you can. The most common reason why a faucet is dripping is because one of the seals in the faucet has given way and is not stopping water like it is supposed to do. When you repair this seal, you'll be able to fix the drip and get on with life.

What Kind of Faucet Do You Have?

There are four basic types of faucets that are installed in all buildings today:

• ceramic disk
• ball-type
• sleeve [sometimes called a cartridge faucet]
• compression

Compression faucets are often the biggest culprits in the war against dripping faucets. They rely on rubber washers to seal the valve seat and these wear out over time. You'll need to pull off the decorative cap, remove the handle, and unscrew the packing nut. You'll see the seat washer held in place with a screw. Remove the screw, replace the washer that is faulty, and then replace the o-ring in the stem. Coat with grease and then tighten back up.

Ball faucets are the worst when it comes to finding a leak because there are so many different parts. The best case scenario here is to replace the rings and washers to see if that fixes the issue. You will need to remove the inlet seals and springs during this process.

Cartridge faucets often just need to have their O-rings and cartridge replaced. Take apart the faucet like you would with the others and remove the old seals. If you decide to replace the cartridge, make sure the stem ends match up with your handle attachments.

Ceramic disk faucets often get a piece of debris stuck on the disk itself and that causes the leak. By cleaning the disk, you can often fix the problem. You'll need to remove the neoprene seals in the cylinder of the faucet to clean the disk and this is a good chance to see if the seals are the issue. Replace them if necessary. Be careful about turning on the water to full speed once you've completed the repair because the disk can crack with the water force.

Here's What You Need To Do First

Before starting any repair, make sure that you've turned the water off under the sink. You'll also need to close off the drain in your sink. It's a good idea to stuff a rag into the drain so that you don't lose parts down it and need to take apart the trap. You can also put duct tape onto the teeth of your wrenches to prevent scratching your faucet during the repair.

If there are mineral deposits on any of the parts, now is the best time to clean them. Use a scouring pad that doesn't have any soap with it and distilled white vinegar to facilitate the cleaning process. As you take apart the faucet, make sure you lay out the parts in order so you can put everything back together quickly. In doing so, you'll be able to fix a dripping faucet in no time at all.
Posted on Jul 26, 2014


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