Helpful Plumbing Videos: How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

  1. Turn off the stop valve under the sink. If the valve is corroded or won't turn, you may want to shut off the water at the main valve outside the house.
  2. Turn on the faucet until the water completely stops flowing.
  3. Remove the handle on the faucet. You may have to remove a decorative cap first to access the screw securing the handle.
  4. Remove the decorative bonnet with a wrench.
  5. Once the packing nut has been exposed, remove it by turning it counter-clockwise.
  6. Remove the valve stem and washer assembly.
  7. Once the valve stem is out, carefully remove the old washer by removing the brass screw that holds it in place. If the screw is corroded, it should also be replaced.
  8. Install and a new washer -- and a new screw, if necessary.
  9. Reassemble the faucet parts and put the valve stem back into the faucet housing.
  10. Tighten the packing nut and put the handle back on.
  11. Turn the faucet off and the water supply valve back on.
  12. Turn on the faucet to test your repair.

Bob Cole's Tips

  • A leaky faucet that drips 30 times a minute wastes almost 3 gallons of water per day or more than 1,000 gallons per year. That's a lot, especially in our desert environment!
  • One of the more common causes of a leaky faucet is a small rubber washer. Be sure to replace the worn washer with one of the correct size and type.
  • Washerless faucets that are leaking may need to have O-rings or inlet and outlet seals replaced.
Please note that Cole Plumbing provides this information as a courtesy to the public and cannot be held responsible for any problems or issues that may be caused by do-it-yourself repairs. If you are uncomfortable working on your plumbing yourself, we strongly suggest that you contact a professional plumber and have them do it for you.

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