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Leaky Faucet Troubleshooting

Plumbing
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Both a modern convenience and necessity, a faucet is one of the most widely used plumbing accessories. As a result, it can be rather frustrating when a faucet malfunctions. The most common issue homeowners have with faucets is leaking. A leaky faucet is not only one of the most annoying issues that occur in plumbing fixtures, but is also extremely wasteful. The sound of water constantly dripping into a sink or bathtub, combined with increased utility bills over time, can prove to be a problem if not repaired. Fortunately, a leaky faucet is one of the easiest “do-it-yourself” repairs that most homeowners can easily tackle. Listed below are some troubleshooting steps to follow if you have a leaky faucet:

Fixing Your Faucet

  1. Shut off your water supply completely: In newer homes, the water shut-off valve is typically located under the sink; however, you may need to look for the shut-off valve in the basement for older homes.
  2. Remove the faucet handle that attaches to the main body of the faucet: The faucet handle is usually attached to the main part of the faucet with a few screws. It may be necessary to use penetrating oil, such as WD-40, to loosen the screws if they are difficult to remove. When removing the faucet handle, use a large pair of slip-joint pliers or an adjustable wrench. Be careful not to scar the metal when removing the handle.
  3. Remove the screw that holds the washer in place: When doing this, examine the screw and stem and determine whether you need to replace the washer.
  4. Replace the old washer: Make sure to replace the old washer with an exact replacement instead of one that is slightly different. When determining this, check to see if the old washer is beveled or flat and purchase an identical replacement.
  5. Attach the new washer to the stem and reinstall the faucet assembly: To do this, turn the stem clockwise and put the packing nut on with the stem in place. Again, be careful not to scar the metal with the wrench or pliers.
  6. Re-attach the faucet handle: Put any discs or screws back in place and turn the water supply back on. At this point, all leaks should be fixed. If the problem persists, it is best to contact a licensed plumber.

If you have any questions or doubts about your ability to fix your leaky faucet, it is very important that you contact a professional plumber. He or she will be able to correctly diagnose the problem and discover the most effective and efficient solution.

 

 

 

 

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