A dripping faucet can be annoying, wasteful, and downright costly. The good news is that in most cases, it is a quick and easy fix. In this blog post, we will show you how to fix a dripping faucet.
Why Faucets drip
The first thing you need to understand is why your faucet is dripping. In almost all cases, a dripping faucet is caused by a worn washer. The washer is a small rubber gasket that seals the connection between the moving parts of the faucet and the stationary parts of the sink. Over time, washers can become brittle and cracked, causing them to leak.
Tools You Will Need
- Adjustable wrench or pliers
- New rubber washer (matching the size of your old one)
- Teflon tape (optional)
- WD-40 (optional)
- Shut off the water supply to your sink. This is usually done by turning a knob underneath the sink. If you cannot find the shut-off valve, turn off the main water supply to your home.
- Place a towel or bucket underneath your sink to catch any water that might spill out when you remove the faucet handle.
- Use an adjustable wrench or pliers to remove the decorative cap from the top of the handle. Underneath this cap, you should see a screw that holds the handle in place.
- Unscrew this screw and pull off the handle.
- Take a look at the stem—this is the metal rod that goes through the middle of the handle—and locate the packing nut. The packing nut is a small nut that holds everything together at the base of the stem. In some cases, there may be two packing nuts—one on top of the other.
- Use an adjustable wrench or pliers to loosen (but not remove) this packing nut. If you are having trouble loosening it, you can try spraying it with WD – 40 or using Teflon tape to help it come loose. Just be careful not to over – tighten it when you put it back on.
- With the packing nut loosened, pull out the stem and look at the washer. If it looks worn or damaged in any way, proceed to step 8. If it looks fine, skip ahead to step 11.
- Remove any residue on the threads of the stem using an old toothbrush or cotton swab.
- Wrap Teflon tape around these threads in a clockwise direction.
- Insert the new washer onto the stem (make sure it is facing inwards) and screw on another packing nut, again using an adjustable wrench or pliers until it is tight but not too tight—you should be able to screw it on with your fingers, but it shouldn’t be loose enough that you can unscrew it without tools.
- Carefully insert the stem back into place and use your adjustable wrench or pliers to screw on the packing nuts until they are snug but not too tight.
Need more help?
So there you have it- a simple guide on how to fix a dripping faucet. We hope this was helpful and that you are now able to take care of this issue yourself. If not, or if you’d simply prefer to have someone else do the job for you, give Elmer’s Home Services a call.
We provide top-notch emergency plumbing services to residents all over the San Antonio area, so we’re sure we can help take care of your dripping faucet problem in no time at all!