Posted on: 19 December 2016
The dripping sound of a leaky faucet has been used as a comedy backdrop in countless movies over the years, but it isn't so funny when one keeps you awake at night. The main reason a faucet will leak is because a washer inside one of the handles for the hot and cold water has worn down and it no longer seals the valve seat. The pressure in the water line forces water through the seat and out of the faucet. You need to replace the washers to stop the leak. This is a simple repair job that even the most handyman-challenged people can do in a matter of minutes. If you have a leaking faucet and have never worked on a plumbing job before, here is how you can replace the washers in a double-handled faucet.
You Will Need:
- Small Flat Head Screwdriver
- Phillips Head Screwdriver
- New Washers
Plug the Sink
The screws you will remove to take off the handles are small and you don't want them to fall down the drain. Place a washcloth or a paper towel in the sink to prevent anything from falling down the drain in case you drop one of the screws.
Turn Off the Water
You will see two oblong-shaped handles under the sink for the hot and cold water lines. Turn each handle all the way clockwise to turn off all the water.
There are little plastic caps on the top of the faucet handles. The cap covers the Phillips head screws that hold the handle to the faucet. Pop the caps up with a small flat head screwdriver to expose the screws.
Take Off Handles
Remove the screws with a Phillips head screwdriver inside the top of each handle. The handles should lift right up off of the stems inside the handles.
Remove Base Nuts
There will be a large base nut under the handles. Place a cloth over the nuts and unscrew them counterclockwise with a crescent wrench. The cloth will protect the stainless steel surface from getting scratched while you unscrew them with the wrench.
Remove the Stem
Take a pair of pliers and pull the stems out of the faucet. The stems and the parts for them are specific to the faucet and are rarely interchangeable with other types of faucets. Take the stem and washers to the hardware store or plumbing supply company like Day's Plumbing Supply Inc so you can match them up to the proper replacement parts.
Install the New Washer
Put the new washers on the stems and insert them into the opening for the handles. Screw on the large base nuts and set the handles in place. Screw in the Phillips head screws for the handles and replace the caps. Turn the water back on. The faucet shouldn't leak anymore at this point.Share