Fixing a faucet leak is something that can easily be performed by a homeowner. It may sound like a complicated problem but knowing the basics will make you realize it can actually be done. First of all though, in order for you to fix anything, you need to determine the type of faucet you’re dealing with. In this regard, you’re probably dealing with any of the four basic faucet types. These are cartridge, compression, disc, or ball type.
There are certain instances when you can fix the faucet by simply replacing one or two worn components. However, there are also cases when there is a need to replace the entire valve mechanism just to complete the repair. You will need a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and some basic plumbing knowledge to do some fixing on your own.
Generally speaking, faucets that bear two handles will use either the disc type or compression valve system. These two mechanisms will develop drips from the spout of the faucet and mind you, this is quite complicated to repair. A single handle faucet meanwhile may be using a ball or cartridge valve mechanism. There are a few that use the disc mechanism as well. The main problem of these mechanisms is that they will most likely develop a leak at the base of the faucet handle, not the spout. So if you really don’t have a clue as to the type of faucet you have, the best course of action is to take the entire valve assembly to a hardware store and ask for an expert opinion. You have to do this to make sure you’re purchasing the right parts.
Provided you have a faucet that uses a compression type of valve mechanism, the repair you need will depend on the location of the leak. For instance, leaks that come from the handle will need replacement of the packing material, which by the way includes the washer, o-ring, and twine. There are also instances when all you have to do is tighten the packing nut in order to stop the leak. But if the water drips from the faucet spout, what you need this time is replacement of the valve seat, seat washer, or both in order to effectively repair it. The ordinary faucet repair kit has all the parts for fixing this type of faucet.
Also, those faucet types that contain a cartridge style valve mechanism usually develop a leak the moment the rubber o-ring of the cartridge stem becomes worn out or broken. There will be cases when the entire cartridge will be replaced just to stop the leak. So when you’re repairing a cartridge faucet, you have to be careful when using the parts that will match the original components. And we mean exactly match. Good thing is the replacement parts are readily available in hardware and home improvement stores.
So there you have it – the basic tips in dealing with a faucet leak. The next time you experience one, you now have some knowledge on how to fix it.Read more