Steps To Take When Your Faucet Springs A Leak

A leaky faucet does not seem like much. The fact is that every year, a lot of water is lost through leaky faucets. Also take a closer look at your water bill. Do you notice that your bills are rather high lately? Here's how to deal with leaky faucets.

Diagnose the Problem

A leaky faucet could be caused by several factors. A proper diagnosis will help you find the right solution.

When water is dripping through the spout, the problem is the components inside the faucet.

If the water is dripping at the base of the faucet when the faucet is turned on, you'll need to replace the O rings around the mouth of the faucet.

Water spraying through the handle points to a problem with the cartridge, stem, or O ring.

If water is leaking from the base of the faucet when the faucet is turned off, then the problem could be the entire faucet. You may need to replace it.


Turn off the water supply to the faucet, either through stop valves under the sink or by cutting off the water supply to the entire house.

Turn on the faucet handle to ensure the water is turned off. Put a stopper in the sink to stop parts from falling down the drain.

Remove the handle. Be careful not to lose the handle screw. Remove the retainer nut.

Next, remove the internal parts. Note the order in which you remove them, as you will have to replace them in exactly the same order.

Different faucet types use different mechanisms and have either a cartridge, stem, or ball assembly.

For cartridge systems, remove the cartridge. If the cartridge has a ceramic disc, replace the rubber seals and put back the cartridge. If that does not solve the problem, you'll have to replace the entire cartridge.

If your faucet has a stem instead of a cartridge, check the metal retaining ring. If it is okay, just replace the washer and reinsert the stem. If not, you'll have to replace the entire stem.

For ball assembly systems, remove and examine the control ball for damage or scratches and replace if need be.

As you can see, fixing a leaky faucet can be a bit challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the parts. Because different faucet systems use different parts, you are likely to get mixed up. Unless you are very sure, you are likely to get frustrated trying to fix it yourself. You may be better off engaging professional plumbing contractors.