How to stop a drip from dripping?
June 24, 2009 12:39 PM   Subscribe

how do you fix a leaky faucet?
posted by tangyraspberry to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Usually just pull it apart and replace the washers inside. If it's washerless, replace the faucet.
posted by torquemaniac at 12:42 PM on June 24, 2009

Usually you need to replace it. First, you get in underneath the sink and find the cutoff valves, and turn them until the water stops flowing even when the faucet is open.

Then you unscrew the faucet valve. The best tool for that is a waterpump pliers. (If you don't have one, the first step is to go to the hardware store and buy one.)

Take the valve you removed to a decent hardware store and show it to one of the clerks, and he'll sell you an identical replacement.

Take that home, screw it back in (and make sure to include a rubber washer, which should have come with it). Once it's back in, get back under the sink and open the cutoff valves again.

Or... if you know someone who is handy with tools, promise them a lasagna dinner if they'll fix it for you.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:44 PM on June 24, 2009

A lot of modern faucets are cartridge faucets. No need to replace the faucet or anything, just go to Home Depot or wherever and get a replacement cartridge.

Here's a guide to the different types. Here's how to repair disc, compression and ball type faucets.
posted by electroboy at 12:57 PM on June 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

This site helped me a lot when I had to fix an old, stuck, hard to figure moen.
posted by Iron Rat at 7:18 PM on June 24, 2009

By the way, on a lot of faucets there's a great big plastic (or metal) handle. On top of that will be either a "C" or an "H", with obvious meanings.

Those letters can be pried out. If you've got reasonable fingernails that'll work; otherwise use a small straight-end screwdriver. Once that's off, you'll find a big screw in the middle which is holding the handle onto the faucet.

If you unscrew that, you can remove the handle, and then it's possible to reach the faucet valve itself and unscrew it using a waterpump pliers.

Some kitchen faucets have a single arm that controls both hot and cold. Replacing those is a bit more tricky.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:26 PM on June 24, 2009

Actually you probably want to use smooth-jaw pliers as they won't nick up the relatively soft metal of the faucet.
posted by electroboy at 6:24 AM on June 25, 2009

If you do have a faucet with a cartridge, and it is only a couple of years old then it will have come with a lifetime warranty. Just call the manufacturer if this is the case and they will send you a replacement in the mail.
posted by sneakyalien at 3:32 PM on June 25, 2009

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