Archive for September, 2013

Fix a Faucet Yourself

Sep. 3rd 2013

There are many things around the house that are just not that hard to fix. A leaky faucet is usually one of them. If you are willing to invest a bit of time, you can save your household a service and parts call to a plumber. If you search the Internet, you will see long and involved articles about fixing a faucet. The truth is it takes a lot of words to describe a fairly obvious procedure. So here, only the most important steps and tips will be mentioned.  It is assumed that you will be able to “see” a lot without being explicitly told.

  • Most household faucets are delicate: This is really important. So often people grab at the bolts and screws like they are in a fight for their lives. But the fact is, these components are not made of the strongest stuff, and they are very easy to strip. Once these components are striped, your life has just become a lot harder. So, use gentle pressure and a tool that is appropriate.
  • It’s all about the right kit: Before you can even do a thing, you have to have gone to the hardware store and purchased the right faucet repair kit. But you cannot do this until you have opened up your faucet’s insides to see what kind of faucet it is (unless you already know). There are two basic categories Washer and Washer less. Faucets with a washer are kind of old-school these days, and not too many new faucets are made this way. But if your fixtures are old, you may have one with a rubber washer at the bottom of the valve. Now, the class of Waterless faucets has three main members: ball, disc, and cartridge.
  • Unpacking the insides: In order to know what you are dealing with, you will first have to open up the faucet (do not forget to shut off all water and turn on the faucet to get the remaining water out). Faucets are not rocket science, so you will either see a screw to loosen or a decorative cap to gently pry off with a flat head screwdriver. From there, you will likely see a bolt that you can (gently) loosen. This should grant you access to the main insides. Loosen screws as needed to take completely apart.Often the parts are small, so it is recommended that you lay them out on a tray or towel in an orderly fashion so you can visually see how they all connect. Taking a photo of this array is great in case the cat or dog tips over the tray!
  • Assess: With all the components exposed, you will be able to take these (or a photo of them) to the hardware store and match with the correct repair kit. Once you get the repair kit home, you can compare the components from your faucet to the new ones in the kit. Again, this is not brain surgery. Look and see. What part looks the most worn or tired or dirty? This is the one that most likely is the culprit. If you want, you can replace just the one faulty part, or more. It is up to you. Then, reassemble, reattach and turn the water back on. If you need to see some good pictures of different faucet types click here.

These are the key steps to fixing a leaky faucet in your home. Don’t forget that you can always search YouTube for videos that discuss your exact faucet and problem. But the most important thing to know is that you can do this.


Posted by plumber | in DIY, Leaks | No Comments »

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