One of the most obnoxious sounds to homeowners is that of a leaky faucet. It seems like there must be a way of taking the situation into your own hands and fixing the leak, right? Absolutely. For nearly 60 years, we at Biard & Crockett Plumbing Services have been the plumbing leaders throughout Orange County, so we have fixed countless leaks. We want to pass some of our expertise on to you so that you can fix simple water leaks yourself and not have to worry about calling the plumbers unless it is absolutely necessary. Let’s walk through the basic steps of fixing water leaks together:

  1. No matter which faucet is leaking, start by shutting off the water supply below the sink. You don’t want to accidentally soak yourself!
  2. There are four different types of faucets – cartridge, compression, ceramic disk, and ball type, so you need to identify your faucet type. Whether it is a bathroom or kitchen faucet, or the faucet in the tub, you can follow the steps below and likely repair the leaky faucet yourself.
  3. Compression faucets rely heavily on the use of rubber washers. It is likely that you simply need to change out the rubber o-ring, which becomes worn over time and allows leaks to seep through.
  4. Remove the decorative seal from the handle, remove the screw and the handle, and use a wrench to remove the packing nut. Remove and replace the o-ring with a brand new one, which you can purchase at a hardware store, and that should stop the leaking. You will know quickly once you reassemble the handle and notice if the dripping continues or not.
  5. If you have a cartridge faucet, remove the handle as stated above. You need to access the retaining clip, which are often rendered useless over time.
  6. Locate the cartridge’s retaining clip, and pry it off with a small screwdriver. Sometimes these are difficult to remove, so it may take some effort.
  7. Bring this clip to the local hardware store to make sure you purchase an exact replica, and then install it and put the faucet handle back together.
  8. For ceramic disk faucets, remove the handle to access the hardware. Remove the caps and screws from the cylinder. Remove and replace neoprene seals, wipe the area clean, and reassemble the faucet handle. Usually ceramic disk faucets either have buildup and just need a wipe down, or need a new o-ring seal, so this should fix the leak.
  9. Ball type faucets tend to have a lot of bits and pieces to dissemble and repair. Remove the handle and use adjustable pliers to lift off the cap and collar. Next, take off the faucet cam, washer and rotating ball. Use needle nose pliers to extract the inlet seals and springs and replace with new seals, springs and a new o-ring seal. Reverse the steps to put the handle back together.

Like with most home repairs, patience is a virtue that will be as handy as any tool you may need. If following the steps above does not stop the leakage, be sure to contact us at Biard & Crockett Plumbing Services. Our trusted experts will have your leaks sorted in no time. You can also stop by our store to pick up any plumbing accessories you may need to make repairs and replacements.