Fix a Leaky Faucet in 10 minutes
Drip, drip, drip! Is that leaky faucet keeping you up at night? I have a 10 minute fix that will bring you sweet dreams and a lower water bill.
Oftentimes the washers in faucets wear out after continuous use. Replacing them is actually easy and will only take about ten minutes (minus the time to run to Lowe’s to pick up the new ones.)
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Philips screwdriver
- O-Ring (purchase after removing the old one)
- Seat Washer (purchase after removing the old one)
Begin by turning off your water. You can locate the water shut off valves under the sink.
Turn on the water until the faucet runs dry.
Use the philips screwdriver to loosen and remove the screw on top of the faucet handle.
Depending on your faucet, there may be a small button covering the screw. It can usually be pried up with your finger tips.
Loosen the valve stem with pliers.
Lift the valve stem out of the faucet.
Slip the O-ring off the valve.
Locate the seat washer in the base of the valve. Pop it out with your fingernails or the needle-nosed pliers.
Take both the o-ring and seat washer to Lowe’s and purchase new ones that match the old.
Slip the new O-ring onto the valve.
Press the new seat washer into the base of the valve.
Replace the O-ring and seat washer on the other valve stem.
Place the valves back into the faucet.
Tighten them using pliers.
Replace the handles and the screws.
Turn the water back on and enjoy the peace and quiet of a drip-free faucet!
(Side Note: Don’t wait too long to fix a leaky faucet. If you wait too long to replace the washers, you might end up with a damaged seat or valve stem from trying to crank the handles too tight. If that happens, you’ll want to read my tutorial on fixing that damaged stem. Stay tuned!)
Fix for later!
I have an old single ball delta faucet, and I absolutely can’t get the casing lose. Any tips?
I’m sorry I don’t. Have you tried contacting their customer service?
I’ve got a leaking tap in my bathroom, and I’ve been worried it’s a harbinger of things to come, so I’m determined to fix it quickly. Is this a symptom of a more serious problem? It seems like this is a simple fix, but I don’t want to treat a symptom if there’s something else going on.
I’ve been living with a leaky faucet for the past year. I had no idea it was so simple to fix! I had considered calling a plumber, but I kept putting it off. Thanks for your great pictures and clear instructions. I feel prepared to tackle this project next weekend!
You know what, I’m particularly glad to see this one. In my time spent as a contractor, repairman, whatever you want to call it, I’ve always found myself trying to show people how to fix it themselves the next time and THIS is easily the most common one I’ve ever seen.
Or, at least when it just turns out to be an issue with the washers. I’ve seen this lead to something more serious like water pressure issues which may need the help of a professional. Otherwise most of these can be taken care of yourself (like cartridge problems).
Too funny – I was going to comment that I couldn’t fix my leaky faucet by replacing the washer and O-ring, unfortunately, and had to replace the entire valve stem instead! And that, my friends, took, literally days, as none of the ‘big box’ stores carried a replacement, nor could they tell me where I might find one (there were no markings or name on my fixtures to tell me who the manufacturer might be!) So after going to a major plumbing supply store, the very knowledgeable folks there finally directed me to a local ‘mom and pop’ plumbing shop that has been in busy for over 50 years, and voila! I walked in and the gentleman who waited on me took one look, went in the back and came out with a replacement pronto (so, just to be safe, I bought the matching valve stem for the other faucet – lol!) God bless our independent ‘small’ businesses and their accumulated knowledge!
This is pretty hilarious. I got your email while I was looking at my phone and the pics didn’t come up. I was thinking maybe I could fix what the plumber screwed up. He spent half a day putting in two washers in the tub faucet and I thought that was weird. Then today when I saw this I thought, I bet he put in the wrong size. So decided to do it myself. For one thing I found out later I was turning off the water under my sink but was going to change out the tub washers. Good thing my plan went awry. Story here. http://tinyurl.com/neynn99
Thank you again for such a smart and handy tute.
I having beneath a leack. I live in an adjust wheely appartment, and all the tabs and other things aren’t commen. A stupid handy man filled my sink in the badroom with filled , and didn’t dropped it in the toilet;-S
I made a comment that it wasn’t smart of him, but he only could be crumpy.
So first the water didn’t go beneath the normale way, then because of the strange faucet, it can on two places be disconnected. Because it’s for the futher build. So that another wheelie having a higher fitting than i have!
It looks all simple, but it isn’t. So i hope you can tell me more how to fix this?
And you’re right about those washers, don’t wait to long.
As well with the ceramic tabs!!!!
When they started to leack it will be the end;-S
so stay tuned’-D
Jet, I wish I could help you but without seeing your plumbing and knowing much about old fixtures, it might be a good idea to call a reputable plumber or try to google the fix.
Im definately trying this! I believe I have a ‘washerless’ faucet. Does that mean I have to stop the dripping a different way? Love this site, it is so great to realize I can do somethings for myself! 🙂
S, I’d recommend following all the steps and removing your valve stems so you can match a new valve stem instead. Best of luck! P.s. After a week my faucet started leaking again. Turned out the valve stem itself was worn and the new seat washer only worked as a temporary fix. I ended up having to replace the entire valve stem. Tutorial coming soon ;-).
Oh this is so so good to have. Great tutorial, a keeper for sure. Thank you!
Great tutorial! Im going to pin this incase I need it in the future!