Introduction to Our DIY Repair of Leaky Faucets
Being a homeowner for many years my husband and I have learned to save lots money by doing the projects ourselves whenever and wherever we can. Even though we are advocates of DIY projects, we are smart enough to know when it is in our best interest to call a plumber. Most projects we have had to research and read up on first before tackling them head-on. One such project is plumbing. While we have done a number of plumbing projects around the house, we have also called in a plumber when needed.
Self-Proclaimed Plumbers (to a Point)
One project that we continue to make our DIY project is leaky faucets. We do not have to fix leaky faucets too much but when we notice a faucet leaking, we get right on the problem. Leaky faucets that go unattended can cause corrosion, rust, bacteria, mold and mildew in the area the faucet is leaking. If this happens, it is going to cost more time and money to fix the complications.
A leaky faucet can leak in several places such as an annoying drip, drip sound. The faucet may not be dripping in the sink but under the counter. No matter where the faucet is leaking, the fix is an easy and inexpensive fix. Just make sure you have the proper tools to do the job, proper time allowed for the job and the job done correctly. The following is information in fixing a leaky faucet.
When we need to buy new faucets we install them. There are so many brands of faucets on the market one hardly knows what to buy. We depend on brands such as Delta, Moen and Kohler. We have gotten years of wear from these brands. Each brand has a high and low end of cost and we buy the medium priced better brand such as these three brands mentioned.
Tools Needed to Fix a Leaky Faucet
· Wrench that adjusts around the pipe
· Two screw drivers, one flat-head and one Phillips
· WD-40 (If the nuts are unmovable)
· O-rings, replacement washers or seals (We have a kit that has various sizes)
Our Technique for Fixing a Leaky Faucet
Individuals use the same techniques for fixing any leaky faucet and a good share of this technique is just common sense.
1. Common sense should be telling anyone to shut of the main water supply before removing any faucet. If you do not shut the water flow off, the room and you will become very saturated with water. Water needs shutting off in a couple of places.
2. Make sure the faucet handles are in the off position and if your sink has shut off valves in place, shut off the valves. This keeps water from flowing to the faucet in need of repair.
3. Faucets decorated with fancy knobs and so forth need removing, carefully pry off the faucet decor.
4. There is a screw under the hand of the faucet. Use the Phillips or flat head to unscrew the mount and remove the handle. This is where the faucet can be stubborn in coming off, but a bit of lubricant will help this problem. We always use WD-40.
5. Remove the packing nut and stem. These generally pop right off but some may twist off. Check and make sure none of the parts shows any damage.
6. Inside the valve is where the O-ring and washer are, check to see if these need replacing. We just go ahead and replace them anyway when we get this far. This is why we have a kit on hand, as it contains many sizes and fits, such as flat washers or cone head washers. The fit must be exact; if it is not exact, it will cause more problems with leaking even worse. O-ring and washer kits will save one a trip or two to the hardware store.
7. Reassemble all parts back together in the order removed such as washer or O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, and handle. When all is in place, carefully turn the water back on and check the faucet to see if this took care of the leak.
Know When to Throw in the Wet Towel and Call a Plumber
This technique always worked for us, however, there was a couple of time where it did not and we had to call in a plumber because the valve was corroded and once we ended up having some broken plumbing. When DIY projects are beyond our scope of knowledge we feel more secure calling our licensed plumber to do the job correctly.