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  • Writer's pictureJustin Shook

Stop the Drip: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Your Leaky Faucet

Updated: Sep 26, 2023



A leaky faucet is not only annoying but it can also be a waste of water, which can cause a high utility bill. Fortunately, fixing a leaky faucet is a task that some homeowners can do themselves. In this article, we provide a general guide on how to fix a leaky faucet based on some of the most common faucet types. It is important to always refer to the manufacturer's instructions for your specific faucet model. When in doubt, contact Premium Rooter Plumbing Services to fix your leaky faucet.


Before starting any plumbing job, it is important to turn off the water supply to the affected area. The shutoff valve is usually located under the sink, and you can turn it off by turning the valve handle clockwise. Once you believe the water supply is turned off, turn on the faucet to release any remaining water in the pipes and to confirm that the water supply is off.


The next step is to determine the type of faucet you have. There are four types of faucets: cartridge, compression, ball, and ceramic disk. Though the repair steps are similar, each type of faucet has different parts that need to be replaced, so it is important to identify your faucet type before proceeding with the repair.




Click your faucet type below for instructions on your specific faucet type:


Cartridge Faucets

Cartridge faucets are one of the most common types of faucets. To fix a leaky cartridge faucet, follow these steps:


Step 1: Remove the Handle

Remove the handle by loosening the screw that is usually located under a decorative cap at the top of the handle. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cap and loosen the screw.


Step 2: Remove the Cartridge

Remove the cartridge by using pliers to grab the top of the cartridge and pulling it straight up. If the cartridge is stuck, use a cartridge puller tool to remove it.


Step 3: Replace the Cartridge

Replace the old cartridge with a new one of the same size and shape. Push the new cartridge straight down into the faucet body.


Step 4: Reassemble the Faucet

Reassemble the faucet by following the reverse order of the steps you used to take it apart. Make sure the handle is aligned correctly and tighten the screw to hold it in place.


Compression Faucets

Compression faucets have two handles, one for hot water and one for cold water. To fix a leaky compression faucet, follow these steps:


Step 1: Remove the Handle

Remove the handle by loosening the screw that is usually located under a decorative cap at the top of the handle. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cap and loosen the screw.


Step 2: Remove the Stem

Remove the stem by using pliers to unscrew the packing nut that is located just below the handle. Once the packing nut is removed, pull the stem straight out.


Step 3: Replace the Washer

Replace the old washer with a new one of the same size and shape. The washer is usually located at the bottom of the stem.


Step 4: Reassemble the Faucet

Reassemble the faucet by following the reverse order of the steps you used to take it apart. Make sure the handle is aligned correctly and tighten the screw to hold it in place.


Ball Faucets

Ball faucets have a single handle that controls both the hot and cold water. To fix a leaky ball faucet, follow these steps:


Step 1: Remove the Handle

Remove the handle by loosening the set screw that is usually located under a decorative cap at the top of the handle. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cap and loosen the set screw.


Step 2: Remove the Cap and Cam

Remove the cap and cam by using pliers to unscrew them from the faucet body. The cam is usually located on top of the ball.


Step 3: Remove the Ball

Remove the ball by lifting it straight up and out of the faucet body. The ball is usually located in a socket.


Step 4: Replace the O-Rings and Washers

Replace the old o-rings and washers with new ones of the same size and shape


Step 5: Reassemble the Faucet

Reassemble the faucet by following the reverse order of the steps you used to take it apart. Make sure the handle is aligned correctly and tighten the set screw to hold it in place.


Ceramic Disk Faucets

Ceramic disk faucets have a single lever that controls both the hot and cold water. To fix a leaky ceramic disk faucet, follow these steps:


Step 1: Remove the Handle

Remove the handle by loosening the set screw that is usually located under a decorative cap at the top of the handle. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cap and loosen the set screw.


Step 2: Remove the Cartridge

Remove the cartridge by using pliers to grab the top of the cartridge and pulling it straight up. If the cartridge is stuck, use a cartridge puller tool to remove it.


Step 3: Replace the Seals and Springs

Replace the old seals and springs with new ones of the same size and shape. The seals and springs are usually located at the bottom of the cartridge.


Step 4: Reassemble the Faucet

Reassemble the faucet by following the reverse order of the steps you used to take it apart. Make sure the handle is aligned correctly and tighten the set screw to hold it in place.


After you have successfully fixed your leaky faucet, turn on the water supply and test the faucet to ensure that it is no longer leaking. If the faucet is still leaking, you may need to check the valve seat for any cracks or damages. In this case, it may be best to call a professional plumber to fix the issue.


In conclusion, fixing a leaky faucet is a relatively simple task that can save you money on your utility bill and prevent further water damage. With a little bit of patience and some basic tools, you can fix your leaky faucet and have it working like new in no time.


(Disclaimer: Premium Rooter Plumbing Services takes no responsibility for any and all damages or injuries to persons or property resulting from following the steps in this article. For professional installations, contact Premium Rooter Plumbing Services.)

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