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Leaky Faucet Troubleshooting Tips

Have you been dealing with a leaky faucet in your kitchen or bathroom? The constant dripping is more than just a mere nuisance—it will also waste a lot of water and rack up your water bills.

The good news is most leaky faucets are easily repaired by homeowners, even if you do not have much experience with plumbing jobs. Here’s a quick overview of some of the steps you should take when troubleshooting a leaky faucet.

Shut off the water

Before you start doing any work on the faucet, make sure you’ve shut off water to the sink. There should be a valve under the sink to turn off the water supply, but if you do not have individual shutoff valves at the sink you may need to shut off the water to the house. Open up the faucet and leave it open to let the water still in the line come out into the sink.

Take off the handle

You might have a set screw behind the handle, or the handle may have a top screw cover and another screw under that cover. Whatever you need to do, remove the handle and set it aside with its hardware.

Take out the cartridge

You’ll likely need to use a crescent wrench for this process. Loosen the packing nut in the assembly of the handle, and remove it and put it aside. Pull out the cartridge. You might be able to do this with your hands, but you might also need a special tool. If you still have the manufacturer’s guide for the sink, check in those instructions.

Put in a new cartridge

Clean off the area around the handle, and rub all parts with a cloth, then take a look at all the O-rings around the housing. If there are any that are worn or damaged, you should replace them with an O-ring of the same size. A damaged O-ring could be the source of the leak. You should also replace the cartridge—it’s helpful if you know the manufacturer and model number of the faucet to do this, otherwise you can take the old cartridge into the hardware store to get a product match. When you have the new cartridge, put it in and make sure it’s properly aligned.

Put the handle back on

Finally, you can place the handle back on, following the inverse of the same procedure you used for step two.

Once you’ve performed all these steps, you can turn the water back on and see if there’s still a leak. You should let the water flow for a few minutes before shutting it off. If your faucet is still leaking, you’ll probably need professional help, but most of the time the solution is truly this simple.

For more information about repairing a leaky faucet in your kitchen or bathroom, contact the licensed professionals at PipeMasters: info@pipemasters.ca or (289) 404-9063.

PipeMasters is part of Oakridge Plumbing Ontario Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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