How To Fix A Leaking Faucet

Leaking faucets are quite easy to repair. This article will help you diagnose and repair most problems with leaking faucets.

There are two main types of faucets; compression faucets and washerless faucets. If you have a leak in either type, do not dispair, they are easy to repair!


Compression faucets are the type with two handles. When you turn the handle on a compression faucet the stem attached to the handle moves down and a washer stops the water from flowing up through the valve seat. The packing that is located around the stem prevents water from flowing out at this point.

Usually leaks occur in this type of faucet for three main reasons. The washer has eroded, the valve seat is damaged or the packing is worn. All problems are easy to fix.

1) Shut off both water supply valves found under the sink.

2) Turn on both handles to drain the faucet.

3) Plug the drain to prevent small parts from falling down the sink.

4) Line up parts in order removed so that replacing them will be easier.

5)Pry off decorative top of handle and remove handle from stem.

6)Using an adjustable wrench, turn packing nut counter clockwise. Remove stem assembly by gently pulling it up.

7) You may find the old washer is corroded. remove this and replace with a new one. It may be held in with a brass screw. Be sure to use this

same screw when replacing the washer.

8) If the washer seems intact, check out the packing. Usually if something is wrong with the packing, the faucet will leak at the handle. The packing nut and packing washer are located directly beneath the handle. See if these look damaged or corroded and replace as necessary.

9) Reassemble faucet.

However if your faucet still leaks....

7a) Your problem may be with the valve seat. Repeat steps 1-6. Use an Allen wrench counterclockwise and remove valve seat. Put a little pipe joint compound around new seat. Replace in faucet assembly and replace all other parts.


This type of faucet generally has one handle. When you lift the handle, internal mechanisms shift and a pathway will open up for the water to flow through. Leaks can occur at the spout or at the handle in this type of faucet too.

1) Shut off water supply valve found under sink.

2) Open faucet so that water drains.

3) Plug drain to prevent small parts from falling down sink

4) Line up parts in order removed so that replacing them will be easier.

5)If your leak is coming from the handle, you are in luck. Remove handle. To do this you may only need a conventional screwdriver. However, if your faucet sports a set screw you will need a repair kit tool. The screw may be found under the handle lever or it may be under the cap on the top of the faucet. Once the handle is removed, tighten the adjusting ring which is found right beneath the handle on faucet assembly.

6) If the leak is from the spout, you may need to replace a part. As you disassemble the faucet, check all parts for corrosion and wear. You may need to buy a replacement kit or perhaps just a replacement part at a hardware store. Make sure you get the right kit as there are several types available. Note the type of faucet you have and bring this information along with the damaged part with you to the hardware store.

7) Once the worn parts are replaced, carefully reassemble the faucet.

You should now have a drip-free faucet.

© High Speed Ventures 2011