DIY Plumbing – Fixing a Faucet

There are some aspects of plumbing that homeowners can do themselves. We’ll call this DIY Plumbing. As a plumber serving the Dallas area, including Garland, Plano, Richardson and surrounding areas, we receive many requests for simple fixes or even requests for advice on how to accomplish a particular plumbing task. How to repair a water heater, how to prevent pipe breaks, and toilet repair are some of the common requests we receive.

In this article, we’ll go over the repair of a faucet. Fixing or replacing a faucet is fairly simple in most homes within the Dallas area. We’ll take a look at a compression faucet specifically, that continues to drip after turning the handles off.

First, you want to check to see if there is any damage to the stem of the faucet by removing the handles. Turn the water shut-off valve to the off position that is underneath the sink. Then turn the faucet handles to on, which will allow any water remaining in the pipes to come out. It helps to close the sinks stopper or drain and cover it with a rag to prevent anything from falling down the pipe after you’ve drained the water.

If there is a decorative cap on the faucet handle, remove it to expose the screw holding the handle in place. Remove the screw and pull of the handle to expose the stem. Once the handle is out of the way, use slip-joint pliers to remove the retaining nut.

Next, inspect the stem for any damage. Check the rubber washer on the end and if it appears to be good, then unscrew the packing nut to reveal the O-ring and inspect it for any damage.

If the washer is damaged, remove the screw, and replace the old washer with a new one. If an O-ring is bad, cut it off with a utility knife, coat a new one with heat-proof grease, and slide the new O-ring into place on the stem, using a flat-head screwdriver as a guide.

If washers and the O-rings all look good, then check for rough spots on the valve seat inside the faucet. If the seat is damaged, the faucet may not make a tight seal, even with new washers. You can use a specially made seat wrench to remove the seats and replace them.

Once the repair is complete, you’ll need to reassemble the faucet. Drop in the repaired or new stem assembly, and tighten the retaining nut with the appropriate pliers. Replace the handles and secure them with the screws.

Turn the water back on by using the valve under the sink and test your cold and hot water to make sure they both work without any drips.

A drippy faucet can be an annoying noise, but has a fairly simple remedy. If you have any plumbing needs, contact us. We don’t have any drive-time charges and are an accredited business the the BBB.

We serve the entire Dallas area, including Garland, Plano and Richardson. Call us today at 972-681-4434!

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