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How to fix a leaky faucet

How To Fix A Leaky Faucet

Leaky faucets are not only annoying, they can waste hundreds of gallons of water each year. Many types of faucets are used in kitchens and bathrooms nowadays, including ball faucets, compression faucets, ceramic disk faucets and cartridge faucets. However, compression faucets are one of the oldest and most popular types of faucets used in plumbing fixtures. Here we look at how you can fix a leaky compression faucet on your own, or how a plumber might go about diagnosing and fixing your leaky faucet.


Either a ball faucet, cartridge faucet, or ceramic disk faucet.Many homes have compression faucets, which are characterized by their twist handles, one for the hot water and one for cold water. Other types of faucets include ball faucets, ceramic disk faucets and cartridge faucets. These have handles that are lifted up to open the faucet, and rotated to change the temperature of the water. It’s usually difficult to tell ball faucets, ceramic disk faucets and cartridge faucets apart without opening the faucet and looking at the internal mechanism. However, compression faucets are easy to differentiate due to their different external appearance with two twist-open handles.

Use these helpful links to help determine if you have a compression, ball, ceramic disk, or cartridge faucet:

If you have identified your faucet as a compression faucet and your faucet is leaking, the following tips will help you correct and resolve your leaks.

Prepare the Area

It’s important to prepare the area around where you will repair a faucet. There’s nothing worse than trying to repair a faucet and losing a washer down the drain. Plug the drain and use some white cloth in the sink or tub to protect the area and collect any dropped parts.

Find the Source of the Leak

Leaks from compression faucets may come from either the faucet itself, or from around the handles. If the faucet itself is leaky, it is most likely that the seat washer needs replacement. However, if the handles are the source of the leak, the O-ring is more likely the culprit.

repair the leaky faucet

Repair the Faucet

Start by turning off the water supply, then remove the handles. Use a wrench to remove the nut, and under this you will find the stem. Pull out the stem, and this will expose the thinner O-ring which is just underneath the nut, and the seat washer underneath the O-ring. The seat washer is thicker and made of rubber, and it can tend to get worn out after a while. This part is most likely to be the cause of your faucet leak. However, if you noticed leaking around the handle, you may need to replace the O-ring instead of the seat washer.

Find suitable replacements for whichever part you need at your local hardware store. Coat the new piece in plumber’s grease before you install it, and then reassemble the handle. Repeat on the other handle if necessary, and any minor faucet leaks should be fixed.

By identifying the faucet type you have, you can start repairing minor leaks. Your local plumber can provide further assistance or advice for any faucet leaks or other pluming issues. Don’t put up with a dripping faucet – fix leaks as soon as possible and save on utility costs and a precious natural resource.