Repairing a Leaky Faucet

Repairing a leaky faucet is something most anyone can accomplish. Nothing can ruin a night's sleep faster than the drip-drip-drip of a leaking faucet. Why wait on a plumber or handy man to do the repairs for you when you this easy to accomplish task may solve your problems.

The first action you'll take is deciding what kind of faucet you have to repair. Take note of the manufacturer and model number before going to your local hardware store. Once there, the clerk will help you select the appropriate washer.

Before your project begins, make sure you have the tools you'll need because this is a little different than outdoor Christmas decorations. Look at the screws holding the faucet in place. You'll need either a Phillips head screwdriver or a flat edge screwdriver depending on the screws. You should also have replacement screws should you need them, as well as two washers of the appropriate size.

Now it's time to turn off the water leading to the faucet you'll be working on. Look underneath your sink or behind your bathtub for the pipes which connect to your faucet. Somewhere along those pipes you'll see two knobs, hot and cold, which turn off the water to the faucet. Turning the handles to the right will shut off the water. A handy rule to remember is "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey".

Once you turn off the water, you'll want to close the drain to the sink or bathtub. Many a home faucet repair project has been unnecessarily lengthened by dropping screws and/or washers down the drain. Taking this simple precaution helps save a lot of time.

Now you'll need to take out the screws which hold you faucet handles in place. Some faucets have a decorative plastic piece covering the screw. This piece will pop right out by applying a some pressure and prying it off. Now your screw should be revealed. Remove the screw and your handle will come off.

You should thoroughly clean the area of the contact spots with a pot scrubber, or steel wool, and, if there seems to be a lot of lime build up you may need to use a lime remover to make sure the handles and faucet operate correctly. Hard water and lime build up can cause your faucet to leak. Addressing the issue while replacing the washers can alleviate the potential of that being the problem.

Behind the handle is where the washer will go. You should see the old washer in place. Simply remove it and replace it with one of the ones you've purchased. You'll notice the hole slips down over the post which is turned by the handle.

Now you'll replace the handle by slipping it back over the post, screwing the handle back into place, and popping the plastic piece back in if you have one. Tighten the screw until it's comfortable to turn the handle. Repeat the same process with the other handle.

Now turn your water back on by turning the levers to the left, or counter clockwise. Test the faucet to see if the leak is repaired. If it's still leaking, adjust the screws which hold it into place some more. Initially, you might need to have the faucet handles a little tighter and let them adapt to adjust themselves. If the faucet still leaks, it may need more intricate repair and you should contact a plumber.

Repairing a leaky faucet on your own is easy to do as generally, the leak is caused by worn out washers. If this doesn't repair the leak, call a professional. It could easily be something simple but only a real plumbing pro will know for sure.

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