Have you been getting driven crazy by that slow, steady drip of your leaky faucet? Not to worry – Handyman Connection of Calgary can provide you the step by step process to fix this issue as fortunately, a water leak repair is usually easy enough for a handy homeowner to take care of!
Prepping the Area:
The easiest way to remember the order to install the faucet back together is to lay out the parts neatly beside you as you take them apart. Ensure your area is first tidy and then turn off your water underneath the faucet. Block the drain with a rag or plug so you don’t lose any essential parts. We also suggest wrapping duct tape around the jaws of your wrench to avoid scratching the finishing of the faucet.
Identify your Faucet:
There are four types of faucets which you will need to determine before you start working:
- Compression – Separate hot and cold faucets which you turn left or right to control
- Ball – Faucet contains a ball bearing and has an arm that swings to change the temperature
- Cartridge – Also has an arm that swings but usually has a decorative cap
- Ceramic-disk – Ceramic cylinder with a rotating arm
Complete your Repair:
Compression – Under the decorative cap you will find the handle screw which needs to be pried off to unscrew and remove the handle. Take the nut off with a wrench to find the stem, O-ring and the thicker seat washer. Usually, the rubber seat washer is what is causing the drippy faucet as it gets worn down with time. Remove the screw holding it down and replace with a new one that is coated in nontoxic and heat proof plumbing grease and then you can reassemble.
Ball Faucet – The first step of repairing this faucet is to purchase a kit for the entire cam assembly as ball faucets have multiple parts and can be hard to source the exact leak so this is your best option. Kits can be purchased at almost any hardware store for about $20. You’ll need to unscrew and remove the handle to take off the cap and collar with pliers. You will then loosen the faucet cam with the tool provided and then remove the cam, washer and ball. Reach into the base of the faucet with a pair of needle-nose pliers and remove the inlet seals and springs. You can then cut the old O-rings and roll on new ones that have been coated in plumber’s grease. Finally, you can install the springs, valve seats and cam washers back and then put the faucet back together.
Cartridge Faucet – If present, you will remove the decorative cap and then unscrew the handle. Use a pair of pliers to take off the threaded plastic piece holding the cartridge in place and then pull it straight up to remove the spout and O-rings. Cut the old O-rings off with a utility knife and then coat the new ones in plumber’s grease to slip them back on. Reassemble the faucet to complete the repair.
Ceramic-disk Faucet – Unscrew and remove the handle to give access to the escutcheon cap so you can remove this as well. Unscrew the disk cylinder and lift it out where you will find several neoprene seals. Pry these off and then soak them and the cylinder in white vinegar for several hours. Rinse them well and then examine the seals to see if they can be used again or if you will need to purchase new ones. Once you have replaced the correct seals on the cylinder, reassemble the faucet and turn the water on slowly to ensure the force of the strong water doesn’t cause the ceramic disk to crack.
Need a Handyman Plumber to Help?
If you still don’t feel confident about repairing the leak or even if you just simply don’t have the time – call Handyman Connection of Calgary! We can not only take care of your drippy faucet but check out your other home maintenance needs.