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Maintenance & Installations  /  November 18, 2019

Weekend Upgrade – Leaky Faucet Repair

Not only is your leaky faucets slow, steady drip driving you crazy, it is also dripping your money right down the drain with every drop. Luckily for you, a water leak repair from your faucet is usually easy enough that a handy homeowner can take this on. Follow these instructions from Handyman Connection of Kelowna to ensure you complete the job properly.

Prep the Work Area:

To ensure your area is prepped before starting the repair itself, turn off the water underneath the faucet and block the drain with a rag or plug to avoid losing essential parts. If you wrap duct tape around the jaws of your wrench, this will avoid any scratch marks on the faucet itself. Another good idea to remember the correct order you removed the parts in is to lay them out next to you to install back properly.

Identify your Faucet:

There are four different types of faucet to determine how to repair:

  • Compression – Two handles for hot and cold which you turn left or right to control
  • Ball – Swiveling arm with a ball bearing for the faucet
  • Cartridge – An arm that swings to change temperature and usually with a decorative cap
  • Ceramic Disk – Rotating arm with a ceramic cylinder

Begin the Repair:

Compression – Pry the decorative cap at the top of the handle hiding the handle screw and detach this to remove the handle. Take the nut off with a wrench and you will find the stem, a thin O-ring and the thicker seat washer. Most likely, the rubber washer will be worn down causing the drippy faucet. Remove the screw holding this down and replace with a new one coated in nontoxic and heat-proof plumbers grease and then reassemble.

Ball – These can be tough to find the source of the leak due to the multiple parts so it’s sometimes easier to replace the entire cam assembly which can be purchased at any hardware stores for about $20. First, unscrew and remove the handle and take off the cap and collar with pliers. You will then see the faucet cam and can loosen it with the tool from your kit. Once its removed, you will then be able to remove the washer and ball as well. Next, use a needle-nose plier to reach into the base of the faucet and remove the inlet seals and springs. Now you’ll be able to cut off the old O-rings and roll on the new ones covered in plumber’s grease. Finally, you can install the springs, valve seats and cam washers to put the faucet back together.

Cartridge – If present, remove the decorative cap and unscrew the handle to remove it. If there is a circular threaded plastic piece holding the cartridge in place, use a pair of pliers to take this off and then pull the cartridge straight up to remove the spout and find the O-rings. Cut them off with a utility knife then coat the new ones in plumber’s grease to slip them on. Reassemble the faucet and you are completed.

Ceramic Disk – Unscrew and remove the handle to give you access to the escutcheon cap which sits directly below the handle. After removing the cap, unscrew the disk cylinder and lift it out where you will find several neoprene seals. Pry these off and then soak the seals and cylinders in white vinegar for several hours before cleaning with a plastic scrubber. After rinsing, examine the seals to determine if they can be reused or if new ones are to be purchased. After the decided seals are replaced, the faucet can be reassembled. Make sure you turn the water back on slowly or the force could cause the ceramic disk to crack.

Need Help?

Don’t have the time or feel a bit concerned on fixing yourself? No worries – Take advantage of Handyman Connection of Kelowna and call us today to take care of your drippy faucet and any other home maintenance repairs you may have.

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