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You Can Change A Leaking Faucet To Save On Repair Bills

Updated on June 8, 2012
Supply Lines And Shut Off Valves
Supply Lines And Shut Off Valves
Breakdown of A Bathroom Fixture
Breakdown of A Bathroom Fixture
A Typical Sink Fixture
A Typical Sink Fixture

Leaking Faucets

Home maintenance is not a seasonal thing, it requires year around attention. Although, hiring professionals is an option, in some cases, it can become costly. However, there are repairs that you can do yourself to save on costs. One of those repairs is replacing a leaking faucet.

People become so accustomed to seeing dripping faucets that they become invisible. Leaking fixtures waste money and increase your monthly utilities. At 30 drips per minute on average, a faucet or combination of fixtures will waste up to three gallons of water daily. Calculate this over a month or even a year and it is quite easy to see how much money is being wasted not to mention the waste of a natural resource.

Replacing the old worn out fixtures is not as daunting as you may imagine. You will need two adjustable wrenches commonly called crescent wrenches, slip joint pliers, Teflon plumber's tape and several towels.

Find the shut off valves under the cabinet, there is usually one for each supply line, and turn them off, then open the faucet to drain the water from the lines. Sink faucets have a stem or stems that fit through the hole or holes in the sink or vanity. There is a nut on the underside that must be removed from the main stem or stems. Many new faucets come with a special tool that fits the nut and makes removing and installing the fixture easier. If you do not have the tool use the slip joint pliers, or what many refer to as channel locks. This nut is what typically secures the fixture to the sink or vanity. First, uncouple the supply lines. There are two, one is hot and one is cold. Left as you look at the lines is typically the hot water supply and of course, right is the cold. The plumbing usually comes from the floor up but on occasion can be protruding from the wall. The nut will slide over the supply lines.

Use the crescent wrenches to remove the supply lines from the lines attached to the faucet. Use a wrench on each fitting and hold one while turning the other loose. You will turn the coupling that is attached to the faucet side. Once the supply lines are uncoupled, you will reach up and remove the nut or nuts, which hold the fixture tight to the sink. On bathroom sink faucets, usually a stem is connected that operates the sink stopper. The faucet will have the plunger connected typically, behind the control knob. You remove the stem from under the cabinet. You will see where it connects to the fixture, and once undone you can remove the faucet. Use the towels to absorb any water that drips from the lines.

Feed the new lines and stem back through the hole. Most new faucets will come with a rubber ring and or face plate with a gasket to keep water from seeping under the new fixture. If not, you will need to run a bead of waterproof sealant under the faceplate. You do not want water getting under the faceplate and dripping into the cabinet. Wrap the supply line threads with the Teflon tape to ensure a waterproof connection. You can also use plumber's putty. Once connected and the fixture is secured turn the supply lines on and check for leaks.


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    • rex michaels profile image

      rex michaels 5 years ago

      Thanks I sure will

    • viveresperando profile image

      viveresperando 5 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      Great! they are the plastic round ones that you pull out. The hardware store guy said those were the worst quality ones to have, lol. Send me a note if you come up with a hub. :)

    • rex michaels profile image

      rex michaels 5 years ago

      Wow excellent. With all the cermaic washers and sealed gaskets it it hard to go out and buy a kit to fix faucets these days. Used to be able to "re-pack" the fixtures and make them as good as new. I will see what I can find out about rounds ones. Thanks so much for sharing, great story.Thanks again!

    • viveresperando profile image

      viveresperando 5 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      Hi there, found this encouraging (have a leak). Called a plumber and he told me he was no longer repairing anything that he would install everything new. Mind you this is from a plumber chain in my area. I smiled and said okay, he gave me a detailed list and I kindly said no thank you. He then pretended to call his manager while he went outside and then lowered the bill and again I said no thank you. At this point I would not have let him do it even for free so I said okay, will have to call you in 30 days so I can apply the 35.00 evaluation or diagnostic fee and he smiled and seemed very proud of himself. He gave me his card, told me to call his cell phone directly (not the company) when I was ready. I smiled and got him out of my house. I have the nice detailed list, already found that for the disposal that he thought he was going to charge me 600.00 to install I can purchase a nice one for about 140.00 and have it installed for 99.99. Saw the model he wrote down, he was going to install same model number at a hardware store for 88.99, what an A**. His nice little list is actually quite handy and even though I was not ready to tackle a leaky faucet repair job, I am actually looking forward to tackle a, I am going to install everything new job. I already have the new kitchen faucet that I purchase actually a while back that I want. A little light bulb came on, duh, if I am going to INSTALL a brand new kitchen faucet... ready .... wait for it..... why they H*ll was I thinking of fixing the kitchen faucet leak! LOL I was going to replace it anyways, brand new. Good Lord, that was a close one. I am thinking of replacing all the emergency faucet stops, I have the round ones in my house that pull out, you go any articles on how to replace those with the quarter turn ones? :)


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