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Repair A Leaking Faucet

Updated on July 17, 2014

Few things are more annoying than a leaking faucet. The leakingbathroom sink faucet is also a money taker. All that dripping water canadd up to hundreds of gallons over a months time which increases yourwater bill. Most bathroom faucets use a cartridge that distribute thehot and cold water through the faucet. To repair a leaking faucetrequires replacing the cartridge within the faucet. Repairing a leakingfaucet requires just a couple of hand tools and about an hour of yourtime. It is a good idea to remove the old cartridge from the leakingfaucet first, and take it to a home improvement center. This way youcan make sure that you purchase a cartridge that matches the currentone.

To repair your leaking bathroom faucet, you will need the following:

Flat-head screwdriver
Phillips-head screwdriver
Channel lock pliers
Replacement cartridge

Go under the sink and turn off the hot and cold water supply shut-off valves. The valves connect the house plumbing lines to the faucet water supply lines. Turn the valve handle clockwise to shut off the water to the leaking faucet. Go back to the sink and turn the faucet handle onto allow any water remaining in the line to drain out. Turn the faucet handle off when no water is draining through the leaking faucet.

Turn the valves clockwise to shut off the water.
Turn the valves clockwise to shut off the water.

Remove the decorative cover that is hiding the handle securing screw. Insert a flat-head screwdriver between the edge of the cover and the top of the faucet handle. Pry the cover off the handle and set the cover to the side.

Remove the screw securing the leaking faucet handle to the cartridge with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Turn the screw counterclockwise to remove the screw. Place the screw in a safe location so that you do not lose it. Pull t

Remove the decorative sleeve that covers the cartridge locking nut. Turn the sleeve counterclockwise and set the sleeve off to the side.

Locate the two flat edges on the cartridge locking nut. Place a pair of channel lock pliers over the two flat edges, and turn the nut counterclockwise until you are able to turn the nut by hand. Unthread the nut by hand and remove the nut from the faucet.

Grasp the end of the cartridge with your fingers, and pull the cartridge out of the faucet. Look inside the faucet body and remove any large pieces of sediment, if there is any in the body. These pieces of sediment can damage the cartridge or the seals in the bottom of the faucet body.

Take the cartridge to a home improvement center. Look for a cartridge that matches the size and shape of the current cartridge. The cartridges are in the household plumbing aisle with the sink drain kits and other faucet repair parts.

Set the new cartridge into the faucet body. There are two protruding pins on the bottom of the cartridge that will fit into two grooves in the faucet body. Thread the cartridge lock nut back over the cartridge and faucet body until the nut is hand tight. Turn the nut another 3/4 turn with the channel lock pliers. Thread the decorative sleev over the lock nut until the sleeve is hand tight.

Position the faucet handle over the cartridge and decorative sleeve. Secure the faucet handle to the cartridge with the securing screw. Place the decorative cap back on top of the faucet handle. Turn on the water supply shut off valves. Turn the handles counterclockwise to turn on the water supply.

There will be some variations depending upon the model of your faucet. Some cartridges will have a c-clip securing the cartridge to the faucet just like a shower faucet. However the disassembly and assembly is generally the same.


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    • kenwrites profile image

      Ken Crawford 6 years ago from Yreka, California

      Hi janices7,

      Glad you found the Hub useful. Do you have a single or double handle faucet?

    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 6 years ago

      Very useful - I need to fix my kitchen sink that leaks if you don't push the handle down just right and wiggle it. Thanks for sharing.

    • kenwrites profile image

      Ken Crawford 6 years ago from Yreka, California

      Worlds Best Handyman - Ha! Thanks for the catch on the photo caption. Much obliged

    • profile image

      Worlds Best Handyman 6 years ago

      The instructions here say turn the shut off valve counter clockwise to turn the water off... Prepare to get wet...

    • Philfacts11 profile image

      Philfacts11 7 years ago

      I just had a scary bill, but the problem was finding the leak. It turned out to be a a forgotten tap hidden in the patio behind a plant. Thanks for the guidance to sort it out.

    • kenwrites profile image

      Ken Crawford 7 years ago from Yreka, California

      Hi there bingskee,

      Yea the water dripping down the sink drain needlessly is like throwing money down the drain. That is cool though how people in the Philippines will do what is necessary with what they have on hand. More of us need to take that approach. Sometimes simple fixes can save us BIG money.

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 7 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      this is a very useful hub. in the Philippines, the people are innovative that they can even repair it with the least and improvised tools that they have.

      we truly need to repair the leaks. the bills can become scary.