7 Dos and Don'ts when Repairing a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet in your home can cause a tremendous amount of damage over a long period of time. When a faucet is leaking it is important to repair it immediately or be faced with some serious renovations to the floor, ceilings, and even walls. Even a small leak can cause damage to your home if not repaired. When starting to fix a leaky faucet there are some things to keep in mind to help you along the way. Here are a few 'do's' and 'don'ts' for fixing that leaky faucet.

Do Turn Off Water

Before doing any work to your faucet make sure to turn the water off first. Many do-it-yourself-ers try to do what they believe will be a simple repair job only to have a serious water problem on their hands.

Do Read Manual

Before prying off any parts of the leaky faucet spend some time reading through the manual. While most faucets are very similar in design, there are some differences. These differences could be as simple as a small plastic part that hides screws and other fasteners. Locating these differences will not only speed up the repair process, but also ensure that you do not break important pieces.

Do Make Sure All Parts Are Present

A common problem when fixing a leaky faucet is to tear it apart and then get the parts needed. It is much wiser to have all of the different parts, and tools, that you are going to need before hand. This way you can replace other gaskets and 'O' rings that might not be worn yet, but are old.

Do Use Tape for Threads

If the need is to replace the worn out faucet, it is very important to use plumber's tape to lock the threads and seal them against leaking. Again, many homeowners simple tighten the hose onto the faucet without this tape. Take the time to seal the treads and ensure a new faucet with no leaks.

Don't Scratch Metal

When removing the packing nut from the faucet handles you must use great care with your pliers. Any type of scratch to the metal surface will interfere with the threads of the nut and cause it not to fit properly. Rubber coated pliers is highly recommended for this project.

Don't Use Worn Parts

A major mistake when working on a leaky faucet is to replace only one part. Find a faucet repair kit for your model and replace all of the nuts, bearings, and gaskets for a leak proof repair.

Don't Be Afraid to Use Oil

If the faucet has been in use for several years, chances are good that some of the internal parts are rusted into place. This is especially true if the faucet has had a small leak for some time. Use some penetrating oil, like WD-40, to coat the surface before attempting to remove any screws or other hardware. If forced, these pieces can break.

Don't Put Tools Away until Checked

After the faucet has been repaired you should wait for a few hours to make sure no leaks develop. Sometimes a leak will not begin immediately after you finish.