Guide to Repairing a Faucet that Drips from the Spout

What You'll Need
Adjustable wrench

Repairing faucet drips is something normal for every home. At some time or other, one of your faucets may start dripping from the sprout and will need to be fixed. With the right tools and this handy set of instructions, you will be able to fix the faucet by yourself.

Step 1 – Determine What’s Wrong

You will want to first look to the faucet to determine where the faucet is leaking. With leaky faucets, they are usually leaking for one of two different reasons, which are loose nuts or a problem with the washer.

Step 2 – Loose Nuts

If the nut is loose, the water will be leaking from the nut area or from the bottom of the handle. To fix the loose nuts you will need to simply tighten the nut, which is located below the handle. If you cannot find the nut located there, you will need to take off the handle because the nut is located inside the handle. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nut.

Step 3 – Washer Problems

You will know that the washer is causing the problems if the water is running from the handles or the faucet has a slow, but steady drip. Another sign that the washer is bad is water collecting behind the handles.

Step 4 – Stem Faucets

If you have a stem faucet, you will need to turn off the water supply in stages to determine which washer is leaking. Start by turning off the hot water supply. If no leaks occur, replace the hot water washer. If it still leaks, shut off the cold water supply and if the leak stops, that washer needs to be replaced.

Step 5 – Turn off the Water

Turn off the main water supply to the sink that you are working on. The shut off valve can be located underneath the sink you are repairing.

Step 6 –Loosen the Packing Nut

Using an adjustable wrench loosen the packing nut by turning it counterclockwise. You will find the packing nut just below or inside the individual faucet handles.

Step 7 – Remove Valve Unit

Once you have loosened the packing nut, you will need to remove the entire valve unit by twisting it until it comes free.

Step 8 – Remove Old Washer

Remove the screw that is holding the old washer in place. The most likely place that the old washer will be is at the bottom of the valve unit.

Step 9 – Replace with New washer

Using the old washer as a guide, find a new washer that is the same size as the old washer and replace the old washer with the new one.

Step 10 – Replace Screw

Using the screwdriver, replace the screw that holds the washer in place.

Step 11 – Replace Valve Unit

Put the valve unit back in place and make sure it is in the proper position and tighten the packing nut.

Step 12 – Test the Faucet

Turn the water back on and turn on the faucet to check for leaks.