How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Valve How to Fix a Leaky Faucet Valve
Leaky faucet valves are a common problem and are usually caused by a washer that has become damaged or warped within the faucet handle. Removing a faucet valve which is leaking is not a difficult process, although you do need to be aware of the procedure. Do not feel tempted to just twist the handle until you have locked it back into position and temporarily stopped the leak, as this will only be a short term solution and only postpone the unavoidable repair.
Step One - Turn off Main Water Supply
Before you begin to fix a leaky faucet valve, you will need to turn off the water at the mains. Activate the faucet to allow any water in the sink line to drain away. This will temporarily stop leaks and enable you to rectify the problem without being drenched in water.
Step Two - Remove the Faucet Handle
Typically, two inserts cover the screws inside the faucet handle: one for hot water and one for cold water. Carefully remove these inserts by levering them away with a screwdriver. Once the inserts have been removed, you can access the screw which keeps the handle in position. Take your Phillips screwdriver and turn to release the screw and free the faucet handle.
Step Three - Remove the Faucet Stem Valve
Although removing the stem valve on different brands of faucets varies slightly, it is essentially the same technique. Carefully unscrew the holding nut or clip, which is positioned at the top of the faucet stem. Slowly undo the stem from the base.
Step Four - Clean the Base Unit
Now is a good time to clean the base unit and stem, and also to check for damages. Simply wipe the unit clean with a damp cloth, avoiding damaging it as you work.
Step Five - Remove and Replace the Rubber Washer
Located at the base of the stem you will find a rubber washer. Some models of faucets are made without the washer being held down by anything, while others are held down with a screw. If the latter applies, carefully remove the screw with a screwdriver to release the washer. Simply substitute the washer with a new one and if applicable, turn the screw back into place.
Step Six - Reconnect the Faucet Valve
Connect the stem to the base, ensuring you fasten it tightly to avoid any potential leakage. Re-attach the holding nut or clip to the top of the faucet and re-position the handle over the stem. Applying some pressure, rotate the screw with a Phillips screwdriver while being careful not to over tighten it, as this may also cause potential leak points. Once the screw has been fastened, place the two inserts back into position.
Step Seven - Switch the Water on a Conduct a Test
With the faucet valve reconnected and back in position, you may now switch the water back on at the mains. Carefully turn the handle until you manage to get a steady stream of water flowing. Rotate the handle until it is in the closed position to determine whether your handy work has managed to fix the leaky faucet valve.