How to Remove and Replace a Faucet Washer

Lead Image
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Channel lock pliers
New faucet washer
Safety goggles
WD-40 spray
Handle puller

Removing and replacing a faucet washer is a basic task which one should be able to do since it is a common job that crops up from time to time in any home. We shall outline the main steps involved to carry out this task.

Step 1 - Turn Off the Water Supply

Before starting to do anything make sure to turn off the water supply. This can be easily done by closing the shut off valve usually found under the sink, or else from the main source. Then turn on the tap to discharge any water still present in the pipes. You may wish to keep some towels handy just in case.

Step 2 - Loosen Off the Upper Part

Loosen off the upper part which is usually like a cap by using a pair of channel lock pliers. Then, pull it out.

Step 3 - Remove the Underlying Screw

At this point you should find a screw which affixes the handle to the valve system. Use a screwdriver to unscrew this screw so as to pull it out.

Step 4 - Remove the Faucet Washer

You should then find fittings which connect the faucet to the valve system. You will probably need a wrench to unfasten them. If you find this a bit difficult to accomplish due to corrosion you may need to use a handle puller. At this point there should be a screw which, when unscrewed, will enable the faucet washer to pop out easily. Sometimes there is a nut instead of a screw. This may be a bit more difficult to remove so you may need to spray some WD-40 for easy unscrewing. Once the faucet washer is in your hand you can examine where the problem is as it will most likely be rather worn away, sunken or grooved.

Step 5 - Purchase the New Faucet Washer

When purchasing a new faucet washer, it is best to take the old washer with you to the hardware store. in order to buy one of the same size.

Step 6 - Installing the New Faucet Washer

Place the new washer in the circular metal ridge. Tighten the fittings you removed previously to fix everything well into place. Then just install the upper cap back on and you are done. Make sure not to over tighten the washer as it will end up squeezing itself out of place. It is best to wear safety goggles as a safeguard.

As you can see it is a very simple process and it is obviously easily manageable by anyone without having to ask the help from a plumber or other professional. Whenever you notice regular drippings you will probably have to carry out this procedure. Keep in mind that it is much better to handle the problem at the start when the drippings are small, rather than leaving the problem to aggravate by ignoring it. The longer the leaks are left unattended the more wearing off will take place in the whole faucet mechanism, eventually it will cause more complicated repairs, including possibly replacing the whole faucet.