How To Repair Bathroom Faucets

What You'll Need
Phillips head screwdriver
Soft cloth (optional)
Replacement nuts, washers, and bolts (can usually be purchased together in a kit at your local hardware or home improvement store)

Leaky bathroom faucets can waste gallons of water every day. Whether dripping slowly or running ever more steadily, they can be a drain on resources and a general nuisance. Fortunately, a fix for a leaky faucet can be easy.

Step 1 - Turn Off the Water Supply

The first step you need to take is to shut off the water supply to the sink. The valve or for this operation is often located directly under the sink. If you can’t locate the valve, however, a second, more difficult option is to shut water supply off to your house for the duration of the repair.

Step 2 - Remove Faucet Handles

Once the water is turned off, remove the faucet handles. Most of the knobs will have a decorative cap that can be easily scratched. This is where the soft cloth comes in. When you use the screwdriver to take these caps off, you can place the cloth on the head of the screwdriver to prevent damage too the finish.

Once you have the caps off, you may see another nut holding the handle on. Remove this nut and take the handles off their mounts. When finished, you will see a stem that also screws in to the sink; remove that too.

Step 3 - Clean the Faucet

Once you are able to see inside the faucet, clean any corrosion or dirt buildup and clean the stem well. For this part, use a soft cloth and warm soapy water. If the stem is covered in corrosion and you’re not able to remove it with just soap and water, it’s best to just replace it. Take the part to a local hardware store and you should be able to get an inexpensive replacement.

Step 4 - Change the Washer

With the handles removed, you should be able to see down to the washer. Even if the washer looks to be in reasonable condition, it’s a good idea to replace it. Washers are so cheap, and they wear down quickly, so it’s wise to do this when you have the chance. Normally, there is a screw holding the washer down. Use your screwdriver and remove it, swap the washer, and replace the screw.

Step 5 - Reassembly

As long as nothing looks broken or damaged, just cleaning the faucet and stem, and replacing the washer and stem will generally stop a leaky faucet. However, if there is obvious damage to the faucet, sometimes it’s more inexpensive to replace the entire apparatus than to work on it piece by piece.

If nothing else appears out of place, however, reassemble the faucet in reverse order.

Once the faucet is back in order, turn the water supply back on and test the faucet. You should see that the leaks are now stopped, and you may even notice the water running more smoothly now that everything has been cleaned.