Replacing a Faucet Stem

What You'll Need
Replacement washers and gaskets
Clean rags
Masking tape
Crescent wrenches
Screwdriver sets
Valve seats
New faucet stem

Whether you are changing a faucet stem or a shower stem, the procedures are pretty much the same. Leaky faucets can be costly and uncomfortable. If you can repair them yourself, you will be able to save some money. This is a very simple job that you can do yourself. There are a few simple steps to help you with this project.

Step 1 -- Preparations

First thing you need to do is shut the water off. It can be turned off at the water shut-off valve. Shut-off valves can be located in several places. Depending on what faucet you are changing, you can locate the shut-off valves under the sink, behind the toilet or near the pipes going to the shower. If you can’t locate the shut-off valve, you will have to shut the water off to the main home.

Step 2 -- Draining the Water

Now let the water drain from the faucets by opening them and letting them drain. This has to be done before you take apart the faucet.

Step 3 -- Disassembling

Once all the water has been drained from the faucet, remove the faucet handle. If there is a cap on the handle, there may be a screw hidden under it. Carefully pry up the cap and remove the screw underneath. Once the screw is removed, you can remove the handle.

Step 4 -- Removing the Faucet

Locate the nut and loosen it with a crescent wrench. You can take the nut off and remove the faucet stem. Some stems may be attached to the body of the faucet. The threading may be left-handed, which means you would have to turn the stem counterclockwise.

Step 5 -- Removing the Rubber Washer

Once you take the stem off, find the rubber washer. If the washer is screwed in, you need to remove the screw and take out the rubber washer.

Step 6 -- Replacing the Washer

Now that you have removed the washer, you can replace it with the new one. You may have to take the faucet stem to a local hardware store to find a replacement unless you already have some washers on hand.

Step 7 -- Reassembling

Now you can put the faucet stem and faucet back together. Follow the above directions in reverse order.

Step 8 -- Finishing up

You should now have everything back together and reassembled. You can turn the water back on and look for leaks or drips. This is a very simple job and one that does not take much time. Leaky faucets can be annoying and costly if not taken care of. Whether you are replacing the faucet stem on the sink or shower, you have all the knowledge and tools to do the job.