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Plumbing Tips

How to Fix Leaky Faucet

In this article I am going to explain to you how to fix a leaky faucet. The very first step we need to figure out which actual handle or pipe the water is leaking from. We need to turn off the entire water system and cut all water coming into your house. Open up the faucet completely and allow all that water to drain out but it might take a few minutes. After the water is completely stopped, you are going to use a Phillips screwdriver to carefully remove the screw and make sure that the handle is in the full open position. When you remove this screw and be very careful you do not want to drop the screw down the drain. After removing the Phillips screw and setting it in a safe location. chances are it’s been a long time since the handle has been removed so it’s probably very oxidized and very corroded on the backside. You just need to wiggle it back and forth while keeping it still in the open position

At the very bottom you will see a hole and chances are it’s a flathead screw or a Philips screw or a hex screw, go ahead and remove that and you can pull this plate off but you do not need to remove this entire screw just loosen it up. Chances are there is some caulk but you’re going to break that loose and carefully pull the plate off and there is your entire cartridge and next is the cover. The valve is what runs water to the hot water, the diverter and the cold water. The bell socket wrench set are specifically designed to remove your stems from your internal valve. Use a paper towel because you don’t want to scratch up the actual chrome portion of the cartridge. Then you are going to carefully loosen it up and once you loosen the cartridge and then it will come out, and on the very bottom of the cartridge is a Philips screw, you are going to remove that Philips screw, take the old rubber gasket out match it to the new one then secure that Philips screw, and put the cartridge back in to the valve.

It is a very important thing that your tile is open enough for your cartridge to come out. If it’s not, you will have to chisel or cut a big enough hole to remove the valve. This is very important as the hole in the tile that the hot water stem or cartridge came out of the internal valve inside the wall. This is what is called your seat and, in the event, that your seat is badly damaged or corroded or it has sharp edges right along the face of the seat it is no longer going to create that watertight seal that is required. If you have a very damaged or corroded seat you have to replace the entrance. I will walk you through the step by step process. In the event that you replace the rubber gasket on your cartridge or stem and you insert it back, secure it, turn the water back on, and it is still leaking, it’s probably because of this seat. The rubber gaskets that are inside the cartridge rest up against the internal seat to create that watertight seal. Over time these gaskets rub away and warp and crack and dry rot. Be very careful that you put on the correct washer. Next, we’re going to carefully insert this back in to the valve and tighten it up. As you screw this back into the valve, make sure you do not cross threaded hand tighten it first. At this point the entire cartridge is properly secured and, in the event, that your external pipe was loose, you can pull that off earlier. It’s very important not to over tighten this cartridge to the internal valve, you do not want to cause damage to the valve itself. Get the cover plate and re insert and tighten the screw. After that we will re-caulk the seam so no water gets in between the cover plate and the tile and ends up behind the wall causing mold or wet drywall that would not be good. When putting the handle on just make sure you align it properly with the grooves but doesn’t matter where it’s positioned, then go ahead and close it. If it’s offset, carefully pull it off and you will align it properly where you want it so that is in the off position. After you secure the Philips screw and everything is lined properly and looking good. Turn the water on and to open it up you will turn it counter clockwise and you will hear the water flowing back and there should be no drips. I hope that helps you learn how to fix a leaky faucet.