DIY Faucet Repair: 7 Steps to Fix Your Faucet Right

A leaky faucet in your home is always an inconvenience that you may not be prepared for. If left unattended, minor leaks can turn into major issues, resulting in the waste of gallons of water per day and a rise in your water bill. Fortunately, there is a way to repair your leaky faucet before calling in a professional full-service plumber. Here is a surefire way to DIY your faucet repair. To properly repair your leaky faucet yourself, you will need the following tools:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Replacement washers/O-rings
  • Philips screwdriver
  • WD-40

Once you have the tools you need, follow these six simple steps to repair your faucet. 

1. Turn off your water supply

Before beginning any type of repair work, make sure your water has been shut off. This will prevent any unnecessary messes when you open your fixtures. You can do this by turning the handles next to your sink to the right, ensuring that no water flow is reaching your faucet. 

2. Remove any decorative features

For faucets with decorative covers over the valves, you’ll want to remove those covers before any serious work. These covers will have a fine thread on the valve assembly that can be unscrewed. If you’re having trouble getting the covers off, use your WD-40 to help you loosen the cover.

3. Loosen the packing nut

After using your wrench to loosen your packing nut, remove the stem which should be easily visible to you if done correctly. Be advised that faucet stems will vary; some will pop off the valve while others may twist off. Regardless of the style, be sure to remove it gently to avoid damage to your faucet’s parts.

4. Pull the cartridge

For faucets older than 25 years, your next step will be to remove the cartridge. After 25 years, faucet cartridges can wear out due to wear and tear, having been turned on and off for such a long time. To remove the cartridge, use a set of channel locks pliers to pull it straight out. If you feel some resistance, feel free to wiggle it a little to get it out. Don’t hesitate to call your local full-service plumber to use professional equipment to remove it in a worst-case scenario.

5. Check your O-ring

Once everything from steps 1 through 4 has been removed, your O-ring should be easily visible. Faucet leaks can sometimes be the result of an O-ring that has been damaged or has a worn-out seal. Remove the damaged O-ring and get ready to replace it with a new part.

6. Have a hardware expert help you find the right replacement O-ring

To ensure you’re using the correctly sized replacement O-ring, take the old part to your trusted hardware store. A trained expert will be able to pick out the replacement part that should fit your faucet. If you prefer having too many parts rather than not enough, you can always buy a pack of O-rings in different sizes.

7. Put it all together

Once you have all the parts ready, the final step will be to reassemble in the following order:

  • O-ring
  • Stem
  • Packing nut
  • Screw
  • Handle

Once everything is put together, your next step is to ensure everything is secured tightly. Afterward, feel free to turn on your faucet and witness the fruits of your labor. Turn the knob gently and slowly; then, test your water to make sure the leak has disappeared.

If you’ve completed all of these steps and there is still a leak, your next step will be to reach out to an expert plumbing company to solve the problem. For more than 30 years, RP Services has specialized in emergency plumbing services and leak repair in the Los Angeles area. Our certified full-service plumbers will address all your leak issues with the utmost professionalism and care, leaving you satisfied with our service every time you need us. Contact us online or call us at (310) 734-9852 to allow us to put your mind at ease with a quick and convenient consultation.