When was the last time you had to ask yourself why you didn’t become a master plumber? Let me guess. Sometime around midnight. Last night. You were awakened by that awful “music” of dripping sound. The unknown artist was Mrs. Leaky Faucet. If you want to hush it for good, follow these easy steps and become a family handyman.
- Calm yourself down. Think of the result. Keep repeating:”I can do it!”
- Make sure you are doing your job during the daytime so that you can rely on your neighbor’s help and replacement parts.
- Keep in mind that you will have to identify which part of your kitchen faucet is causing a leaking.
- It can be an O-ring but it can be a broken plumbing.
- In the last case, you should better hire a professional plumber.
- Equip yourself with the following tools:
-Adjustable wrench; C wrench
-Penetrating oil and replacement washers and O-rings.
- Turn off the water supply under the sink and turn on the music. To keep you pretending that you love this adventure. Place some old cloth in the sink so to prevent dents and to collect dirt. Remove the handle with the flat head screwdriver. If possible cover it with a soft cloth so as not to damage the parts you are unwinding. Penetrating oil can help you in loosening it, allowing you to separate the faucet handle from the stem.
Be sure that you have removed all the parts of the handle knob, especially the decorative ones and that your “patient” is still “alive”.Use a flat-head screwdriver to accomplish this task. Unwind all the screws underneath the knob, the ones that connect handle and the stem. Now, loosen your packaging nut with a wrench. You will notice the stem. Remove it as well.
Collect all the faucet parts you’ve unscrewed so far and see if any of them is damaged. If so, visit your local hardware store and buy new ones. If they are intact then you should double-check replacement washers and O- rings. Generally speaking, if the water leaks in the handle area, it is probably a corroded O ring, seat washer or a stem nut (ensuring a valve from uncontrolled drilling) that causes a problem. It means you are a lucky guy who has just identified the problem.
Once the problem is identified you must be sure that your replacement washers and O-rings are the perfect matches. If they do not fit the seat you will have to buy new ones and in different sizes: cone-shaped or flat. Your local hardware store salesman can advise you on these issues.
Now is the time to reassemble all the parts carefully. Stick to the following order: replacement washer, O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, handle and cap. Slowly turn the knob to test the running water and see if the leaking has stopped.
If, after all the steps you have taken your kitchen faucet still leaks, then you will have to inspect your valve seat. Its corrosion may also pose a problem as well as warn-out parts or broken plumbing. If that is the case a professional plumber’s phone number is your last option to save water.