A leaky faucet can be very annoying with the sounds of the drips and the consistent waste of water. It may also leave watermarks and stains on your basin and its surroundings. Water waste should also be a higher concern for us because it is a waste of money and also contributes to a severe threat to our environment.
If you have a leaky faucet and you are annoyed with the drips, don’t leave it like that. Fixing a leaky faucet is very easy and you can do it by yourself. Note, it is important to know your faucet type because based on the faucet types the steps are different.
Learn the best method on how to fix a leaky compression faucet in this article.
You will find that fixing a leaky compression faucet is very easy and it also does not require much time. So, it’s time to say goodbye to the water wastes and the annoying drips.
Why does a faucet drip?
First of all, it is better to know that there are different types of faucets, categorized based on how they operate and other traits. There are mainly four types of faucets. The four different types of faucets are cartridge faucet, compression faucet, ceramic disk faucet, and ball type faucet. Specific parts of those four types of faucets usually wear out due to regular usage over time. For example, the compression faucets use rubber washers to seal the valve seat and stop the water. Over time the rubber washers will wear out and they need replacement.
Replacing the rubber washers will stop the leaking of a compression faucet and ensure drip-free service again. For the other faucet types, you will find that either the O-ring or neoprene seal has to be replaced to stop the leaking. As a result, depending on the faucet types the fix is also different. We will learn about fixing a leaky compression faucet with easy-to-follow steps here. You will find that we have compiled resources that can satisfy your interest to learn more about different types of faucets. Here are the quick links to learn more about Bathroom Faucets and Shower Faucets.
Fixing a leaky compression faucet:
First of all, when it comes to repairing your faucets, you should turn off the water from under the sink. Secondly, it is also a good practice to cover the drain of your sink with a piece of clothing or towels. It will help you keep all the parts together. Otherwise, small parts may find their way in the drain and go missing. Additionally, you can use tapes to cover the jaws of your wrench. This will keep you safe from leaving scratches on the faucet fixtures. On top of that, it is better if you have distilled white vinegar to clean the mineral deposits on the parts of the faucet with the help of a scouring pad.
Faucets that have compression washers are usually known as compression faucets. Though most modern faucets use cartridges, compression faucets are very easy and cheap when it comes to fixing a leaky faucet. In most cases, replacing the compression washers fixes the problem.
Tools that you will need to fix a leaky compression faucet:
- Channel-type pliers
- Small flat-blade screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Handle puller for Compression faucet
- A replacement step washer
- A replacement O-ring
- Plumber’s grease
Below is a step by step guide to fix a leaky compression faucet
Turn off the water supply
Like we said earlier when it comes to fixing a faucet the first thing you need to take care of is the water supply. Forgetting this may lead to an unpleasant situation. You will find the shutoff valve under the sink. Once you have located the valve, turn the handle clockwise to close it.
In some cases, there may not be any shutoff valves under the sink to turn off the water supply. So, you will have to turn off the main valve of the house or your water meter. After shutting down or closing the water supply, open the faucet to release the water that is still stored in the lines. Once there is no residual water, you can start the next steps.
Removing the faucet handles
Removing the handle can be a little tricky if you do not have any experience with compression faucets. First of all, the body of the handle is attached to the valve stem assembly by a screw that is concealed under a decorative cap. In older faucets, the cap is often made of metal and screws into the handle. To gain access to the screw that holds the handle, grip the cap of the faucet with pliers and unscrew it. In case, the cap is made of plastic, you can use a small flat-blade screwdriver to pry off the cap of your compression faucet.
You will find that some faucets have metal caps that also support pry-off. With experience, you will know which of the caps have a screw and which one pries off. Metal caps that have serrations around the perimeter are most likely a cap that will screw off. On the other hand, caps that are thin and have a smooth edge will most likely pry off.
Remove the screw that holds the handles of your compression faucet with the valve stem. You should use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the handles from the stem. Now, pull the handle straight up to remove it from the valve stem of the faucet. You may need the aid of a compression faucet handle puller to remove the handle in case the handle is stuck.
Removing the Valve stem assembly cover
Not all compression faucets have valve stem assembly covers but after removing the handle, you may find a cover over the valve stem assembly. Removing the valve stem assembly cover is also very easy. Simply unscrew the knurled knob that holds the cover in place with the aid of pliers.
Removing the Valve stem assembly
Now it comes to removing the valve stem assembly. First of all, try to locate the hex-nut section of the valve stem assembly.
This is usually located where the assembly connects with the faucet body. Secondly, use pliers or an adjustable wrench to grip this nut. Thirdly, turn it counterclockwise to finally make the valve stem assembly lose. Finally, unscrew the valve step assembly of your compression faucet all the way and pull it out.
Removing the stem washer of the faucet
Now that you have pulled out the valve stem assembly, try to find the old washer on the bottom of the assembly. You will find the washer sitting in a valve seat. The compression washer is usually held in its place with the help of a screw. Chances are the washer is worn out or deformed with the years of usage. First of all, remove the brass screw that holds the washer with the valve. Secondly, use a small flat-blade screwdriver into the hole in the washer and pry it out of the valve seat.
Most importantly, clean the end of the washer holder for any mineral deposits or other residues. You should pay extra attention to clean the washer holder because it will ensure a clean replacement of the washer.
Replace the old washer with a new one
You will need a new washer to replace the old one and fix your compression faucet from leaking. The additional washers are often sold as a faucet repair kit in the plumbing stores. Additionally, you may also change the rubber O-ring around the valve stem assembly to ensure a better output.
First of all, push the replacement washer into the valve seat. Secondly, secure the washer in place with the help of a brass screw. You can either replace the O-ring or not depending on its condition. Finally, apply a thin layer of plumber’s grease (waterproof) outside of the O-ring.
Reassembling the faucet
Great, you have replaced your old compression faucet washer with a new one. Now it’s time to reassemble everything to enjoy a drip-free faucet experience. First of all, thread the valve stem assembly with your faucet body and make it secure and tight with the help of pliers. Secondly, reinstall the handle and cap. Finally, you can turn on the water supply to check how the improved faucet performs! So, how hard was that?
We hope that you have enjoyed this easy-to-follow guide. You will also enjoy the improved and drip-free performance of your compression faucets. Compression faucets are very common around older houses and fixing a leaky compression faucet is not a big deal. If you are interested in doing it yourself the steps we shared above will make things easy for you. Apart from the drip-free faucet performance, you will also feel the joy of fixing the leaky faucet by yourself.