Every homeowner needs to know how to fix a leaky faucet as they experience the common plumbing issue of a leaking faucet. Although hiring a plumber may seem too insignificant, you might need more certainty about starting the repair yourself. The process involves maneuvering under the sink, as outlined in the steps below, but it is not complex.

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Step 1: Identifying The Leak In Your Faucet

To detect the leaky faucet valve, shut off the cold-water-supply valve beneath the sink. If the leak ceases, then the issue lies with the cold-water faucet. Conversely, if the leak continues, reopen the cold-supply valve and close the hot. If the leak subsides, then the trouble is with the hot-water valve. If the problem persists, then both valves require maintenance.

Identifying The Leak In Your Faucet

Step 2: Removing The Faucet Handle Cap 

First, switch off the water supply valves depicted below the sink and turn on the faucet valves. Next, use a slender screwdriver to remove the decorative cap that covers the faucet handle.

Removing The Faucet Handle Cap

Step 3: Removing the Screws that Attach the Faucet Handle

To remove the handle, you will need a screwdriver. Locate the screw that is holding the handle to the cartridge, and then use the screwdriver to unscrew it. Once the screw is removed, gently pull the handle away from the cartridge until it comes off. If the handle is stubborn and doesn’t come off easily, you can use a little force to pull it off. Ensure you don’t damage any other faucet parts while removing the handle.

Removing the Screws that Attach the Faucet Handle

Step 4: Removing the Retaining Nut

To remove the retaining nut, you can use a wrench to turn it counterclockwise until it comes loose. The retaining nut is located just below the handle assembly and is used to secure the cartridge in place. Once you have unscrewed the retaining nut, you can then remove it by hand. Be careful not to harm other faucet components while unscrewing the retaining nut.

Removing the Retaining Nut in Faucet

Step 5: Extract the Cartridge to Fix Leaky Faucets

Removing the cartridge is the next step to fix a leaky faucet. Once the cartridge has been extracted, you can examine it for any damage or wear that may be causing the leak. A worn-out cartridge is the most common cause of a leaky faucet.

Cleaning the cartridge may also help to solve the issue if it isn’t excessively worn out. Check for any mineral buildup or debris on the cartridge surface, which may inhibit proper water flow. Once you have inspected, cleaned, or replaced the cartridge, you can reassemble your faucet by reversing your steps.

Extract the Cartridge to Fix Leaky Faucets

Step 6: Take out the Seal and Spring

To take out the seal and spring, you will need needle-nose pliers or a pair of tweezers. The seal and spring are inside the faucet body and can be removed once the cartridge is removed.

Once you have accessed the cartridge’s opening, use your pliers or tweezers to grip the top of the seal and spring set and carefully pull them out of the opening. Ensure you pull the seal and spring straight out and not at an angle to avoid bending it out of shape.

After you’ve removed the seal and spring, inspect them for cracks, tarnishes, or other damages that could cause the leak. A worn-out or broken seal is one of the leading causes of a leaky faucet. Thus, to fix a leaky faucet, it is important to clean, repair or replace the seal as necessary before reassembling your faucet.

Take out the Seal and Spring In Faucet

Step 7: Put the Faucet Back Together

Now that you have dealt with the faulty parts, it is time to reassemble your faucet to help fix a leaky faucet.

Begin by inserting the seal and spring back into the faucet body, using your pliers or tweezers to push it back in until it sits securely in place. Make sure to position the seal on the spring correctly, especially if you have replaced those parts.

Next, reinsert the cartridge into its housing, paying attention to aligning the grooves on the cartridge with the tab on the faucet’s body. You can use the cartridge-pulling tool or gentle taps with a hammer to help position the cartridge.

Now, fasten the retaining nut back over the cartridge and tighten it securely by turning it clockwise with your wrench. Do not over-tighten the retaining nut, as this could damage the cartridge.

Finally, reattach the handle by pushing down onto the cartridge stem until it sits firmly in place. Once the handle is in place, tighten the screw using the screwdriver. Ensure that the handle moves smoothly and without any wobbling or loose feel.

Congratulations! You have successfully reassembled your faucet, and if all the parts and seals are healthy, your leaking faucet should be fixed now.

Reassembling the Faucet Back Together

Step 8: Consider Hiring Professional Plumbers for Complex Cases

If you have followed all of the steps listed and still have a leaky faucet, it is best to leave the job to a professional plumber. A leaking faucet that goes unfixed can lead to costly water bills and even water damage in your home.

Professional plumbers have the necessary tools, knowledge, and experience to locate and repair leaks that may be beyond your DIY abilities. They can also advise whether replacing faucet entirely is more cost-effective, especially if your current one is outdated or significantly damaged.

Don’t hesitate to contact a plumber if you suspect your leaky faucet may have a more significant complication requiring specialized attention. With professional help, you can have a completely repaired faucet and be free of leaks in no time.