Repairing a Faucet Leak
While these tips are designed for easy do-it-yourself use, if you feel unsure about your ability to perform any of these steps, contact a licensed plumber.
- Be sure to wrap your wrench with masking or duct tape to prevent scratching your fixture.
- Shut off the cold and hot water supply valves below the sink.
- Faucet handles usually have a plastic decorative button that conceals a screw underneath. Gently pop off the plastic button using a screwdriver like a chisel. Unscrew the screw to allow the handle to be removed. Grip the large hexagonal nut and unscrew it to reveal the stem. If your faucet does not have decorative handles, simply unscrew the already exposed hexagonal nut.
- With the hexagonal nut loose, pull out the stem.
- At the bottom of the stem, you will see a rubber washer held in place by a screw. Remove the screw and replace the washer with one of the same size, then reassemble.
- If the faucet leaks only when the faucet is on, follow steps 1-3, then replace the packing (the pliable material beneath the hexagonal nut).
- Coat the threads of the stem with petroleum jelly.
- Reassemble faucet and turn the water supply valves back on.
Your faucet may not be identical to those described here. Single-lever and washerless faucets vary from brand to brand. Usually you can purchase a repair kit for your model. Contact a licensed plumber if you are not certain these instructions apply to your faucet.