When you turn your faucet on, you might notice that water flows rapidly from the base of the faucet. This is often the result of a washer that needs to be replaced. The washers gradually wear down and will no longer provide a tight seal. This is how to fix the problem.
Turn the Water off
Before you fix your faucet, you always want to shut off the water. Fortunately, there is usually a knob underneath the sink you can turn. However, if you do not have one, you might need to shut off the main water line.
Remove the Handle
First, you will need to remove the decorative handle that you use to turn the water on and off. Then, you will need to remove the screw that is underneath the decorative cap. Sometimes, you will not need a screwdriver and it will simply snap off.
As you disassemble your faucet, pay close attention to the order of the parts. Otherwise, you will have a difficult time remembering how to reassemble your sink. One option is to take several pictures so you can remind yourself.
Clean the Faucet
After you have removed all of the parts of the faucet, look for grime buildup and residue left behind by the washers. Clean the residue away so there will be enough space for your new washer.
Inspect the Washer
Take the old washer and inspect it for damage. Then, you will need to take the washer to a hardware store so you can purchase a replacement by comparing the old washer to the new one. If you do not find a washer that is an exact fit for your faucet, your faucet will likely continue to leak afterward. Fortunately if you know the brand of the faucet, you can use this knowledge to find the right replacement washer.
After you have replaced the washer, you will want to replace all of the parts in the same order as how you removed them. Then, test your faucet to make sure that the new washer has solved the leak problem.
When adding the washer, you might want to also apply heat-proof plumber's grease. The grease provides a good seal and also causes the washer to not be dry, which prevents the washer from being pulled out. Some faucets need to have their washers replaced very frequently. This is usually the result of a damaged valve seat. You can reface the seat by using a seat-dressing tool or you can completely replace it. For more information about this and other plumbing issues, contact professionals like those at Kelly's Pipe & Supply Company.