Stop That Drip!

By Paul R. Huard

June 20, 2008 4 min read

STOP THAT DRIP!

A leaky faucet is just money down the drain

By Paul R. Huard

Copley News Service

Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip - that leaky faucet is more than a nuisance in the night.

It costs you money and wastes resources. What's more, cleaning rust stains out of sinks is just one more chore on the weekend to-do list. But you can turn that nerve-wracking sound into a sink that works right by following just a few easy steps.

Faucets come in four basic types: compression, cartridge, ball and disc-type. With advice from the Web site www.DIY.com, here are instructions on how to repair compression and cartridge faucets, two of the most commonly found faucets in homes, as well as how to replace a faucet. Each procedure involves simple steps and requires a few basic tools any weekend warrior will have on hand.

REPAIRING A COMPRESSION FAUCET

First, turn off the water supply and open the faucet handle to relieve water pressure.

Carefully pry off the trim cap with a small screwdriver or putty knife.

Remove the locknut with an adjustable wrench, and then lift the spindle out of the faucet.

As needed, remove and replace the O-ring. Before reinstalling, coat the stem lightly with plumber's grease.

As needed, remove the retaining screw and pry out the washer. Install an exact-replacement washer and tighten it.

As needed, inspect the seat and replace if damaged.

Install the valve and tighten, then reinstall the handle and test.

REPAIRING A CARTRIDGE FAUCET

First, turn off the water supply and open the faucet handle to relieve water pressure.

Remove the handle (often held on by a hex screw) and any trim.

Unscrew the retainer nut by hand or with adjustable pliers and lift it off the faucet.

Remove the retainer clip, if any, which holds the cartridge in the faucet body.

Remove the cartridge stem and lift it out of the faucet body. If the cartridge is worn or damaged, replace it. If the O-rings are damaged, replace the rings only.

Reassemble and test the faucet.

REPLACING A FAUCET

First, turn off the water supply and open the faucet handle to relieve water pressure.

Carefully loosen the coupling nuts at the shutoff valves and at the base of the faucet.

Carefully remove the supply tubes.

Remove the locknuts that hold the faucet to the sink and lift the faucet out.

Clean the area where the old faucet sat.

As needed, install the new spray hose and supply tubes, if any, through their holes in the sink.

Set the rubber gasket that came with the faucet on the sink where it will be mounted. If no gasket is supplied, apply plumber's putty.

Set the faucet into position and center it.

From under the sink, attach the faucet locknuts to hold it to the sink.

Reinstall the supply lines, then turn them on and test the faucet. Turn it on carefully because the line and faucet have air in them.

? Copley News Service

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