How to Fix a Leaking Faucet: Stop a Faucet or Spout Leak (2023)

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Everyone should know how to fix a leaky faucet at home. Because that dripping noise is not only one of the most annoying noises known to anyone who walks this earth. But if your kitchen or bathroom faucet is leaking from the spout or handle, that too is a complete waste of water and money. It might even happenbest kitchen faucets!

Whether you're working with a single-lever, monobloc, or pillar faucet, this is one of the easiestrepairs at homeidentify and make yourself. Learn how to quickly fix a leaky faucet before you have to pay for a plumber with our guide below, complete with some pro tips from the experts in the plumbing world.

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Is required:

What kind of faucet do you have?

Before attempting to fix a leaking faucet using these steps, first identify the type of faucet you are working with as this can help you determine the problem.

Most home kitchen and bathroom sinks have one of the following types of faucets: a single-lever faucet that lets you control the water temperature with both the hot and cold handles, a traditional standing faucet with two separate faucets (one for hot and one for another for cold) or a monobloc faucet where you control the temperature and water flow with a single lever.

What makes a faucet drip?

Generally, if a faucet handle is leaking, it's the O-ring that needs to be replaced, and if it's the spout, it's the washer.

Different types of faucets often leak for different reasons. If you have a traditional faucet, the main cause of a leak is usually that the washer, sometimes called an O-ring or rubber gasket, needs to be replaced.

by Ray BrosnanBrosnan Property Management(opens in new tab)says “Leaky faucets can be a real nightmare, constant dripping would drive anyone crazy, but what is the cause? There are a few different reasons, usually when it comes to the o-ring. It has a bar screw that holds the faucet handle in place, it has a small washer called an o-ring, and over time it can become loose or even wear out, causing a drip near the handle. To fix this just replace the o-ring, you can buy it at any good hardware store and it's a very easy job.'

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Aleksandar Pecev, bathroom attendant, handyman and founder in new tab)adds: “Most of the time, the reason for gasket or washer deterioration is age and continued use. This is called wear and tear and is completely normal for an item that is used frequently and exposed to extreme temperatures. Luckily, there's an easy fix, so all you have to do is replace the washers with new ones, replace the old gaskets with newer models (or use masking tape to reseal them), or tighten any loose fittings you may have.

A modern/monobloc faucet could have a damaged ceramic cartridge. And you can replace both of them yourself by following the steps below.

Use:High water pressure can also be the main cause. When the water pressure in your home is too high, it causes problems with the water flow in the pipes, preventing water from flowing efficiently from one faucet to another, and the water begins to back up. With nowhere to go, it runs down pipes or faucets. However, this is an issue plumbers need to address as they can fix it quickly and easily.

1. Identify where the leak is coming from

Pecev recommends starting here: "If you have a leaky faucet, it's pretty clear where the leak is coming from, and it's the spout. If water is pooling around your faucet, it could mean your leak is around the joints or hinges. If there is a leak under the sink, there is likely a problem with the supply lines or drain pipe.

Then you surely want to know which part to replace for your type of faucet. You can usually tell what faucet and valve mechanism you are working with by how far you can turn the faucet handle. A full turn usually indicates a traditional rubber washer. Quarter turn usually means some type of ceramic disc found in modern and/or monobloc faucets. Check the manual if you can and are unsure.

  • traditional taps:It works with a compression valve and usually uses rubber washers.
  • Modern faucets:Works with ceramic discs/cartridges.
  • Monobloc griffins: Works similarly to other modern faucets but with ceramic discs/cartridges specifically designed for individual faucets.

2. Turn off the water

Before you fix your leaky faucet, you need to turn off the water supply. To do this, you need to find the faucet or shut-off valves, which are usually located under the sink. Most sinks have two valves, one for hot water and one for cold water. We recommend turning both off while you work, even if only one faucet is leaking. To do this, turn the valves until they can no longer be turned. Then open the taps until no more water comes out, this will help relieve the pressure in the lines.

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“Turn off the water at the faucet under the sink or at your water meter on the street/under your house. After the water is turned off, run the faucet for a minute or two to ensure the system is drained. Add Percev.

3. Dismantle the faucet

This step will vary depending on your faucet model, but before you do anything, put a lid on the sink so nothing important goes down the drain.

What you are looking for now is a screw that will allow you to remove the faucet. On some models, it's under the hot and cold water caps, which you can remove by hand or with a flathead screwdriver. When you stop a leak in a solid faucet, the screw is usually located under the temperature gauge knob.

After removing the screw, remove the faucet head. You may also have to remove a cap until you see the brass valve. To make it easier to put things back together, place the pieces you removed in the order you removed them.

Brosnan recommends, "Take a screwdriver and remove the faucet cover to expose the aforementioned shank screw, unscrew it, then grab the handle and pull straight up." You may also need to remove any decorative covers you have there. Then place a pair of pliers or a wrench on the bottom of the valve and turn it counterclockwise to loosen it from the faucet body. If the base is sticking, pull the base to loosen the valve and o-rings.'

"Depending on where the leak is, disassemble the faucet. This could mean removing it from the counter, or it could simply be the need to remove the spout. If you suspect the leak is under the sink, disconnect the supply lines. If you're nervous or have never done this type of task before, feel free to take photos or make notes of how the faucet fell apart," Percev added.

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4. How to replace the washer

Here the steps will vary depending on the type of faucet you have and the type of repair you need to make. If you have a traditional faucet, read on to learn how to replace the washer or o-ring. If you have a one-piece lever faucet, skip to step 6 to learn how to replace the ceramic disc.

On a traditional faucet, use an adjustable wrench to grip the brass valve and twist until loose enough to remove by hand. Then unscrew and remove the washer, see if it looks damaged or worn and replace with a new one (you might be able to just wipe it clean). Screw the valve back in and reassemble the faucet the same way you disassembled it.

5. How to replace the O-ring

The o-ring looks like a slightly larger washer and is located at the base of the nozzle. You can use a screwdriver to remove it, or if you know you need to replace it, you can cut it off with scissors. Reinstall the sealing ring and reassemble the faucet the same way you disassembled it.

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6. How to replace the ceramic disc cartridge

For a one-piece faucet, remove the brass valve (aka ceramic disc cartridge) the same way, using a wrench and turning it until it's loose enough to remove by hand. Then screw in the new cartridge and put the faucet back in the same order you took it apart.

7. Turn the water back on

Just turn on the shut-off valve to get the water flowing again.

  • do it yourself:How to unlock a sinkFast and efficient.

No more drops!

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Why is my faucet leaking from under the spout? ›

A common cause of a leaking faucet is broken washers. Washers rest against the valve seat, and overtime, friction can cause the washers to wear out. This then leads to leaking. If a washer is the wrong size or not installed properly, it can also lead to leaking.

Why is my faucet leaking even when turned off? ›

If you notice your bathroom sink drips or leaks out of the faucet head when turned off, there is likely an issue with the seal inside the faucet head, allowing the water to run through or drip. Before calling a professional plumber, consider whether you're able to repair the leak in your bathroom sink yourself.

What are the five steps to fix a faucet? ›

Follow these five simple steps to fix a leaky faucet:
  1. Turn off the water supply. The last thing you want is for the problem to reverse itself and your faucet to start spouting water. ...
  2. Remove decorative handle hardware. ...
  3. Remove the packing nut. ...
  4. Replace the O-ring and the washer. ...
  5. Put everything back together.
Feb 24, 2017

Can you fix a leaky faucet yourself? ›

Fixing a leaky faucet is quick and inexpensive; even the most amateur DIYer can tackle this task. The most common sources of a leaking faucet – a worn out washer or gasket, a loose O ring, corrosion in the valve seat – can be detected and fixed easily with most faucet repair kits.

How do you fix a leaky faucet valve? ›

First shut off the water to the leaking water valve. Next remove the handle from the stem and then loosen and remove the packing nut. Remove the old washer and slide on the new one. Reinstall the packing nut, tighten lightly with a wrench (don't over tighten at this or any other point) and reattach the handle.

Can you fix a leaky faucet without turning off the water? ›

In some cases it is possible to open all other faucets wide open to reduce the pressure at the leaky faucet enough so you can tolerate the remaining flow while you fix it. It is actually possible to replace washers or ceramic seal disks with some water running out of the faucet if you don't mind getting wet.

What tool to use to tighten faucet under sink? ›

You need a tool called a basin wrench. These special plumbing tools have a long handle with a tee on one end so you can get leverage. The other end has a spring-loaded adjustable wrench head that grips onto the nut. The long handle lets you reach up behind the sink basin and get at those hard-to-reach nuts.

What tool is used in repairing a leaking faucet? ›

You'll probably need an Allen wrench to remove the handle. Buy a set of small Allen wrenches and you'll be prepared for all kinds of leaking faucets. Most repairs also require screwdrivers and a pair of large slip-joint pliers.

Can you put tape over a leaky faucet? ›

Wrap a couple of layers of masking tape around any shiny parts of your faucet that the wrench might scratch. If your problem is a leak around the handle when you turn on the water, follow steps one - three below. On a faucet with a packing nut, cover it with tape and tighten it gently. Never overtighten this nut.

Why does the faucet keep dripping? ›

The common reasons your faucet is leaking include corrosion, defective gaskets or o-rings or washers, and mineral deposits on internal parts. While this might sound intimidating, most leaky faucets can actually be properly repaired by the homeowner, assuming you have the right tools.

What happens if you don't fix a leaky faucet? ›

A continual drip is going to add extra and continued moisture to the area, and this eventually leads to mold and mildew. This can affect the indoor air quality and lead to expensive home improvements.

Can you fix a leaky faucet cartridge? ›

Worn cartridges or rubber O rings often lead to leaks. By swapping in replacement parts, your faucet won't leak at the base or around the handles anymore. Replacing a faucet cartridge is a plumbing fix you can do in less than an hour. All you need is a few simple tools.

Is it normal for a bathtub spout to drip? ›

Drops of water coming out of a tub spout can be normal if it has a diverter or it can be a leaky washer in the shower faucet. If it continues to leak all day, then it's a leaky washer. If it leaks for an hour or so, but then quits, it's water draining down from the shower head and emptying into the tub.

What can I use to cover spigot? ›

Simply wrap your spigots with towels, socks, or any kind of insulating material. You can also build your own DIY insulator with large foam cups.

How much does it cost to fix a leaky spigot? ›

The average cost to fix a leaky faucet is $270. Most homeowners spend between $200 and $330 for labor and parts. The actual price depends on the type of faucet, the cause of the problem, and the parts needed. If you hire a professional plumber to fix a leaky faucet for you, the hourly rate ranges between $45 and $200.

Why is water still dripping after turned off? ›

The hot valve may be defective, or the rubber washer inside may just need replacement. Shut off the main water supply to your house and rebuild or replace the valve. For replacement: It's easier to replace than you might expect.

Why is water coming from faucet when shower is on? ›

Why Your Faucet is Leaking when the Shower is On: The reason your faucet leaks when all of the water is supposed to be going up to the showerhead is a faulty diverter valve. This is the part that diverts the water from the tub spout up to the showerhead.

Why does water still come out of the faucet when the shower is on? ›

Most likely you are experiencing "shower-rise," where the water can't get out of the spout as fast as it flows through the valve. This causes the water to back up and come out the shower head.

What is a spout seal? ›

Bathtub Spout Rear Seal. Free Shipping. Red Disc Seal covers the hole behind the spout and prevents water from getting past the finished wall.


1. Absolute Solution to Leaky Faucet! Your Faucet Will Never Leak Again
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2. Part 1 of 2: How to Fix a Dripping Faucet
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4. How to Fix a Leaky Faucet | The Home Depot
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5. How to Fix a Leaky Faucet (Spout Leak!) in a Bathroom -- by Home Repair Tutor
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6. How to Fix a Leaking Bathtub Faucet | The Home Depot
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