Welcome, fellow homeowner, to the saga of the leaky faucet—a tale many of us have experienced. The incessant drip-drip can be maddening, but fret not! Today, we embark on a straightforward quest armed with simple tools and a can-do spirit. Get ready to bid farewell to the drip as we dive into this step-by-step guide. If you find this is more than you care to manage, please fill out the form on our website: suncoastplumbingsc.com or call us directly at 843-732-0244.

Step 1: Tools of the TradePlumber toolbox.

Before we jump into the fix, let’s gather our trusty tools. You’ll need:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Replacement parts – you’ll have to research this for your specific faucet type. You can often find these at your local Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Step 2: Turn Off the Water Supply

Sink and toilet water shut off valve.

Sink shut-off valve


Safety first! Locate the shut-off valves under the sink and turn them clockwise to cut off the water supply. This prevents unexpected waterworks during your DIY adventure.

Step 3: Identify Your Faucet Type

4 Types of Faucets:

Compression Faucets:

  • Identification: Compression faucets are characterized by separate hot and cold handles. These faucets work by compressing a rubber washer against the valve seat to stop the water flow.
  • Visual Cue: The presence of two handles and a noticeable cap or cover at the top of the faucet handle.

Cartridge Faucets:

  • Identification: Cartridge faucets use a movable stem cartridge to control water flow. They often have a single handle and are known for their smooth operation.
  • Visual Cue: A single lever control and a sleek design with minimal parts visible.

Ball Faucets:

  • Identification: Ball faucets have a single handle that moves over a rounded ball-shaped cap. These faucets regulate temperature and water flow by rotating the ball inside the faucet body.
  • Visual Cue: A single handle that moves in various directions (left, right, up, down) and a rounded cap at the base.

Ceramic-Disk Faucets:

  • Identification: Ceramic-disk faucets use ceramic disks to control water flow. They often have a single lever and are known for their durability and smooth operation.
  • Visual Cue: A single handle and a flat, wide base with no visible parts when the faucet is turned off.

How to Identify Your Faucet Type:

Check the Handles:

If your faucet has separate hot and cold handles, it’s likely a compression faucet.

A single handle that moves in various directions suggests a ball faucet.

Examine the Design:

  • A sleek, single-handle design may indicate a cartridge faucet.
  • A flat, wide base with a single handle points towards a ceramic-disk faucet.

Refer to the User Manual:

Your faucet’s user manual or installation guide is a treasure trove of information. It often includes details about the faucet type, model, and recommended replacement parts.

Look for Brand Markings:

Check for any brand markings or labels on the faucet. Manufacturers often leave clues about the faucet type for easy identification.

Understanding your faucet type is crucial because each type requires a slightly different approach when it comes to disassembly and replacement of parts. Once you’ve identified your faucet type, you can proceed with confidence, armed with the knowledge needed to conquer the leak!


Step 4: Disassemble the Faucet

Time to get hands-on! Use your wrench, screwdriver, and pliers to dismantle the faucet. Follow these general steps:

  1. Remove the handle
  2. Unscrew the packing nut
  3. Take out the stem or cartridge


Step 5: Inspect and Replace

Inspect the removed parts for wear and tear. The culprit is often a worn-out washer or O-ring. Replace these with new parts that match your faucet’s make and model.


Step 6: Reassemble the Faucet

Reverse the disassembly process to put everything back together. Make sure to tighten everything securely. This is your victory lap!


Step 7: Turn the Water Back On

Once you’ve successfully reassembled the faucet, turn the water supply back on. Listen closely. If the once-dreaded drip is silenced, congratulations! You’ve conquered the leak!


Celebrate Your Victory

As you revel in the newfound silence of your faucet, pat yourself on the back. You’ve mastered the art of fixing a leaky faucet. This simple DIY endeavor not only saves you from the drip’s annoyance but also contributes to water and cost savings. Cheers to a home free from faucet blues!

There you have it—a comprehensive, image-enhanced guide to fixing a leaky faucet. May your DIY journey be smooth, and may the drips be forever banished from your abode.