One of our most common calls is to fix a leaking tap or faucets in the kitchen or bathroom. While these aren’t the easiest fixes in the world, they can be managed if you have the right tool kit and some general familiarity with the structure of your sink system. The steps associated with fixing a leaking sink can vary depending on the make and model of your tap, as well as the source of the issue. We have generally found the following steps to be the most straightforward method of dealing with the majority of household tap leaks.
1. Turn off the water supply. This should be done before any adjustments are made to your sink. Otherwise, you may end up with a spout of water coming out from the sink handle. If you don’t know where your water shutoff valve is located, this is an excellent opportunity to find out through blueprints or whatever. This is useful information in case of future emergencies that may require a quick cut-off of your water supply.
3. Completely drain the pipes. Once the water has been turned off, turn on the tap and let the last of the water run out before further dismantling anything.
a. *Once the pipes are empty, take this time to close the sink drain, either with a rubber stopper or with a rag. This will prevent any important bolts, tools, or other items from accidentally ending up down the drain.
4. Remove the cover and screw to remove the handle. Remove or pry off the screw cover on your tap, using a flat-head screwdriver or any sturdy, flat object. This will reveal a screw holding the handle in place that can be removed with a screwdriver or allen wrench. Once this is removed, the handle should come away freely.
5. Removing the handle will expose the adjusting ring. In some cases, the leak can be fixed here by tightening the adjusting ring with a set of needle nose pliers.
6. Loosen the adjusting ring with a wrench and remove the cartridge. Some will come away cleanly, while others may need to be twisted out. Be sure to pay careful attention to the orientation that it is set at upon removal.
7. If there is no visible damage to the cartridge, inspect the o-ring and washer inside the valve seat. Replace the washers if necessary, making sure that they are an exact fit.
8. Reassemble the parts. Make sure that all of the elements of the faucet are replaced in the reverse order that they were removed.
· The make and model of different faucet parts are often highly specific to the brand and model of the tap. If you decide you need to replace any parts, be sure to take the old parts with you to your local hardware store to help identify the appropriate replacement.
· It often helps to lay out all of the faucet elements in the order that you remove them for easier re-assembly – especially if it is your first time doing so.
· Most faucets have the brand name stamped on to them somewhere. This can help you identify the proper replacement parts later on at your local hardware store.
If your faucet is still dripping after re-assembly, it may be time to call in for a professional. If you have any questions or comments on this post about our 24-hour service, or any other post on the Dublin Plumber Blog, give us a call on 01 675 0941.