It doesn’t seem like a big deal. You tell yourself it’s only a drip. However, that drip of water may be causing you more trouble and costing you more money then you realize. A dripping faucet can go through 500 gallons of water per year. That’s a lot of money just going down the drain. A drip can also corrode chrome pop-ups and baskets and leave calcification deposits on your fixtures. Besides the fact that it is a waste of perfectly good drinking water which is becoming more and more precious in this world. Fortunately a faucet repair can be a relatively easy repair for a homeowner to do themselves.

The first thing you need to do when attempting a faucet repair is gather information. Not all faucets are made the same and to repair your faucet you need to get the facts straight. Things that you need to know:1) Where is the faucet? In other words is it a kitchen faucet, a bathroom faucet, a tub or shower faucet etc.
2) Is it a single handle or two handle faucet?Add Image
3) What brand is the faucet? Most faucets have some sort of stamp or marking on them that lets you know what brand they are.
4) What style is the faucet? Faucets manufacturers will have different lines of faucets that may take different parts to repair them. Unless you have the paperwork for the faucet you may have a difficult time determining the style of faucet.

Now that you’ve gathered as much info as you can your next step is to bring in to our store what parts that you can off of your faucet. (If you’re looking to repair your faucet don’t even bother trying one of the big stores because more than likely they’re not going to have the correct replacement parts.) Ideally you are going to want to bring in the faucet stem, handles alone aren’t going to be enough. Besides, you will have to remove the stem at some point in order to repair the faucet. It’s better to have it in your hand when you purchase the new one so that you know for sure that you’re getting the right thing. Unfortunately not all faucets are put together the same so it may take some basic mechanical skills to figure out how to remove the stem. Some are as simple as the one to the right in which you take a wrench and unscrew a retaining nut and then simply pull the stem out with a pliers. Other brands can be more complicated. for instance a Moen faucet needs to have a pin pulled before the cartridge can be removed. Your best option may be to consult the faucets owners manual or web site for stem removal instructions. Most major faucet brands have detailed instructions on how to remove or install the stems in their faucets. We also carry a number of tools that can be rented that may be needed to remove your particular stem. Check out the
rental section of our website at for a list of plumbing tools.

Once you’ve got the stem removed bring it and whatever other info that you can to our store. We will then be able to determine your best course of action. The most common and basic stems out there have some sort of rubber washer and brass seat on them that meet to shut the water off. The washer is usually located on the bottom side of the stem. In most cases replacing the washer will stop the drip from occurring. Washers get hard and brittle over time. Washers also get worn down from rubbing up against the faucet seat.

The seat is a small brass piece that is inside the body of the faucet. It is what the washer pushes up against to turn the water off. In some instances there may be a need to replace the seat. If the seat gets worn it will allow water to pass by causing the faucet to drip. Seats that are worn will also cause the washer to wear down more rapidly. The seat should be perfectly smooth with no abrasive edge at all. If the seat needs replacing, you’re going to need to get a seat wrench to remove it. Seat wrenches are available to buy or rent from our store.

Not all faucets are built with a seat and washer. On some faucets there is no washer that you can replace on the stem. For these style stems you will end up having to replace the whole stem itself. The main style of washerless stems is the ceramic disc cartridge. This style faucet has stems that have two ceramic discs that seat up against each other that work to shut the water on and off. Once those ceramic discs are worn down the stem will allow a drip and will need to be replaced.

As with any home improvement job there are limits to what you can do yourself. It’s no different for repairing your faucet. However, with the right info and a some mechanical intuitiveness you should be able to do the job yourself. If you have problems or simply don’t feel comfortable tackling this job yourself you can always contact the licensed master plumbers at LeVahn Brothers Plumbing and Hardware.

For more information contact LeVahn Brothers Plumbing at 763-551-8990

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