You might be inclined to ignore a leaking faucet in your home, because it seems like a minor issue that doesn’t really cause much of a problem. However, all that wasted water can really add up to a significant increase on your water bill, and the solution to the problem is generally a very simple one. Keep in mind that faucets are a very important part of your home plumbing system, because they dispense needed water for the entire family, and for many different tasks like cleaning and washing things. 

Of all the potential problems you might experience with your plumbing system, fixing a leaking faucet is probably the easiest one to repair. Even if you’re not a particularly adept do-it-yourselfer, you should be able to manage a simple repair of your leaky faucet. Before you begin, gather up the tools you need: penetrating oil, replacement washers and O-rings, a flathead screwdriver, and an adjustable wrench. Now you’re ready to address the leaky faucet. 

Shut off the water supply 

Before doing anything with the fixture of your leaky faucet, make sure that you turn off the water supply. You can generally find this under the sink, where there will be a knob that controls water coming into your home and into the sink itself. When you feel like you have adequately adjusted the knob to the off position, test it by trying to turn the water faucet on. 

Remove any decorative parts of the knobs 

If you have a fairly expensive faucet with delicate or decorative components, you can remove these by using a flathead screwdriver. Beneath each handle knob, there will be a screw which fastens the knob to the stem of the faucet. Unscrew that, and pry it loose with the flathead screwdriver, using penetrating oil if necessary to loosen it. 

Loosen the stuffing nut 

Use your adjustable wrench to loosen up the stuffing nut, so that you can get at the stem and remove it. Depending on the type of faucet you have, the stem may come off by itself, or you may have to apply a twisting motion to remove it from the valve. After having done this, do a visual check of each of the components to make sure they haven’t been damaged in the process. 

Inspect washers and O-rings 

If all of the components which have been removed are still intact and usable, the next thing you should do is inspect the washers and O-rings, since these are likely culprits for causing the leak. You will probably have to replace both of them, ensuring that the replacements you use are the same size and shape as the originals. You can make sure you have the right materials by taking the old washers and O-rings to a hardware store and purchasing items of similar size and shape. 

Re-assemble the faucet parts 

The last step is to simply repeat the steps you did to disassemble the faucet, only in reverse order. Starting with the washers and O-rings, put together the stem, stuffing nut, knob handle, and all the screws which were used to connect the parts. Once you have seated the assembly back on the faucet area, you can turn the knob and let the water run for a while to see if the leak has indeed been fixed. If you still observe some kind of a leak, your best bet is probably to contact a professional, since there may be something more involved. If the leak has been fixed, give yourself a pat on the back for being a good do-it-yourselfer around the house. 

Do you have leaky faucets in Boise, Idaho? 

Leaky faucets won’t go away on their own, so when you encounter these in your home, you should call a qualified professional, like those at Right Now Heating and Air Conditioning. Someone will always be standing by at (208) 939-4475 to accept your call and provide prompt service to handle your situation. You can also contact us at to schedule an appointment. 


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