Fix That Leaking Bathroom Faucet

If you're tired of hearing the constant dripping as your bathroom faucet leaks all night, with a few simple tools, you can fix it yourself. If the bathroom sink has separate hot and cold water controls, then you have compression faucets, which is one of the easiest types to repair. Here are the steps to get rid of that dripping noise and have an uninterrupted night's sleep.

Tools and Materials You'll Need

  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • channel lock pliers
  • old rags for cleanup

From a plumbing supply store like Day's Plumbing Supply Inc:

  • plumber's grease
  • replacement O-rings for your faucet

Every faucet manufacture makes O-rings to seal their own faucet design. Once the old faucet is disassembled, you'll need to take the stem to the store and have someone find the right O-rings for you.

Taking Apart the Faucet

  1. Turn the water off to the faucet at the shutoff under the sink.
  2. Remove the plastic cap on top of the handle of the faucet that is leaking. It usually has an "H" or "C" stamped on it.
  3. Loosen the screw under the cap that holds the handle onto the faucet.
  4. Lift the handle from the faucet and place aside.
  5. Loosen the large nut that holds the stem in place in the faucet.
  6. Unscrew the stem from the faucet and remove.
  7. Wipe the stem off and notice the O-rings on the top and bottom. These are likely what are causing the leak. Take the stem and have the plumbing supply store match both of those O-rings for you.

Reassembling the Faucet with New Parts

  1. Slip the old O-rings off of the stem and wipe the stem dry.
  2. Slip the new O-rings onto the stem and place a small dab of plumber's grease on each O-ring.
  3. Place the stem into the faucet and screw it down until finger tight.
  4. Place the large nut over the stem and screw it down until finger tight.
  5. Place the handle over the stem and secure with the screw.
  6. Replace the plastic cap on top of the faucet handle.
  7. Turn on the water at the shutoff under the sink.
  8. Test your handiwork.

Problems You May Encounter With This Project

There are a few problems that can occur that may require the help of a plumbing services company to complete the job.

  • The screw holding the handle in place or the large nut securing the stem may be corroded and difficult to remove. You'll need a plumber to force these off and replace them for ease of future maintenance.
  • The stem itself may be cracked or corroded. If you can get the stem out, the plumbing supply store can find you a new stem. If you can't pull the stem out, you'll need a plumber to help.
  • If your faucet is so old that parts are no longer available, have a plumbing company replace the entire faucet with a new design. You could spend a lot of time looking for the parts, or go through the expensive process of having parts custom made for you.