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World Water Day: Fix Your Leaky Faucet

March 22 is World Water Day, a day meant to raise awareness of the global water crisis. It’s easy to take clean water from the faucet for granted, but over 663 million people around the world live without a safe water supply close to home. To avoid the health consequences of drinking contaminated water, these people must spend hours every day trekking long distances or standing in line to fill buckets and pails.

You might wonder what you can possibly do to make a difference on World Water Day. One simple goal is to conserve water by fixing that dripping faucet once and for all!

How to Fix Your Leaky Bathroom or Kitchen Faucet

A leaky faucet that drips one drop of water per second wastes over 3,000 gallons per year. Put an end to this wastefulness by learning how to fix that leaky faucet. Regardless of what type of faucet you have, prep your work area before you begin.

Twist the water shut-off valve under the sink clockwise to stop the flow of water to the faucet. Plug the drain either with the built-in stopper or a rag to prevent small parts from falling down the drain.

Next, determine what type of faucet you have. Here’s a guide on how to fix four of the most common types of faucets.

Fix a Compression Faucet

  • Remove the handles with a screwdriver.
  • Remove the nut beneath the handles with a wrench.
  • Pull out the stem and replace the seat washer with a new one coated in plumber’s grease.
  • To fix a leaky faucet handle, replace the O-ring as well.
  • Reassemble the handle, and all minor leaks should now be repaired!

Fix a Ball Faucet

  • Purchase a ball faucet replacement kit for all the tools and parts you need.
  • Unscrew and remove the handle.
  • Remove the cap and collar with pliers.
  • Loosen and remove the faucet cam with the tool provided in your kit.
  • Reach into the mechanism with needle-nose pliers and remove the inlet seals and springs.
  • Install new O-rings, springs, valve seats, and cam washers from your kit.
  • Reassemble the handle, and all minor leaks should now be repaired!

Fix a Cartridge Faucet

  • Unscrew the handle with a screwdriver.
  • If a retaining clip is present, remove it with pliers.
  • Remove the faucet spout to reveal the O-rings and replace them with new ones coated in plumber’s grease.
  • Reassemble the handle, and all minor leaks should now be repaired!

Fix a Ceramic-Disk Faucet

  • Remove the escutcheon cap, and unscrew and remove the faucet handle.
  • Unscrew and remove the disk cylinder to expose a few neoprene seals.
  • Pry out and soak these seals in white vinegar for several hours to loosen any buildup.
  • If the seals are frayed, thin, or worn out, replace them.
  • Reassemble the handle, and all minor leaks should now be repaired! Turn on the water slowly to prevent forceful pressure from cracking the ceramic disk.

Signs You Should Replace the Faucet

If you’ve had the same faucet for more than eight years and it develops a leak, it may be more convenient and cost effective to skip the repair and go straight for a replacement. Also, if you attempt these tips but the leak remains, that’s another sign you should replace the faucet.

Is it Time to Call a Plumber?

When DIY leaky faucet repair proves unsuccessful, call Mr. Rooter® for a professional repair or replacement. We’ll leave you with a leak-free faucet just in time for World Water Day.