Stop That Annoying Bathroom Faucet Drip

If the faucet in your bathroom sink has separate controls for hot and cold water, then fixing an annoying drip is a simple DIY home plumbing project. Called a compress faucet, this is the easiest type of faucet for you to work on. In a couple of hours with a few simple tools, you will have a quieter faucet that no longer leaks.

Supplies You'll Need

  • flat blade screwdriver
  • channel lock or slip joint pliers
  • old rags for cleanup

From the plumbing section in the local home improvement store:

  • tube of silicone plumber's grease
  • replacement rubber O-rings for the faucet

Step-By-Step Faucet Repair

  1. Turn the water off to the faucet with the shutoff under the sink.
  2. Pull off the decorative cap covering the top of the faucet handle.
  3. Remove the screw holding the handle in place.
  4. Pull the handle straight up off of the faucet.
  5. The shaft on which the handle was attached is called the stem. Attached to this part are the rubber O-rings which are worn and causing the leak.
  6. Remove the large nut holding the stem in the faucet.
  7. Unscrew the stem to remove it from the faucet.
  8. Wipe off the stem and locate the rubber O-rings at the top and bottom of the stem. The best way to get the right replacement O-rings is to take the stem to the plumbing supply or home improvement store and have them match the O-rings for you.
  9. Once you have the replacement O-rings, slip the old O-rings off and the new ones onto the stem.
  10. Place a small dab of the silicone grease on each O-ring.
  11. Place the stem back into the faucet and screw it in until hand tight.
  12. Place the large nut over the stem and screw it down until hand tight.
  13. Push the handle down onto the stem and secure it with the screw in the center.
  14. Replace the decorative cap on the handle.
  15. Turn the water back on to the faucet.

Problems You May Encounter

When doing this DIY faucet repair, you may encounter one or more of the following problems.

  • Corrosion may make it difficult to get the handle off or the stem out of the faucet assembly. You'll need a plumber's help to remove these parts so you can finish your project.
  • The stem itself has rust or corrosion on it. Replace the stem with one from the plumbing supply shop. The rust and corrosion will only get worse and cause more leaks in the future.
  • The stem is corroded but parts are no longer available for the faucet. If you have an old house with very old plumbing components, the stem may no longer be available. In this case, have a plumber install a new faucet to get rid of the leak and to make future repairs easier.

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