How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Here's our DIY guide to fixing a leaky faucet without the help of paid professionals. Tune up your plumbing at home!
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Welcome to our latest DIY plumbing guide, showing you how to fix a leaky faucet.

As part of our DIY plumbing series, we’re excited to help our readers understand how they can easily solve most problems in their own homes.

With a little bit of instruction, some patience, and the right tools, you can keep your home running smoothly every day.

When you’ve got a leaky faucet, it’s understandable to ignore it at first. If the problem isn’t catastrophic, and the job to fix it seems tough, the tendency is to leave it be.

We’re here to tell you why you don’t have to worry about that at all.

When you’ve got a leaky faucet, you should know that you’ll be able to fix it yourself, without professional help, in less than an hour. How’s that sound?

The great thing is, the process involves few tools. You should have what you need lying around the house and, if not, we recommend picking these tools up to have around for any future projects anyway.

When you own your home, responsibility falls on you to fix any problems. While that sounds like a pricy proposition, it really doesn’t have to be.

With this simple guide, we’ll show you step by step how exactly to get your faucet running perfectly and leak-free.

Based on an article on Homeclick.com.

See our full collection of DIY plumbing guides here.

Materials and tools needed:

  • New faucet cartridge
  • Rag or hand towel
  • Allen wrench set
  • Channel lock pliers

1. Turn off the water supply

This important first step ensures that you don't get blasted with water or flood your kitchen. The valves will be under the sink.

This important first step ensures that you don’t get blasted with water or flood your kitchen. The valves will be under the sink.

2. Open the faucet to release pressure

When you open the faucet, you'll release any residual pressure leftover in the pipes. This is an important safety and cleanliness measure.

When you open the faucet, you’ll release any residual pressure leftover in the pipes. This is an important safety and cleanliness measure.

3. Cover sink drain

Now you'll want to cover the sink drain with your rag. This protects the sink from your tools and ensures that you won't lose any small parts if they're dropped.


Now you’ll want to cover the sink drain with your rag. This protects the sink from your tools and ensures that you won’t lose any small parts if they’re dropped.

4. Pry off the decorative cap

Next you'll need to remove the handle, but to get to the screw holding it in place, you'll need to pry out the little decorative cap that conceals it.

Next you’ll need to remove the handle, but to get to the screw holding it in place, you’ll need to pry out the little decorative cap that conceals it.

5. Remove the screw

With the decorative cap removed, you'll be able to see the screw beneath. Now you can unscrew it and remove it, getting the handle loose. Make sure to place the screw in a safe spot where it won't be lost.

With the decorative cap removed, you’ll be able to see the screw beneath. Now you can unscrew it and remove it, getting the handle loose. Make sure to place the screw in a safe spot where it won’t be lost.

6. Disassemble the faucet

Now you're ready to fully disassemble the faucet. Every faucet out there is a little different, but each one has some similar combination of housing, screws, and clamps that all need to be removed to get to the cartridge.

Now you’re ready to fully disassemble the faucet. Every faucet out there is a little different, but each one has some similar combination of housing, screws, and clamps that all need to be removed to get to the cartridge.

7. Remove the old cartridge

Use those channel lock pliers to remove the old cartridge. Take careful note about how the cartridge sits, because you'll need to insert the new cartridge the same way.


Use those channel lock pliers to remove the old cartridge. Take careful note about how the cartridge sits, because you’ll need to insert the new cartridge the same way.

8. Insert the new cartridge

Take that new cartridge and insert it in exactly the same way the original one sat.

Take that new cartridge and insert it in exactly the same way the original one sat.

9. Replace assorted hardware

Now you can replace all of the various hardware pieces that were removed earlier in the process.

Now you can replace all of the various hardware pieces that were removed earlier in the process.

10. Reattach faucet handle

At this point, you can reattach your faucet handle and tighten it using your allen wrench.

At this point, you can reattach your faucet handle and tighten it using your allen wrench.

11. Reinsert the decorative cap

Assuming you kept it in a secure, safe place, now's your time to grab that decorative cap and reinsert it into the handle.


Assuming you kept it in a secure, safe place, now’s your time to grab that decorative cap and reinsert it into the handle.

12. Turn water supply on

Now's the real test. Turn the water supply on and see if there are any leaks still happening. If you followed along closely, you should have a perfectly leak-free faucet right now.

Now’s the real test. Turn the water supply on and see if there are any leaks still happening. If you followed along closely, you should have a perfectly leak-free faucet right now.

If you’re like me, you may learn best by observing someone else going through the steps of a project. We’ve got a great video below that shows you everything you’ll need to know.

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DIY Plumbing Series: How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing | DIY Plumbing: How To Unclog a Garbage Disposal | DIY Plumbing Series: How to Install a Water Filter | DIY Plumbing Series: How to Protect Your Fixtures








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