Experts and BHG readers answer.
How do I fix a faucet?
My faucet drips constantly. How do I fix this so I stop wasting water?
If it’s an old-style faucet or outdoor hose bib you’re talking about, it may be as simple as replacing a washer or two. But if it’s something fancy, you’ll spend some time on this job. This seemingly simple job can get very frustrating, so decide if you want to risk blowing most of a day trying to fix it yourself, or simply pay a plumber about $125 to do it for you. If you still want to do it yourself, first turn off both supply lines to the faucet. Turn the handle to the “on” position to make sure the water is fully off. If you can’t get it to stop running, maybe you should consider calling that plumber now. Depending on the style of faucet, remove the handle, then the “cartridge” which is the brass mechanism full of washers, O-rings, etc that looks kind of like a spark plug. Take the whole thing into a good, fully stocked local plumber’s supply, the one where the plumbers go, and ask the person at the parts counter to give you all the replacement parts you need. (Don’t be shy to ask for advice if you’re not sure about what you’ve done to this point.) Assemble all your new parts being careful not to strip or cross-thread anything, then turn the water back on and check for leaks. Test the operation of the faucet at all settings and turn it off. Then keep an eye on it over the next day to make sure you don’t have to adjust anything if the drip or another leak appears.