The small plumbing repairs that homeowners can do are numerous, but many of us are intimidated due to inexperience and not knowing exactly what to do.  While there are some risks involved any time you decide to tackle your home’s plumbing, most of the jobs are simple enough that you do not have to worry about making a serious mistake.  One of the more common problems that you can repair on your own is a leaky faucet.


Tools You Need


adj wrenchA leaky faucet does not require much in the way of special tools, but there are some things that you will need.  An adjustable wrench or a pair of channel locks is the most important tool, since it will allow you to change the size of the wrench to meet the needs of your particular faucet.  You will also need to be sure to have a light colored towel to put all of the parts on as you take them out of the fixture, so you do not lose them.  Finally, you should get some plumber’s lube to make sure the parts move as intended.


Removing The Handle


The way that you remove the handle will vary from fixture to fixture, and you need to know what kind of faucet you have.  There are four common types of faucets, the sleeve, ball, ceramic disk and compression, each with its own unique layout and disassembly procedure.  If you are unsure about the type of faucet you have, you can easily find the answer at the hardware store or by doing a quick Google search.  Once you know how to approach the handle, remove it and lay out all of the parts in the order you took them out of the fixture.  This will make reassembly much easier.


Replacing The O-Ring


Most of the time a leaky faucet is caused when the O-ring wears out in the handle and lets water continue to flow through the system.  The O-ring is a black rubber disk that you should have seen when you took the parts out of the fixture, and the replacement of the O-ring is just a matter of slipping the old one out and putting the new one on.  Take the old O-ring with you to the hardware store so you are sure you have the right size, and be sure to lube all of the parts when you put them back together.


A leaky faucet is nothing to worry about, especially if you are comfortable taking the fixture apart and doing the repair on your own.  It might take a little time to do the repair your first go, but it will get faster with practice.