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Repair A Leaky Compression Faucet

Before You Start
Make sure the main water valve is turned off either near the base of the faucet or under the sink. Open all the lines to drain out any excess water. Cover the sink with a towel or cloth to stop any parts or tools from slipping down the drain. You may also want to cover any wrenches or pliers with tape or cloth to prevent any damage to the finish of your faucet. When you disassemble to faucet place the parts in order so they can easily be put back together. Last but not certainly least remember to take the faucet name or model number along with the old parts to the store so you can identify the correct replacement part or kit.

Compression Faucet
If the faucet is leaking from the spout, the problem is probably a damaged washer, seat, or stem. If the faucet leaks from the handle, it is probably the O-ring. However, to get to the O-ring you must remove the stem, so the instructions are pretty much the same for both. Turn off the water at the sinkís shut off valve located under the sink. Place something over the drain in case a small part falls in the sink while you are working. Turn the faucet on to drain any remaining water. Pop the cap of the faucet handle with a knife and remove the screw that holds the handles down. Pull up the handles to expose the faucet mechanism or stem. Remove the mechanism by using pliers to loosen the nut of the stem. Do this on both handles. Take the stem to a hardware store to find a replacement. Although you can just replace the O-ring, it is a good idea to buy an entire new stem to save problems in the future.

Replacing A Washer On A Compression Faucet
If you want to save some money, and you think the washer is the problem; it is easy to change. Simply remove the screw at the bottom of the stem and pry out the old washer. Replace it with the new washer and insert the stem screw until it is tight. If you replace the washer, you should also replace the old valve seat. This is the round cap that the stem fits into. If your valve seat is worn, it will damage a new washer and your repair job will have been done in vain. You can tell if your valve seat is worn by simply rubbing your finger on the inside of the valve. If it feels rough, it is time to replace the seat. Tip: Hardware stores sell washer replacement kits with a variety of washer sizes. Buy one and keep it on hand.

Tools: Phillips screwdriver, new washer

Replacing A Valve Seat On A Compression Faucet
To remove the old valve seat, use the appropriate size end of the seat wrench. Insert the wrench into the handle end of the faucet body and turn counterclockwise. Wrap the new valve seat in Teflon tape and place it back in the faucet body. The tape will prevent pressure leaks. Tighten it with the seat wrench by turning it clockwise.

If a compression faucet leaks from the handles, replace the O ring by following the instructions above.

Tools: Seat wrench (L-shaped), Teflon plumberís tape


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