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Repair a Leaky Faucet

Not only do leaky faucets waste water, the sound of drip, drip, drip can certainly keep you awake at night. Fixing this yourself can save you money. Although this is not a difficult job, it does take a little bit of time. Follow these instructions for repairing a double-handled compression faucet. step1
Turn off the water supply at the shut-off valve under the sink. For double handled faucets, it's only necessary to turn off the water supply line to the one that's leaking. Step 2
Tip: If you're not sure if it's the hot or cold water that's leaking you can turn both off. Or first turn the water supply off to the cold water. If the dripping stops, then you'll know that's where the repair needs to be made. If not, turn off the hot and repair as follows: Remove the handle by loosening the screw on top of the handle. Sometimes there will be a "button" covering the screw (it may have "H" or "C" on it). Flip it off with your fingernail, a screwdriver or a putty knife. Just be careful not to scratch the handle's finish. Tip: You can cover the screwdriver or putty knife with a piece of cloth to prevent scratching on the handle's finish. Using an adjustable wrench, loosen the packing nut and remove the stem. Tip: Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosey.
At the bottom of the stem there's a rubber washer held in place by a screw. Remove the screw. You'll take the washer to the hardware store with you to make sure you get the same kind to replace it. But before you make the trip to the store, put your finger down inside the faucet to see if the "seat" of the faucet is rough. (The seat of the faucet is where the rubber washer "sits" when the faucet is in the off position. When the seat gets rough, it ruins the washer.) If the seat is rough, it should be replaced, if removable, or "dressed" if not removable.
Use a seat wrench to remove and replace the seat and take the old seat with you to the hardware store. (This will save time and aggravation.) Use a seat-dressing tool to smooth the surface if the seat is not removable.
After the seat is taken care of, put the new washer in place and tighten the screw. Insert the stem in the faucet and tighten the packing nut. Replace the handle, tighten the screw and replace the button (if there is one).

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