A leaky faucet can be a frustrating problem that is not just annoying but can also waste a significant amount of water and money over time. The drip, drip, drip noise can keep you awake at night and distract you during the day, not to mention the extra dollars on your water bill. But the good news is, fixing a leaky faucet is a relatively easy task that can be tackled by DIY enthusiasts without calling in a professional.

If you’re ready to save water, money and your sanity, follow this step-by-step guide to fix a leaky faucet at home.

Step-by-Step Guide

To fix a leaky faucet, you will need some basic tools and materials:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Penetrating oil
  • Faucet repair kit

Once you have all of these items, you can start the repair process:

  1. Turn off the water supply under the sink.
  2. Close the sink drain to prevent parts from accidentally falling down the hole.
  3. Remove any decorative parts of the handles. These may be held in place with a screw or a decorative cap that can be popped off with a flathead screwdriver.
  4. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the handle screw.
  5. Use pliers to remove the decorative piece that rest over the stem assembly and loosen the locking nut that holds the stem in place inside the faucet assembly.
  6. Remove the stem assembly by pulling it straight out of the faucet.
  7. Inspect the O-ring around the stem assembly and the washer at the bottom of the stem assembly for cracks or damage. These are the most common cause of leaks.
  8. If the O-ring or washer is damaged, remove and replace it with a new one from the faucet repair kit.
  9. Reassemble the faucet by putting the stem assembly back in place, tightening the nut, replacing the handle screw, and then replacing any decorative pieces.
  10. Turn the water supply back on and turn the faucet on to ensure that the leak has stopped.

It’s essential to ensure that you don’t overtighten any parts and that you reassemble the faucet in the correct order.

fixing a leaky faucet

Here are some common mistakes to avoid while fixing a leaky faucet:

  • Not turning off the water supply before you start the process.
  • Overtightening parts, which can cause the faucet to leak worse than before or damage other parts.
  • Forgetting to use plumber’s tape when reinstalling parts, which can cause leaks.
  • Not reassembling the parts correctly, which can lead to leaks or damage the faucet.
  • Using the wrong size or type of washer or O-ring.

Video Tutorial

If you’re unsure about the steps required to fix your leaky faucet, a video tutorial can be a helpful resource. A visual step-by-step guide can help you follow each step accurately. Here’s an outline of the process:

  1. Turn off the water supply
  2. Remove the handle and any decorative pieces.
  3. Remove the stem assembly.
  4. Inspect the O-ring and washer for damage.
  5. If damaged, remove and replace with new parts.
  6. Reassemble the faucet.
  7. Turn on the water to check for leaks.

Be sure to watch the video completely before starting to ensure you have all the tools and parts needed to complete the job ahead.

For additional tips, check out our recommended resources below.

Q&A Format

Here are some common questions related to leaky faucets:

1. How much water can a leaky faucet waste?

A leaky faucet may not seem like a significant issue, but it can waste a tremendous amount of water over time. A faucet that drips one drop of water per second can waste approximately 2,700 gallons of water per year – enough for 270 loads of laundry.

2. What are the most common causes of leaky faucets?

The most common causes of a leaky faucet are worn-out washers, O-rings or seals, corroded valve seats, and loose parts.

3. When should I call a plumber to fix my leaky faucet?

You should call a plumber when you are unsure about the cause of the leaky faucet or lack adequate experience to handle repair work. You may also need a plumber when the faucet is old, and the damage has gone beyond basic washer replacement.


Fixing a leaky faucet is a simple process that follows a familiar pattern. Here are the steps at a glance:

  • Shut off the water supply
  • Remove the handle and decorative pieces
  • Remove the stem assembly
  • Replace the damaged washer or O-ring
  • Reassemble the faucet and turn the water supply back on

Be sure to follow these steps step-by-step to fix your leaky faucet. Here are some additional tips:

  • Use a penetrating oil to loosen any stuck nuts or parts.
  • Take pictures of the pieces you remove for reference when reassembling the faucet.
  • Make sure your water pressure is not too high, as it can cause the faucet to leak.

Common Causes of Leaks

Here are common causes of leaks:

1. Worn-out Washers

Over time, washers can become worn, stiff, or disintegrated, causing leaks. It is advisable to replace these to fix a leaking faucet.

2. Corroded Valve Seats

Water sediments can build up valve seats inside the faucet and cause leaks. Cleaning of these iron and calcium deposits can prevent future faucet damage.

3. Damaged O-rings

O-rings are sealing points between parts of the faucet assembly. They can become worn out or damaged over time, leading to leaks.

4. Loose Parts

The constant movement of various parts within the faucet assembly can cause wear and tear, leading to looseness and water leaks. Proper tightening by a wrench can fix the problem.

DIY vs. Calling a Plumber

Fixing a leaky faucet by yourself has several advantages such as:

  • Saving money on plumber fees.
  • Learning a new skill.
  • Avoiding waiting time for a professional to fix your faucet.

However, if you don’t have the necessary tools, lack experience, have a busy schedule, or don’t want to risk damaging your faucet, calling a plumber may be a better option. A plumber might be necessary when:

  • The faucet is old and worn-out.
  • The water pressure is generally high.
  • You lack experience and are not sure what to do.

Should you need to call a plumber, don’t hesitate to do so. Hiring a licensed plumber with proven experience is likely to prevent you from making costly mistakes and increase the lifespan of your faucet.


If you’re dealing with a leaky faucet, don’t wait for the problem to worsen. Fixing a leaky faucet is an easy DIY task that requires a few tools, some patience, and careful follow-through of the steps outlined in this article. With our step-by-step guide, video tutorial, tips, and tricks, you’re now better equipped to stop that irritating drip and save money on your water bill.

Remember, prevention is the best cure when it comes to plumbing problems. Regularly maintaining your faucets by cleaning and avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals can extend its lifespan and prevent leaks.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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