If your washer faucet is leaking it will need to be repaired or replaced. Luckily, this is an easy task to do and only involves buying a new one, removing the defective one, and then installing the new faucet.
The first thing you need to do is to go out and buy or order the correct replacement washer faucet. The simplest way to do this is to take the old one off and then take it to a hardware store to ensure you get the correct replacement part. You may also need to purchase a new washer to prevent leaks from occurring.
Once you have a replacement washer faucet, simply follow the step-by-step instructions in this guide and you’ll have your new one attached in no time.
Step 1 – Turn the water supply off
The first step is to locate and then turn off the shutoff valve that supplies water to the faucet you’re replacing. The shutoff valve can usually be found underneath the sink. If you’re replacing a hot water faucet there may be a shutoff valve on the water tank you can turn off. If you cannot find a shutoff valve, you’ll need to turn the water supply off completely.
If you are living in an apartment building or set of connected flats you may need to consult the building manager to arrange for the water to be turned off. Before moving on to the next step, double-check that the water supply has been turned off.
Step 2 – Remove the faucet handle
Once the water supply has been shut off, the next step is to remove the faucet handle. This is required so you can access the locking nut that secures the stem in position.
Here’s how to remove the handle:
- Start by unthreading the screw that secures the handle in place. This can be found at the top of the handle and is often underneath a small plastic cover. On some handles, there will be what is known as a set screw. If your handle has one of these it will need to be removed with an Allen wrench.
- Once the screw has been removed the handle should come off. Put the handle out of the way and keep the screw in a safe place.
Step 3 – Remove the faucet stem
Once the faucet handle is removed, you can then take the faucet stem off. Here’s how to remove it:
- Slightly open the faucet and then loosen the lockdown nut slightly with a wrench. If the faucet has a cover over it this will need to be removed first.
- Once the nut is loose enough you should be able to remove the stem by rotating it in the same direction as you have been turning the lockdown nut.
- Once you’ve removed the stem, put it out of the way and keep the lockdown nut in a safe place for when you reinstall it.
Step 4 – Replace the washer
At the bottom of the stem that you just removed there will be a washer. If the washer is damaged or just worn out it should be replaced. To determine if it is faulty, you first need to remove the brass screw that holds it in place. Once the washer has been removed, check to see if it’s damaged. If so, purchase a new washer to replace it with. The new washer can then be installed into the stem and secured in place with the screw that you removed earlier. If the screw is corroded or bent out of shape it will also need to be replaced.
Step 5 – Install the new or repaired Faucet
Now that you’ve replaced the washer in the faucet or have a brand-new faucet to install, the final step is to reattach the faucet components so you can start using your taps again.
Here’s what to do:
- Spray the threads of the stem with a lubricant. The type to use is a waterproof grease product. The purpose of doing this is so the stem can open and close easily which prevents leaks from occurring.
- Place the stem back into position and rethread the locking nut into place to secure it. Before doing this, make sure the O-ring is not worn out or defective and if so, use a new one.
- Place the handle back into position and secure it in place with the screw you removed earlier.
- You can now turn your water supply back on by turning the shut-off valve back on or the main water supply if you had to turn it off.
- Check that no leaks are coming out of the faucet once you’ve turned the water supply back on. If there are no leaks your new faucet is ready to go.