Dealing with a leaky faucet is not only annoying but can also lead to water damage and higher water bills in your home or accessory dwelling unit. You can learn about ADUs here. You may not need to call an expensive plumber yet. Here is a step-by-step guide to simple faucet repairs.

Diagnose the Leak

The first step in fixing a leaking faucet is to figure out exactly where the leak is located. Is the water coming out of the bottom of the spout near the sink, or is it towards the top of the spout? After you discover the origin of the leak, you need to switch off the water. Look underneath your sink. If there is no water valve to shut off there, then you will need to find your home’s main valve and turn it off.

Understand What Kind of Faucet You Have

There are three main types of faucets: ceramic disc, rotary ball and cartridge. The kind of faucet that you have will determine how to repair it. The names are fairly self-explanatory. A cartridge in a faucet will look like a tube with a metal stem on it. A ceramic disc will be toward the bottom of the faucet and is usually white with three screws in it. A rotary ball will also be towards the bottom of the faucet; the handle swivels back and forth on the ball.

Take the Faucet Apart

Make sure that you plug the drain before you begin this step. Start screwing off parts of the faucet from top to bottom. It is important to remember exactly how you took apart the faucet to put it back together in the right way. You can easily do this by taking a video while you disassemble the faucet.

Swap Out Any Damaged Parts

Are there any pieces of the faucet that have rusted-out holes or places that are worn? If so, you will need to replace those parts. If you are confident that you can find an exact replacement online and you have time to wait, you can go ahead and buy the parts online. If not, you should go to your local home improvement store with the parts in question. Most stores will have very knowledgeable associates who can quickly locate the parts you need.

Thoroughly Clean Each Faucet Component

Examine all of the holes in the faucet parts. Carefully clear out anything that is blocking the holes with a screwdriver or a small knife. Is there any “gunk” inside of the parts? If so, you will need to clean it out. You can either soak the parts in a special cleaner like CLR for an hour or do the same with white vinegar. This will make any deposits stuck inside the faucet much easier to remove.

Assemble the Faucet

Pull up the video you created when you took the faucet apart and study it so that you can reassemble the faucet correctly. After you put the faucet back together, turn the water valve slightly so that only a small stream of water comes out of the faucet. This will dislodge any leftover grime and minerals. When the stream is clear, you can turn the valve back on completely. You have now finished your repair. Good job!