Faucet repair is relatively simple, depending on the type of faucet (cartridge or ball). Start by removing the handle. Decorative caps hold some handle screws, so use a pocketknife to pry off the cap and expose the screw. Remove the handle and set it aside.
Plumbers Sarasota need various hard and soft skills to work in the trade. Soft skills include listening and problem-solving, which are critical when troubleshooting customer issues.
When a faucet is leaking it’s important to first shut off the water supply. This is usually done by turning off the valve under the sink or at the main water line in your house. Turning off the water supply can help prevent loose debris or dirt from flushed down the drain or clogging your pipes. It is also a good idea to put a towel in the drain to catch any small parts that may fall down.
Once the water is turned off, it’s time to start working on the faucet itself. First, make sure you have all the parts needed for the repair. This may include replacement parts such as aerators, valve seats and cam washers. You can get these parts from a plumbing supply specialist or most hardware stores. You will also need a set of tools such as a wrench and screwdrivers.
Begin by removing the decorative cap from each handle. Use a flathead screwdriver to gently lift up the cap, which will expose a screw underneath. Remove the screw and place it with the other removed pieces in order so that they are organized when it comes time to reinstall them.
Cartridge-style faucets will have a small index cover on the side of the handle that needs to be removed with a pocketknife or knife before you can unscrew the handle. Next, you will need to remove the metal handle adapter and dome assembly and remove the plastic pivot stop. You will then need to remove the brass retainer nut with large slip-joint pliers and remove the handle.
If your faucet is a disc cartridge type, the ceramic disk can crack over time and cause leaks. Replacing this part is not difficult, but it can be a bit expensive. You will need to purchase a new kit, which you can get at most hardware stores or online.
Remove the handle
There are several ways to remove a faucet handle, and the method you use depends on what’s causing it to be stuck. For example, if the handle isn’t coming off easily, it could be due to mineral deposits or corrosion that are preventing it from moving. If this is the case, you can try using penetrating oil to loosen it up.
Another way to remove a stuck faucet handle is to heat it up and then cool it down. This works because the contrasting temperatures cause the metal to expand and contract, which can help break the grip that’s holding the handle in place. You can use a hairdryer or even a heat gun for this task. Just be sure to apply the heat slowly so that you don’t accidentally damage the handle or faucet.
Once you’ve applied the heat, switch to a cold source of water or a can of compressed air. Direct this onto the faucet handle to create a sudden shock that can further loosen it up. You may need to repeat this process a few times before you can successfully remove the handle.
If you’re still struggling to remove a stubborn faucet handle, a specialized tool called a faucet handle puller can help. This tool is designed to evenly distribute pressure and can provide more leverage than your hands alone, allowing you to remove the handle without damaging it or the faucet.
To use the handle puller, first insert it into the hole or opening at the center of the faucet handle. Tighten the screw on the puller firmly, and then tighten it a bit more if necessary to ensure that it is secure against the handle. Once the handle puller is securely attached to the handle, begin turning it counterclockwise. Applying steady pressure, you should be able to break the seal and remove the handle.
Remove the stem
The faucet stem, or valve stem in older faucets with a cartridge assembly, is responsible for regulating water temperature and pressure. To ensure optimal functionality and to avoid leaks, it is important to periodically clean the stem from mineral buildup. This can be done by following a simple step-by-step process. To do so, you will need the following tools:
Upon opening the shut-off valves, you should be able to hear or feel the water stopping. Once this occurs, it is time to proceed with the repair. This is an important first step as it helps prevent accidental flooding or water damage during the process. Using either your hands or a wrench, turn the valves clockwise to shut them off. This will help to keep water from flowing out of your faucet until you are ready to restart it again.
Once you have turned off the water supply, you can begin removing the handle and faucet stem. To do so, start by removing the decorative cap and handle screw. Next, use a pipe wrench or tongue-and-groove pliers to loosen the cartridge retaining nut. Once this nut is removed, you should be able to pull the faucet stem straight up to remove it from the valve body.
Before installing the new stem, it is a good idea to apply some type of lubricant to ease the installation. You should also consider wrapping the threaded portion with Teflon tape, which will help to create a watertight seal and prevent leaks.
Once you have removed the old stem, take it to a hardware store or plumbing supply store to find a replacement. Be sure to purchase one that is the same size as the original. You may want to consider buying a valve seat cleaner and a stem washer while you are at it, as these can make the installation process much easier.
Remove the O-ring
Once you’ve shut off the water (either to just the faucet or to the entire house), open the handle and remove it. You’ll probably need to unscrew a setscrew or use a screwdriver to loosen the dome housing at the base of the handle. If you’re lucky, this will solve the problem and you can just replace a seal that’s worn out or damaged.
If you don’t find a replacement seal, you can remove the cartridge and sand the seat to make sure it’s completely clean. If it’s not, you may need to buy a new cartridge. Once you have all the parts removed, lay them out in order so that you can reassemble them later. If possible, take pictures throughout the process to help you remember how everything goes back together.
Depending on whether your faucet is a cartridge, ball, or ceramic-disk type, the parts that are exposed after you remove the handle will vary slightly. Cartridge faucets usually have a small, circular threaded piece (called a spanner cap) that’s secured with a brass retainer clip. You can usually take this out with needle-nose pliers without damaging the faucet.
You’ll also need to remove the escutcheon cap (a piece of rounded metal that covers the disk cylinder). Once you’ve removed this, pull out the stem and inspect it for damage or wear. The O-ring can usually be pried off with your fingers and replaced, but it might need to be cut off and replaced in its entirety. You’ll need to know the diameter of your existing o-ring so that you can find an exact replacement at a home center or hardware store. It’s a good idea to pick up some plumber’s grease, too, because this will make it easier for you to insert and remove the cartridge in the future.
Replace the O-ring
It’s easy to get frustrated if the first parts you replace don’t fix the leak, but don’t give up. If you continue to work on the faucet, there are more chances of success. It’s also best to keep track of the order in which you remove and replace the different parts so that when it comes time to reassemble, the process will be much easier.
After shutting off the water, open the valve a little to flush out any debris that may have loosened during your cleaning and inspection. This step is particularly important if you have an old cartridge faucet.
To begin, you must remove the handle. This is usually accomplished by prying off the decorative cap on top of each handle, which exposes a screw underneath (usually an Allen wrench). Remove the cap and then remove the handle.
Next, you must remove the cartridge retaining nut. You can do this with either a pipe wrench or tongue-and-groove pliers, but be careful not to scar the metal. Once you remove the nut, you should be able to pull out the stem and seat washer. Then, you must replace the O-ring, which is often the culprit of leaky handles. O-rings range in size, so you’ll need to find a replacement at your hardware store that is the correct fit for your faucet. Coat the new O-ring with nontoxic, heat-proof plumber’s grease before reassembling the faucet.
After replacing the O-ring, you should reassemble the cartridge and replace the cam washer and seat washer, if necessary. You should then reinstall the escutcheon cap and tighten the adjusting ring using a spanner tool provided in the repair kit. If the spout is leaking, you can reinstall the inlet seal and ceramic disk seal, or replace the disc cartridge. Be sure to bring the old cartridge to the hardware store so you can find a replacement that’s an exact match.