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How To Fix a Leaky Faucet

How to Fix a Compression Faucet

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With the water turned off, remove the decorative cap from the knob. Place the parts in order of disassembly to aid in reassembly. The cap may pry off or unscrew. Use a small screwdriver or putty knife wrapped with tape to reduce the risk of scratching the surface. If the cap is designed to unscrew, it will unscrew in the direction opposite that the knob turns. Next, remove the screw that holds the knob in place and lift off the knob (and sleeve if any).

Next you must remove the packing nut. Use pliers or a wrench and turn the nut counterclockwise. Lift the stem out, turning it counterclockwise a few turns if necessary.

What you see now is the valve stem. At the end of the valve stem you will find a rubber washer fastened with a brass screw. That washer should be smooth, flat and flexible. Replacing the seat washer is simple, remove the screw that secures it, replace the washer with an identical new washer and replace the screw.

Inside the faucet body is the valve seat. While the valve stem is out, inspect the valve seat with your fingertip; it should feel smooth. If you cannot reach it, use a flashlight and visually inspect the seat. If you see or feel pits or irregulaties, then it must also be repaired or replaced.

If the valve seat has a square or hexagonal hole in the center it can be removed with a seat wrench.

Unscrew the valve seat and replace it with an identical part. If the valve seat has a round hole, it cannot be replaced but it can be smoothed with an inexpensive seat dressing tool.

Follow the steps backward to reassemble the faucet and finish the repair.

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