About the Post

Jerry Hardy

Author Information

I was a Building Contractor along with owning rental properties where I did most of the repairs myself. Its my pleasure to pass on to you some of the methods I had used in the past. Hopefully, this will save you the expense of hiring a professional to do the work.

Replacing Faucet Washers



Shut off water valve

In replacing faucet washers, the first step is to shut off the water supply. The water valve only on the side of the faucet your working on needs to be turned off. However, make sure that you don’t turn on the tap on the opposite side while your working unless you don’t mind getting wet. You may find that as you turn the shutoff valve, there may be some leakage around the stem which will stop when the valve is completely off. Also, when the valve is opened completely after the repair, the dripping will usually stop. If not, tighten the hex packing nut just behind the handle on the stem until the leak stops. It usually only takes a slight turn to stop the leak. If the leak continues, that indicates the valve stem needs a new seal or packing.

Remove faucet handle

Next, open the faucet to relieve water pressure. Then remove the cap on top of the faucet handle. Most of the time you can remove the cap just with your finger nail. If not, using a sharp knife blade inserted under the edge of the cap, pry it up. Now remove the screw which is under the cap. After the screw has been removed, take hold of the handle and pull up on it as you jiggle it back and forth.

Remove stem

Now with a pair of channel locks or crescent wrench, remove the retaining nut and lift out the valve stem as you rotate it counter-clockwise.

Replace the washer

The faucet washer that needs replacing is located on the bottom of the stem. Using a screwdriver, remove the screw holding the washer and replace the washer with a new one.

Check the washer seat

The next step in replacing faucet washers is checking the surface of the washer seat by placing your finger in the faucet opening and feeling for any roughage. If the seat feels smooth and you do not have any leakage after replacing the washer, the seat will not have to be replaced.

Stopping leakage under handle

If you had leakage from under the faucet handle, the stem o-ring needs replacing.

Lubricate stem

In replacing faucet washers, it is important to lubricate the stem with plumbers grease. petroleum jelly or auto grease before installation is made. Take care not to get grease on the o-ring or washer.

Re-install stem

Insert the faucet washer stem back into the faucet housing, rotating it clockwise until it bottoms on the washer seat, then back it off slightly so the washer will not hit the seat while securing the hex nut.

Turn water on at the valve

Check for leaks

After all the above steps in replacing faucet washers have been completed, the final step is checking for leaks.

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Replacing Faucet Washers

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