How to Fix a Leaky Faucet


Having a leaky faucet can not only waste water, but also the energy to heat that water. In this post we will share about how to fix a leaky faucet.  A leaky faucet can fill a sink in a matter of minutes and you can lose gallons of water each hour.  This can be a waste of resources and energy.

In these instruction we will cover fixing a two handled leaky faucet.  If you have a leaky faucet, you should first determine if it’s the hot or cold water that is causing the leak.

Under or near your sink, you should have the water shut off handles.  Shut off the cold water and see if the leaky faucet stops. If it does not, then turn on the cold water and shut off the hot water and check the to see if you still have a leaky faucet.

When you discover which side is causing the faucet to leak, then you will have to disassemble the handle that controls the water.  Since this is a two handle faucet, you will have to turn off the hot and cold water first. Hot or cold, you can fix a leaky faucet by replacing or fixing the cartridge in the handle.

Hot and Cold Shutoff- How to fix a leaky faucet
Hot and Cold Shutoff

Use something thin to pry up the cover of the handle and unscrew the screw beneath the cover. After this is done, you should be able to lift the handle from the cartridge. Once this is done, then you can use a pair of pliers to loosen the cartridge nut.  You can finish unscrewing it and taking it off with your hands.

Cap removal. How to fix a leaky faucet
Remove cap from handle
Removing handle- How to fix a leaky faucet
Removing handle screw
Removing cartridge nut. How to fix a leaky faucet
Removing cartridge nut

You will then see a plastic piece that is the cover of the cartridge. Before you remove this piece, you will have to remember how it is sitting on the cartridge to turn off and on the water.  Not replacing this piece will cause a leaky faucet, even with new pieces.  

Cartridge position. How to fix a leaky faucet
Remember cartridge position

After noting the position of the plastic piece and cartridge, remove it by hand or use a pair of pliers by grasping the flat parts of the plastic piece.   

How to fix a leaky faucet by removing old cartridge
Remove cartridge with pliers

Fixing this cartridge will fix your leaky faucet.  You may have to replace the rubber rings, or the metal piece inside, but replacing the entire cartridge is the surest way to guarantee the leaky faucet is fixed.

Replace cartridge. How to fix a leaky faucet
Replace cartridge


Always remember to shut off the hot and cold water supply valves before attempting to work on a faucet.  If you are no sure with this project, please call a qualified plumber to do the work.

Replacing the new cartridge

After purchasing the new cartridge, make sure the “key” of the faucet cartridge matches the notch of the body. And you should place it in the same position that the old one was in. If this is replaced improperly, you could continue to have a leaky faucet.  Replace the cartridge nut. First turn it with your fingers then you can use a wrench to tighten it down.

In the last step of fixing your leaky faucet, turn the cartridge to the open position and turn on the water. Check to see if there are any leaks in the faucet.

Turn the cartridge to the closed position with the wrench and replace the handle screw and tighten.  Then test the handle again. Turn on the water supply and turn the handle to see if there are any leaks from the faucet. If there are none, then screw down the handle and replace the top metal piece.