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No More Tears

March 15, 2012

No more crying because the faucet is keeping you up at night going drip, drip, drip….and you are slamming your head under the pillow.

Just like electricity where I tell you “turn it OFF”. I am telling you to turn it OFF. This time it’s the water supply. Turn OFF the water. You don’t want it squirting you in the face. Trust me it does not work well to have it shooting up in the air while you try to shove the faucet pieces back down in the hole. I tried it, it doesn’t work. (Yes, really)

Now, lower the sink stopper and cover it with a small cloth (just in case you drop a part). What I am teaching you is how to replace the O-ring (a little teeny tiny black rubber ring) and the washer. The parts go in this order in a compression faucet:

Screw, handle, packing nut, spindle, O-ring, washer, bib screw, valve seat, sink faucet area where handle is connected. This way if you do drop something you know the order it goes back together in.

Have on hand a new O-ring, and a universal washer kit. I usually wait to buy the O-ring until after I have taken off the old one so I can make an exact match at the hardware store. I find it is too hard to guess what size I need. The tools you will need are a screwdriver and water pump pliers. This is a pretty easy fix so you won’t need more than an hour of time to complete the job even for a first-timer.

  1. After turning OFF the water, take off the cap covering the screw. Remove the screw and take off the handle. Unscrew the packing nut using the water pump pliers.
  2. Using a screwdriver, remove the bib screw that holds the washer. Remove the old washer and throw it away. Remove the O-ring. Don’t cut it because you need to match it with one that you bought or are going to buy. It has to be correct or it won’t work! (No one likes when their O-ring doesn’t fit and it leaks).
  3. Now it’s the fun part of putting it all back together again. Remember to use a new O-ring and washer that are the same sizes as the ones you removed.

If you forgot how you took the faucet apart you can look at my paragraph above and go backwards in assembly and you will know what goes where.

Was that fun, or what? Now you can have a good night’s sleep and you can thank me for it. No more Mr. Sandman. Just ToolBox TomGirl.

To women holding hammers (and fixing leaky faucets),

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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