Do it Yourself Plumbing Repair


Do it yourself plumbing repair is the best method for the most common, and the most annoying,plumbing problem. A dripping faucet. By far the easiest to fix by the non-professional or homeowner with a few tools and some patience.

Drips happen from within the faucet mechanism and are usually caused by old or worn out gaskets, “o” rings, valve seats or rubber washers. These can almost always be fixed with a few dollars and a little time.

Sometimes the drip can be temporarily stopped by turning the handle really hard when you shut off the water, or by positioning the spout in just the right place. These maneuvers, however, only work for a while, and overburdening a leaking rubber washer is asking for it. Eventually the drip will become so bad you’ll have to deal with it—perhaps in an emergency situation—wasting gallons of water in the meantime.

So, before any more money goes down the drain, why not schedule a do it yourself plumbing repair. The first thing you need to do is shut off the water underneath the sink (right) by turning the shut-off valves all the way clockwise. Make sure they’re off by turning on the water at the faucet.

If water still flows, turn the shut-off a little harder with the sink faucet still turned on. Once there is absolutely no water coming out, close the drain and line the sink with an old towel or rag to keep dropped tools from chipping or damaging the sink and small parts from going into the drain.

Sometimes there will be a plastic “cap” used to hide the handle screw.Sometimes you’ll see a screw head or a recess with an Allen head screw. Remove the cap (right) with your fingers, or a small screwdriver, making sure not to damage the edges or the faucet handle. If no cap, carefully unscrew the first, obvious thing you see.

Tools you might need, besides a phillips head and slot screwdriver (and possibly an Allen wrench set), are tongue and groove pliers and a crescent wrench. Basic plumbing tools are usually all that’s required for nearly every do it yourself plumbing repair.

You won’t need any power tools and you won’t need to crawl under the sink. Once you have the handle in hand (right) you can see what’s next. Take your time. Faucets are manufactured for easy do it yourselfplumbing repair and are made in four (4) basic types; Ball Type, Ceramic Disk, Compression and Cartridge faucets.

Each of these are different, but fortunately are all “user friendly.” Searchball type faucetceramic disc faucetcompression type faucet orcartridge type faucet using the Bing Search Box right ->

Carefully remove each part, as you see them, laying each out on a rag on the counter in a manner so that you can put them back in order. Many valves come out with a clockwise or counterclockwise twist by hand. In the case of the faucet pictured, there is a chrome cover with a non-slip grip, which can be removed with your hand.

Take the parts with you, or the make and model of the faucet (if you can find it), when you go buy the part. The image (right) is an exploded view of a compression-type valve with an arrow pointing to the part that needs to be replaced; the rubber washer (cost: 25¢). Not only easy, but a really cheap do it yourself plumbing repair!

You’ll want to buy a universal faucet kit made for your faucets which will contain a bunch of washers, “o” rings and other things ($3 and up) so you’ll be ready the next time you hear the dreaded drip … drip … drip. Search universal faucet kitor faucet repair kit for more information.


• Wrap the jaws of the wrench with masking tape or duct tape to avoid damaging the parts.

• Pay close attention to the order you disassembled the parts so you can put them back in order.

• Close the drain before laying down the rag or towel to ensure no little parts slip down the drain.

• Remember that the washers on the hot side wear out twice as fast as the cold.

• Be sure to turn the water OFF at the sink before turning it back ON under the sink!.

Don’t Forget: if all else fails, and you are struggling to complete your diyplumbing repair……just pick up the phone and call in a professional!.

… for any questions, concerns or problems on a remodeling or landscaping project, just click the carpenter’s pencil above. We’ll get back to you within 48 hours with solutions or advice on where to get solutions.
We never charge for help or advice!.

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Updated: November 10, 2015 — 11:11 pm

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