How-To Videos

Repairing a Leaky Faucet

By: Danny Lipford

Leaky faucets are not only annoying, but they needlessly waste a lot of water. Replacing the washer in a leaky faucet is a DIY project that’s not that difficult to do. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Turn off the water supply to the faucet.
  2. Remove the screw holding the handle in place.
  3. Pull the handle off the valve.
  4. Remove the valve from the valve housing.
  5. Unscrew the screw on the valve that secures the rubber washer.
  6. Replace the washer with one the same size and thickness.
  7. Reassemble the faucet.
  8. Turn on the water and test for leaks.

Watch this video to find out how.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Repairing a wasteful, annoying, leaky faucet can be a fairly simple process. First turn off the water supply to the fixture and remove the cover and screw holding the valve handle in place so you can remove the handle. Then remove the valve by loosening the packing nut or unscrewing the valve itself from the valve housing. Now remove the set screw on the bottom of the valve along with the old, worn washer. Replace this washer with one of the same size and thickness, then you’re ready to reassemble the pieces in reverse order.


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11 Comments on “Repairing a Leaky Faucet”

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  • ingrid Leamer Says:
    November 10th, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    It seams every year pretty much all outside water shut offs for hoses are leaking. can you tell me why that is and how do I fix it. Thank you!

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 18th, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Hi, Cindy! Water meter keys are available at The Home Depot.
    Here’s a direct link to their selection:

  • Cindy Johnson Says:
    July 17th, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    How do you get a turn key to shut the main water off?

  • Mary Huss Says:
    March 31st, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Your video is very good. However, after turning off the water and unscrewing the screw on top of the faucet handles, I am unable to get the handles to come off. I have tried applying moderate pressure with a flat-head screwdriver, from the bottom of the handles, with no luck. Reluctant to continue trying to pry off, lest I damage the entire system! This is an old house, built in 1960, and I have lived here for 17 years. Leaky faucet is a very recent development. Unsure of what type of faucet, but believe the handles need to come off in any case. Suggestions appreciated! Thanks!

  • Robert Edie Says:
    January 20th, 2018 at 11:33 am

    My bathroom sink faucet has no screws to get the handles off any suggestions

  • Thomia Taylor Says:
    September 11th, 2017 at 10:13 am

    How to fix a single water valve

  • m sullivan Says:
    April 5th, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    My faucets are leaking around the base. I can’t get the set screw to turn so I can remove the handle. I sprayed WD 40 but it didn’t loosen and I don’t want to strip the screw. I have the spread sink fixtures in 2 bathrooms. Any help would be appreciated

  • Megan Swanson Says:
    January 12th, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Hi there, I just replaced the washers on both my tub handles and the faucet still leaks. Any suggestions?

  • Donna Turco Says:
    March 23rd, 2013 at 9:42 am

    hello, I have a problem with my bathroom faucet. this is a moveable spout. Lately it is leaking comming out at the coupling (the piece that is showing on top of the sink, and the spout comes out from. I think it needs a washer replaced, I don’t know how to go about it. Help! Thank you for you time.
    Donna Turco

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Brian,
    The video played fine for me, so you may need to update your Internet browser and make sure you have Quicktime on your computer.

  • brian hochstetter Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    unfortuneately im unable to access your videos on faucet repair. can read info then go to video but does not play

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Repairing a Leaky Faucet