Fix a water leak

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Identify and fix leaks

A leaky faucet can waste up to 11,350 litres of water each year. Fixing that hot water leak can save you up to $33 per year in your electricity costs.

Fixing a leaky faucet

Materials and supplies

  • Towels
  • Screwdriver
  • Scouring pad
  • Wrench
  • Gasket
  • Plumber's putty

Skill level

Advanced

Time required

1 hour

Worn-out washers are the main cause of leaks in faucets, and a new one generally costs about 25 cents.  Here's a step-by-step guide to fixing a leaky compression faucet with handles for hot and cold:

  1. Start by turning off the water. If you look under your sink, there will be a handle you can use to shut off the water flow.
  2. Plug the sink with a cloth, or towel to stop small parts from going down the drain.
  3. There is likely a decorative piece on the handle, sometimes labeled hot or cold. You'll need to remove this to expose a screw.
  4. Using a screwdriver, loosen the screw and remove the handle. This will expose a valve.
  5. Tighten the valve with a wrench and turn the water back on to see if this fixed the leak. If the faucet is still leaking, turn the water back off.
  6. Remove the valve completely by unscrewing it, and examine it:
    1. Check the threads for corrosion and dirt, then clean with a scouring pad.
    2. Check the bottom of the valve for a gasket. If it looks deteriorated, remove the screw and replace the entire gasket.
  7. Once the valve has been fixed, apply some plumber's putty along the threads to create a water tight seal.
  8. Put the valve back in place, replace the handle and turn the water back on to check to make sure the leak is fixed.