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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Plumbing Category: Faucets

Improvement Project:

How to determine what might be causing the faucet to leak, some things to consider.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):


You will very likely encounter a leaking faucet.  The first step to fixing the leak is to determine the exact origin of the leak.  Here are some parts of the faucet that usually turn out to be the cause of the leak:

Single-handle faucets:  Which part of the faucet is most likely causing the leak?

  • Most often (for cartridge faucets), the cartridge, itself, is the reason why the faucet has started to leak;  the cartridge has just worn out and is in need of replacement; see the section on replacing the cartridge of a faucet.

  • If the leak tends to come from the faucet's main body/base that sits on top of the sink, often times the O-rings of the faucet have just worn out and are in need of replacement; see the step on replacing O-rings found in the section on replacing the cartridge of a faucet.

Double-handle faucets: Which side of the faucet is leaking?

  • Inherently, locating the leak origin of a double-handle faucet is a bit harder than finding the leak origin of a single-handle leak.  To help simplify the determination of which side of a double-handle faucet is behind the leak, you may want to take this logical step:  Find the two respective shutoff valves for the double-handle faucet underneath or otherwise near the faucet and turn one of the valves completely clockwise to turn that side of the water off for the faucet while leaving the other valve


    alone; if the leak continues, you'll know that the leak is coming from the side of the faucet whose shutoff valve was not turned clockwise to be shut off from the water supply. (To double check, reverse the process:  Turn the shutoff valve you just closed open by turning it counterclockwise, and then shut off the shutoff valve that had originally remained open by turning this valve completely clockwise; if the leak stops then, you'll know for sure that the leak is coming from the side of the faucet of the latter shutoff valve.

  • Leaks more often spring on the left side of a faucet, where hot water comes through.

So, the next time you are in the midst of figuring out where to begin in finding the leak origin of your faucet, you may want to consider the above to help simplify the repair of your leak.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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