How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

There are very few things in life more annoying than a leaky faucet. Have no fear, this is an easy problem to fix.


  • Washers (size depends on your faucet)


  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Towels

Step 1: Find the Problem

Determine whether the leak is coming from the tap or the handle. If it is leaking from the faucet tap, that means you’ll need to replace the washer. If it is leaking from the handle, you’ll need to replace the faucet stem or O-ring. Here we will talk about how to replace the washer.

Step 2: Shut Off the Water

This simple fix will turn into a bit of disaster if water comes flooding through your kitchen! To turn off the water before your begin, look for the water shut off valves under the sink. Turn the hot and cold valves clockwise to shut off the water.

Turn the faucet on to let any remaining water drain out. This will also help you test to make sure you’ve completely shut off the water.

Helpful Tips

  • Plug your sink to keep any screws, washers or other parts from falling down the drain.
  • Keep a towel on hand to soak up water that may be released from the pipes once you remove the faucet and to protect the sink from scratches or chips when you’re working.

Step 3: Repair the Faucet

How you disassemble the faucet depends on what kind you have. Remove the decorative top (or tops, if you have a two-handle faucet) from the faucet handle.
Next, unscrew the exposed screw, using a screwdriver, and remove the handle. To remove the stem assembly, turn the locknut counterclockwise with a wrench and lift the stem assembly out. If it sticks, try turning it counterclockwise to loosen the stem. At the bottom of the stem assembly is another screw. Remove it and take off the washer underneath.
Take the washer to your local True Value® hardware store and purchase an exact match to replace it. If the screw looks worn, replace it with an exact match as well. Clean any corrosion off the stem before replacing it. Replace the washer and screw and reinstall the stem. Put the locknut back on and attach the faucet handle. Replace the decorative cap and turn on the water at the shutoff valve. Turn the faucets on, then off and look or listen for any drips.

No drips means you’re all finished and have successfully stopped the issue without a plumber!

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