We’re all going to face a leaky faucet at some point in our lives, so we might as well learn how to fix it, right? Ignoring a leaky faucet could not only wear on your nerves, but those small, continuous drops of water will surely add up on your next water bill.
Some of you may have done DIY work in the past, while others may have been relying on plumbers to perform these repairs. Either way, you may be interested in learning how to fix a leaking bathroom sink. Have no fear, it’s a rather simple and inexpensive process.
In this blog post, we’ll show you in seven steps how to fix a leaking bathroom sink:
1. Arrange the Proper Tools
You must have the proper tools for any work you plan to do around the house. For this project, you’ll need: an adjustable wrench or a C wrench, a Phillips and/or flat-head screwdriver, and replacement O-rings and washers. Get all of your tools and hardware out and lay them out in the kitchen, right by the sink you’ll be working at. This will make it easier to just grab the right tools whenever you need them and stop you from wasting time running back and forth to the garage.
2. Shut off the Water Supply
Before you learn how to fix a leaking bathroom sink, let’s start with the basics: shut off the water. You can do this by twisting the valve underneath your sink which will turn off the water supply valve. An important step not to miss is turning the faucets on to let any water that was in the pipes drain out.
3. Take off the Knob
Of course, how you remove the handle depends on the faucet type, but generally, here is how you do it: pry the knob off with a flat-head screwdriver. Next, you’ll find a screw underneath where each knob used to be.
To take care of this, you can use a wrench. If the handle had a screw top cover, you can pry it off with a flat-head screwdriver. Using a Philips screwdriver, loosen the screw underneath the cover then pull the handle off.
4. Remove the Cartridge
Now you’ll find what’s called a packing nut. You can use your wrench to loosen this, then set the part aside. Now you should be able to pull the packing nut up and out of the packing assembly. From here, you should be able to see the stem. This one is easy – they usually just pop right off. If that doesn’t work, you should be able to twist it off. It’s a good idea to check all parts that you remove for damage to help you figure out how the problem started in the first place.
5. Inspect the O-ring
At this point, if it looks like nothing is damaged, inspect the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat to see if they are what’s causing your leaky sink. Take out the old washer and replace it with a new one.
Side note here that your O-rings and washers that you use much be an exact fit. Don’t worry though, there’s many ways to do this. Firstly, check the seat to see if the sides fit a more cone-shaped or a flat washer. Then when you get to the hardware store you can purchase the right type for your sink.
Another way is to just buy a package that comes with different sizes of O-rings. Lastly, you can always bring your old hardware pieces to the hardware store and ask an associate for help in finding one that is the same size.
6. Install the New Cartridge
We’re almost done! In this step, you’ll need to replace the cartridge. To do this, make sure the area around the handle and all of the different parts is dry and clean. For the cartridge itself, it’s best if you know the name of the faucet’s manufacturer and the faucet’s model number. Again, you can do this by taking the piece to the hardware store and having an associate find you the correct replacement. Next up, insert the new cartridge and make sure it’s aligned correctly.
7. Reattach the Faucet Handle
In this final step, you’ll be replacing the faucet handle. To do this, start by reattaching the packing nut, ensuring that it’s tightened properly. Next comes the handle. Make sure to reattach the handle with the screw it came with (you saved those right?). Now you’re safe to go ahead and turn your water back on. It’s always good practice to run both the cold and hot water in the sink to make sure the aerator isn’t clogged.
We hope this solves the problem of your leaky bathroom sink for you. If you find it’s still leaking once you’ve completed this, it’s time to go for outside help. Maybe you have a friend or family member who’s handy. If not, you can always ask the associate at the hardware store for some advice. Once you figure this out once, you’ll be equipped for life on how to fix a leaky bathroom sink!