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What Should I Do About a Leaky Faucet?

maryland leaky facuet

Plumbing leaks are never pleasant to experience. It is pertinent that leaks are detected and fixed as soon as possible to prevent severe damage to your home. Some leaks are easy to fix on your own, and others require professional help to repair. Here are a few steps to fixing faucet leaks yourself:

Before You Begin:

Shut off hot and cold water valves underneath the sink. Close the sink drain and cover with a cloth in order to prevent any small parts from falling down the drain. Ensure you have plenty of space to lay out the tools you need and parts you may remove while repairing the leak.

Step 1: Remove decorative parts of the handle knobs. Remove the handle(s) by taking off the screw cover and removing the screw with a screwdriver/Allen wrench. The handle should come off fairly easily. For other types of handles, examine the faucet and determine the best way to remove the handle.

Step 2: If the faucet is leaking from the O-ring and washer, a simple tightening of both parts with needle-nose pliers should do the trick. Replacing the washer can also help prevent future leakage.

Step 3: If the leak was not determined to be at the O-ring, unscrew and remove the ring. Place a cloth around the cap and gently twist the cap with tongue-and-groove pliers, being careful to only turn the cap and not the entire faucet. Remove the cap.

Step 4: Pull out the ball (and the cam and packing) which will be visible now that the cap is removed. If the faucet is leaking from under the handle, replacing the cam and packing should solve the problem.

Step 5: If the issue still hasn’t been resolved, remove the seats and springs with an Allen wrench for both the hot and cold water (they are located under the ball on the faucet). Replace with a new set of seats and springs.

Step 6: Replace ball assembly, cam and packing, and screw the valve cap on with your hand. Replace O-ring and washer, tighten with pliers, and reinstall the handle.

Step 7: Turn hot and cold water valves back on underneath the sink and run the faucet to ensure the leak has been fixed.

As always, it is best to contact a professional plumber for assistance when leaks occur in your home. Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating is based in Eldersburg, Maryland and services all of Carroll County, as well as its surrounding areas. We are locally owned and operated and our experts are readily available to help with all of your plumbing needs. Contact us today with any plumbing and heating questions you have, or to set up a repair appointment for a leak or other plumbing issue!

What Our Customers Say

"Great experience. Moved into a new home and experienced major plumbing issues (flooding) the morning after New Years. The plumber arrived that morning within the hour and relieved the issues, also provided some recommendations that benefited us in the long-run."

-Matt Lewis

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Frederick County: Frederick (21701, 20702, 21703, 21709), New Market (21774) , Mount Airy (21771), Urbana (21704), Ijamsville (21754), Walkersville (21793), Libertytown (21762), Damascus (20872), and more.

Howard County: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Montgomery County: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

Baltimore County: Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), and more.

Carroll County: Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Woodbine (21797), Taneytown (21787), and more.

Washington, DC and Northern Virginia

Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating