How to Repair a Compression Bathroom Faucet
When I talked to James: an expert home improvement expert he gave me a list of so many things that you could do to make your home a unique experience. One story that caught my interest was how to repair bathroom faucets and more specifically compression faucet.
The truth is that although many plumbing problems seem really complicated, few are in fact that complicated. As it turns out certain problems such as leaky showers, faucets, and broken valve…are indeed a DIY procedure that requires very limited tech know-how.
Here is a simple guide on how to repair some of the bathroom faucets that we love (compression faucet).
Table of Contents
Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials
The tools and materials needed when you want to repair the compression bathroom faucets are the following.
- Slip joint pliers
- Flat head screwdriver
- Utility knife
- Faucet repair kit
- Plumber’s grease
Step 2: Remove the Faucet Handles
Close the sink's stopper. Cover it with a rag. This will prevent small parts/ fragments from falling into the drain. Without doing this, such small parts could finally pile and clog.
Confirm if the compression faucet keeps dripping even after both handles are turned to the off position. If so, remove both handles. Inspect for damage to the stem assemblies.
Turn off the water shut-off valves under the sink. Then turn the faucet handles to the on position. This will help in to draining any water that might have remained in the main line.
Step 3: Loosen the Screw Holding Handle
Carefully pop out any decorative cap on top of the handle. Use a utility knife to expose such a screw that might be holding the handle.
Once the handle is out, use slip-joint pliers to remove the retaining nut. The retaining nut will be the main nut holding the stem in place.
Step 4: Inspect the Extent of the Damage
You can’t repair what you don’t know. Make sure you understand the damage on your bathroom faucets. Inspect the following areas to start with.
Inspect the whole stem assembly for any damage. Start by checking the rubber washer on the end of the faucet. Unscrew the packing nut if the rubber looks okay.
Check for any damages on the O-rings inside. If the washer is damaged you can then remove the screw. Replace the old washer with a new washer and replace faucet.
If the O-ring is bad you can simply cut it off. Use a utility knife. Once done coat a new one with heat-proof grease. Slide the new O-ring into place (within the stem). Use a flat-head screwdriver as a guide.
Step 5: Examine for Any Rough Spots
Sometimes you may find no problem to the washer and the O-rings. If you do, there will still be one area that you could stop by. Check for rough spots on your bathroom faucets.
Use your finger to check for rough spots. Push your fingers around the valve seat inside the faucet. A damaged seat will prevent your bathroom faucets from making a watertight seal even on new washers.
Ask for an experts help. Or if you have the tech-know-how you can use a specially made seat wrench. This should enable you to remove damaged seats and replace them.
Step 6: Reassemble Your Bathroom Faucets
Step 5 above allows you to complete all your priers. Once done you should reassemble your bathroom faucets.
Simply drop in the repaired or the new stem assembly. Tighten the retaining nut with slip-joint pliers.
Replace the handles of your faucets and secure them with their screws. You can then replace the decorative cap.
Turn the water supply back on. Check the hot- and cold-water sides. Make sure they both work properly. Confirm that there are no drips from the new faucets that you have replaced.
There is an alternative method to replacing washers and O-rings. Simply replace the entire stem assembly. However, if you decide to go with this; replace the stems on both the hot- and cold-water system. Remember hot- and cold-water handles usually turn in opposite directions. Because of this their stem assemblies could be different.