Leaking faucets not only waste water, but they also increase how much you owe on your water bill. Thankfully, these common household faucets are simple to fix. Here are tips for how to fix your leaky compression faucet.

Understanding the Compression Faucet

Sinks in your home that have a separate valve for cold and hot water are typically compression faucets. They can be in your bathroom, kitchen, or even utility sinks in your laundry room. They use metal stems that screw into the fixture, which are controlled by rotating the handle. As the stem moves up, water can pass through and pour out of the faucet. Moving the stem down closes the gap and prevents water from flowing.

Knowing Why the Compression Faucet Can Leak

If your compression faucet is leaking, it is most likely due to a problem with the washer located beneath the stem. When it is worn down or cracked, water will pass through even if you have closed the valve by turning the handle and lowering the stem.

Gathering Tools You'll Need

In order to repair a compression faucet, you only need a couple tools that you most likely have in your home. This includes a screwdriver and pliers. You'll also need the correct type of washer to replace the one that is worn down. You should take the faucet apart to get access to the washer, and then take it to your local hardware store to find a replacement that is the right size.

Repairing the Compression Faucet

Start by turning off your water lines that run to the faucet. The shut offs are located under your sink, with a separate shut off for the hot and cold water lines. Open the faucet to drain out any water in the plumbing line.

Remove any decorative caps that are hiding the screws in the handle, unscrew the handles, and pull them up. Then you can remove the nut that holds the stem by using your pliers. Continue unscrewing the stem to reveal the rubber ring close to the top. You can replace the damaged rubber washer with a new one, using plumbing grease if you have difficulties getting it on. Then start reassembling the faucet until everything is back in place.

If you have difficulties doing this repair, or simply don't feel confident doing it on your own, check out sites like http://www.garabedianplumbing.com and contact a local plumber to handle it for you.