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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Fix a Leaky Bathroom Faucet

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Is that steady drip driving you crazy? Repairing a leaky bathroom faucet is a quick and inexpensive fix that even first-time DIY’ers can accomplish. This brief article will show how to replace a common two-handle compression faucet, but the steps are similar for other faucet types.

First, turn off the cold water valve. If the water stops dripping, then the problem is in the cold-water handle of the faucet. If the water still drips, then the problem is in the hot water handle. Leave the valve shut off for whichever handle you’ll be working on.

Remove the faucet handle, which will be screwed in place from the side or the top. If there is a set screw, use a hex key or Allen wrench to loosen and remove it. If the handle has a top screw cover, pry it off with a flat screwdriver and set it aside. Then, use a Phillips head screwdriver to loosen the screw beneath the cover.

Be sure to close the sink drain to avoid losing any small parts. Set the handle screw aside in a safe place.

Pull the handle free to reveal the faucet cartridge.

Use a crescent wrench to loosen the packing nut around the cartridge.

Remove the nut and pull out the cartridge.

Take the old cartridge to the hardware store to find an exact match for replacement.

Replace the new cartridge into the handle, aligning it according to the instructions included with the cartridge.

Apply the packing nut, tightening it down with a wrench enough to compress the O-ring of the cartridge to prevent any leakage.

Replace the handle and screw and tighten it in place. Open the water valves.

Wait, there's more!

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