You don’t have to put up with the slow drip from a leaky faucet, nor with the growing stain it often leaves in the tub or shower. Fix it now and you’ll prevent those headaches and save on you water bill too. The entire job, with special tools, may set you back a bit of cash, but doing it yourself is a lot cheap, and usually much cheaper and easier than tearing out the old faucet and installing a new one.

Worn rubber washers, seals or gaskets in the valve assembly cause most leaks. Here we’ll show you how to fix a stem-type valve, which is common in older, two-handle faucets (separate hot and cold).

You can fix most problems with the replacement parts available at hardware stores and home centers. A plumbing parts distributor will carry a much larger selection and may be able to special-order hard-to-find items (look under “ Plumbing Parts and Supplies” in your local Yellow Pages or online). There are thousands of different faucet replacement parts available, so bring your old parts to the store for a proper match. If your valve is highly corroded or the finish is wearing off, replace the entire faucet.

Removing the faucet handle is the toughest part of the job. Over time, corrosion can virtually weld the handle to the stem. Remove the handle. If the handle won’t come off, don’t force it—it might break. Instead, remove it with a special handle puller. Once the handles off, unscrew the escutcheon and stem assembly. The stem assembly controls the amount and temperature of the water dispensed through the tub spout or shower head. Remove it with a special bath socket wrench, which looks like a spark plug wrench on steroids.

Leaks usually occur for two reasons. Over time, the seat washer stiffens and won’t seal tightly. And water pressure gradually erodes the brass rim of the seat. Replace the seat using a special seat wrench.

If these few steps don’t work you might think of replacing the faucet or call in a specialist/plumber to get the job done. Southern Coast Plumbing Services can make sure you get taken care of with the utmost of care at an affordable price. Call us today (561)-584-8455 or (954)-495-8040