State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500175
Repairing Dripping Faucets
1. Shut off the water to the faucet, either at the pump or where the
supply enters the house which is usually on the side next to the
street. It should be near the water meter. Some installations have a
valve under the sink or lavatory and this is convenient.
2. On some faucets the handle must be remove to get at the bonnet. To
do this, remove the screw on the top of the faucet and remove the
handle. Lay out all parts in the order you take them off so you can put
them back in that order later.
3. With a monkey wrench or adjustable wrench remove the bonnet.
4. Remove the valve stem by rotating the handle in the same direction
as you would to shut off the water. The assembly should come out.
5. Remove the screw on the bottom and pry out the old rubber washer. Be
sure to replace the washer with the same size and type. If you do not
have a washer of the appropriate size you might try reversing the
present washer. This would be a temporary solution especially if the
washer is a flat disc and not a coned washer. Measure the diameter. For
the first replacement buy a package of assorted sizes and remember what
size you faucet requires.
6. Check the valve seat to be sure it is not scored.
7. Replace the faucet assemble in the reverse order you disassembled
8. Turn the water back on.
Repairing Single-Lever Faucets
By: Carol Selby, Extension Home Economist, Saginaw County and Betty
Shelby, Extension Home Economist, Kent County.
Single-lever (one handle) faucets are trickier to repair than the stem
faucets mentioned on pages earlier. There are several different styles
of single-lever faucets, with each being repaired differently and some
often requiring special tools for disassembly. Most manufacturers sell
a complete repair kit for their brand of faucet. The rotating ball
faucet is the most common, and below are the steps in its repair.
1. Under the shank of the handle is a set screw which must be removed
with a hex wrench. Do not take the screw all the way out. It is easily
2. If the drip is from the spout, replace the two rubber valve seats
and steel springs in the bottom of the faucet body. Unscrew the cap
assembly and lift out the ball/ stem and cam assembly.
3. With fingers on long nose pliers, remove the valve seats and
springs. Push replacements firmly into place. While you have the ball
out, check for corrosion and replace if necessary.
4. When replacing the ball, make sure that the peg that projects from
the side of cavity fits into the oblong slot on the ball.
5. Replace the cam assembly as shown, making sure that the small tab on
the side fits into a slot on the faucet body; screw on the cap assembly.
6. Before reattaching the faucet handle check for leaks around the stem
by moving the ball/ stem to the "on" position. If there is a leak, use
the tip of a small screwdriver to tighten the adjusting ring by turning
it clockwise. If, in order to stop the leak, you have to tighten the
ring so that the handle is difficult to work, then the entire cam
assembly needs to be replaced.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus,
with references from Michigan Extension bulletin E-811,
Get Rid of the Drip in Your House.
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June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
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