Best Guide: How to Change Faucet Washer (10 Steps)

You will hear a lot of people saying that you will be able to stop the leak from a leaky faucet by simply changing the faucet washer.

The task is relatively simple and is worth trying. In order to figure out how to change faucet washer, the first thing you need to do is determine whether the faucet you have actually has a washer.

The majority of the new faucet models being sold today are washer-less faucets.

How to change faucet washer

Unlike other types of faucets, compression faucets are the only ones that use a neoprene washer.

In the past, compression water faucets were a very common type of faucet.

Kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, and bathtubs are among the places where you can install them.

There are several things that will help you identify a compression washer faucet.

These include the separate handles for turning on hot and cold water, and the fact that you must tighten them down to shut off the water supply.

In order to operate this type of faucet, a compression stem is used, which works by pressing down on the valve seat through a washer.

You don’t have to believe, that your faucet is a compression faucet just because it’s got two handles.

There are newer faucets with double handle cartridges.

In order to tell the difference between the two, you should note that on a cartridge faucet, all that is required is the rotation of a knob.

It means you have to rotate half a turn to shut the water on or off.

But, compression faucets must be turned on or off with extra effort, which can require turning the handle more than once.

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How to Change Faucet Washer

Materials Required

Plumbing is easy if you have the right tools.

Before changing the faucet washer, you need to be ready with some tools which will make our process easier. Here are the tools.

  • A phillips or flathead screwdriver
  • A pair of pliers
  • An adjustable wrench

How to change faucet washer

Step by Step Guide: How to Change Faucet Washer

In conclusion, after figuring out that your faucet is a compression faucet, it’s time now to find out if replacing the washer can fix your leaky faucet.

It would be a good idea to replace another part, called the O-ring, while you are disassembling the faucet.

You will find step-by-step instructions below.

step 1: Shut Off the water supply

  • It is not advisable to have water flowing into the faucet when you are doing the disassembling.
  • You will notice several valves just beneath the pipes under your sink.
  • Then turn the valves off by reversing the switch.
  • To do so, turn the valves in a clockwise direction. By doing so, water will no longer run while you are working.
  • In order to release the water that is trapped between the spigot and the shutoff valve, you should switch on the hot and cold faucets.

Step 2: Pull out the parts of the faucet

  • You can see them on top of the faucet, they are the small caps.
  • The caps may be marked as either hot or cold.
  • You are able to remove them by gently slipping a flathead screwdriver beneath them.
  • Pry slowly to remove the cap. You should be able to remove it without much difficulty.
  • The best way to remove the screwdriver cap is to wrap it in a cloth before you remove it.
  • This way, your faucet will not be dented or chipped during this process.

Step 3: Remove the handle of faucet

  • A small screw is usually located just below the cap on some faucets, whereas for others, the screw is hidden within the handle.
  • Generally, the screw is fixed to the washer. Therefore, to remove the handle, you must take the screw off the washer.
  • When removing a standard screw, use your Phillips head screwdriver, and when removing an allen head screw, use an allen wrench.
  • After removing the screw, gently move the handle of the faucet back and forth.
  • At some point, it will become loose. After this point, the handle can be removed.
  • However, not every faucet is equipped with a handle.
  • As a result, you may skip this step if your faucet does not have a handle.
  • Still, make sure to remove the washer’s screw before continuing the next step.

Step 4: Pry out the stem

  • As the name implies, the washer stem is a ring-shaped component that sits above the valve of the washer.
  • It is somewhat similar to a donut and is located near the valve.
  • Take your pliers and clamp them around the stem and take it off gently.
  • If it doesn’t loosen right away, you might need to wiggle it.
  • To fix any stuck stems, spray them with WD-40, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then try again.
  • Sometimes it is not possible to pull out stems with pliers.
  • It is important to store the stem safely. It will be necessary when you install the new washer.

Step 5: Remove the old cartridge and washer

  • Remove the old cartridge with pliers.
  • Remove all rubber pieces, stems, and cartridge parts.
  • Inside your faucet, you will find a cylinder-shaped washer.
  • You will need to pull this washer out with the help of your pliers.
  • An o-ring is used to connect the washer and the faucet through circumferential suction.
  • If you want to remove the washer, you will have to grasp your pliers tightly and exert a little force when pulling.
  • It should be noted that some faucets come with cartridges with built-in seals and rings.

Step 6: Replace your O-rings if they’re worn out

  • Wear out washers cause faucets to leak just like aged-out o-rings.
  • There is a possibility that the o-rings on the faucet are worn out if the leak is occurring at the base.
  • It is best to replace the o-rings before installing a brand-new washer.

Step 7: Visit a hardware store to get new parts

  • For those who have never removed their faucet before, it can be challenging to identify what washer they need.
  • It is advisable to go to a hardware store to purchase a replacement if you do not already have one.
  • Ensure that you find the right match for each part.
  • There is a chance that you may find a repair kit that will fix your specific faucet so you don’t have to dig for the o-rings and washers alone.
  • The employee at the hardware store can help you find the perfect item to fit your needs if you are not sure where to look.

Step 8: Install New Washer

  • The washer can be inserted easily.
  • After inserting the washer, repeat the above steps in reverse order.
  • Make sure the washer that has been installed fits in the same position as the one that has been removed.
  • You must ensure the washer is placed at the exact same set level as the original washer.

Step 9: Reassemble the faucet stem

  • Put the washer back over the stem or screw the stem back on.
  • Use a Phillips head screwdriver or allen wrench to reinstall the screw you removed.
  • Secure the stem assembly by tightening the screw.
  • In case the handle was removed, replace it before reinstalling the screw.

Step 10: Replace the cap

  • Replacing the cap is the easiest part of the entire process.
  • All you need to do is snap it back on again.
  • After that, you will not have a leak anymore. Just turn on your faucet when you are done.
  • As soon as the cap is installed, turn the water valve (anticlockwise) to turn on the faucet.

If your faucet leaks, there are a number of problems that could be causing it. The cause of leaks can be a worn-out seal, a loose part or even a broken pipe.

There’s a large probability that you will not be able to fix these problems on your own, so it would be helpful if you contacted any one of the plumbers to fix this issue.

How to change faucet washer

Things to consider before changing the washer

Before starting, plug the drain

  • In this way, you will prevent anything from draining down the drain.
  • When you replace a washer, a great deal of small components are involved.
  • This can cause them to slip from your hands very easily.
  • A wet rag can be placed over the drain in the absence of a plug.

Ensure that the replacement washer fits exactly

  • It is very essential to ensure that the o-rings adhere to the washer precisely.
  • Unless this is done, the water will not flow properly.
  • You can take the old o-rings to a department store if you are not sure what type of o-rings you need.
  • Most stores have the right kind of o-rings.

Video: How to Change a Tap Washer

Wrap Up!

We hope you enjoyed today’s post on how to change faucet washer.

It is a great blog that helps you fix a small problem that can become a big headache if you don’t act quickly.

In conclusion, if you want to change the faucet washer and you are a novice, it is recommended that you read the instructions in the manual of your faucet and follow the steps to change the washer.

Maintenance and improvement are necessary to increase the life of a faucet.

It is very important that you do not use the old washer, and make sure you fix it with the new one that is compatible with the manufacturer of the faucet and the model.

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