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How to Diagnose and Fix a Dripping Faucet

faucet Plumbing

A dripping faucet is not only a nuisance but also a waste of water and a potential contributor to increased utility bills. The good news is that diagnosing and fixing a leaky faucet is usually a straightforward process that can be done without calling a professional plumber. In this article, we will walk you through the steps to identify the cause of a dripping faucet and provide solutions for fixing the problem.

Identify the faucet type:

The first step in diagnosing and fixing a dripping faucet is to determine the type of faucet you have. There are four main types of faucets: compression, cartridge, ceramic disk, and ball. Each type has a different mechanism and may require different repair methods. Knowing your faucet type will help you understand the specific components involved in the repair process.

Turn off the water supply:

Before attempting any repairs, make sure to turn off the water supply to the faucet. This can usually be done by turning the shut-off valves located under the sink. Turn the valves clockwise until they are tightly closed to stop the flow of water.

Disassemble the faucet:

Next, disassemble the faucet to access the internal components. Although the disassembly process may vary depending on the faucet type, it typically involves removing the handle and any decorative caps or covers. Keep track of the order and orientation of the parts as you remove them to facilitate reassembly later.

Inspect and replace worn components:

Once the faucet is disassembled, carefully inspect the internal components for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. Here are some common issues and solutions for each type of faucet:

  1. Compression faucet: These faucets have separate hot and cold handles and use rubber washers to seal the water flow. If you have a dripping compression faucet, the most likely culprit is a worn or damaged washer. Remove the old washer and replace it with a new one of the same size.
  2. Cartridge faucet: This type of faucet can have one or two handles and utilizes a cartridge to control water flow. If your cartridge faucet is dripping, the cartridge itself may be worn or damaged. Remove the old cartridge and replace it with a new one that matches the make and model of your faucet.
  3. Ceramic disk faucet: Ceramic disk faucets feature a wide, cylindrical body with a single lever handle. The faucet’s internal ceramic disks can become worn or clogged with mineral deposits, causing it to drip. Remove the disks, clean them gently with a soft cloth, and replace them if necessary.
  4. Ball faucet: Ball faucets have a single handle and use a ball mechanism to control water flow. If your ball faucet is dripping, the problem may lie with worn seals, springs, or the ball itself. Replace any damaged components with new ones specifically designed for your faucet model.

Reassemble the faucet:

After replacing any worn or damaged components, reassemble the faucet in the reverse order of disassembly. Ensure that all parts are correctly positioned and securely tightened to prevent leaks.

Test the faucet:

Turn the water supply back on and test the faucet to ensure that the dripping has stopped. If the faucet continues to drip, double-check your repairs and consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for additional troubleshooting steps.

Call a professional plumber:

If you have tried all of the steps above and your faucet continues to drip, it may be time to call a professional plumber. They have the expertise and tools to diagnose more complex issues and provide the necessary repairs to fix your faucet.


Addressing a dripping faucet can be a straightforward and economical task that not only conserves water but also reduces your utility expenses. By determining the type of faucet you have, carefully disassembling it, and replacing any damaged or worn parts, you can effectively restore your faucet to proper working order. Regular maintenance and timely repairs will ensure your faucet remains efficient and leak-free, providing you with peace of mind and long-lasting functionality. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber who can diagnose and resolve more complex issues to keep your faucet running smoothly.

Fry Heating & Cooling, the premier plumbing service provider, offering a comprehensive range of solutions tailored to meet all your plumbing needs. Our skilled technicians specialize in an array of hot water solutions, including tankless water heater installations, ensuring you enjoy uninterrupted hot water supply. We tackle shower head repairs, toilet repairs, and water leaks with precision and efficiency, restoring your plumbing system’s optimal function. Our experienced team also manages gas line repairs, ensuring your home’s safety and compliance with local regulations. With Fry Heating & Cooling, you can trust our unparalleled expertise to deliver top-quality, reliable plumbing services for your home.

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