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How to fix a compression faucet

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Most compression valves have a threaded metal spindle with a disc-shaped stem washer on the end. When the spindle is screwed all the way in, the stem washer covers a hole, and water flow to the spout is stopped. Drips from the spout happen when the seal between the stem washer and the rim of the hole (called the “valve seat”) is imperfect. Usually, replacing the stem washer is enough to stop the drip.

 

Step 1. Turn off the water at the stop valves for the faucet you are fixing then open the faucet and let the water drain out. Remove the handles by prying an index cap off the top with a dull knife or screwdriver and removing the screw hidden underneath.

 

Step 2. Use channel- type pliers to unscrew a retaining nut or the entire stem assembly from the faucet body If what you find looks similar to the stem assembly shown in step 3, you’re in the right place.

 

Step 3. Unscrew the stem screw and remove the stem washer.  You must find an exact replacement. A flat washer should always be replaced with a flat washer, for example, even if a profiled washer fits. Your washer may have a size code printed on the back, but it’s usually easiest to bring the whole stem into the hardware store or home center and try on new neoprene parts there.

 

 

 

 

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