It is common to find faucets with compression washers in homes that are old.
As time goes by, the washer wears and as a result, the water is never completely turned off.
The leak only stops when the washer is completely changed and it costs less than replacing a cartridge on a more modern faucet.
Turn off the water supply
- Close the valve by turning the handle in the clockwise direction.
If the sink does not have a shutoff valve underneath it, turn off the main shutoff valve of the home to cut off the supply of water in the house or turn of the water meter.
As soon as the water supply has been turned off, completely open the faucet to release any pressure that may be in the line.
Take off the handle of the faucet
A screw hidden under a decorative cap holds the handle body firmly to the valve stem assembly of the faucet.
On older compression faucets, the cap is usually made of metal and is screws into the handle.
To be able to reach the screw on the handle, use pliers to grab the cap and unscrew it.
- If it's a plastic cap, take it off with a small, flat blade screwdriver.
- Unfasten the screw attaching the valve stem and the handle.
- Pull out the handle to take it away from the stem.
NOTE. You may need to use a compression faucets handle puller to take out the handle if it is stuck.
Take off the cover of the valve stem assembly (if necessary)
As soon as you have removed the handle, you might find that the valve stem assembly has a cover over it.
Use pliers to take off the cover by loosening the screw-knurled knob that holds it in place.
Take off the valve stem assembly
At the point where the faucet body and the assembly meet, there should be a hex-nut section of the valve stem assembly.
- Grip the nut with pliers and rotate it in the anti-clockwise direction to get the valve stem assembly loose.
- Unscrew it all the way to the end and draw it out of the body of the faucet.
Take out the compression faucets washer
- Check the tail end of the valve assembly for the old washer.
- A screw will hold it in place and it most likely will be very worn out.
- Take out the brass screw holding on the washer.
- With a small flat-blade screwdriver, pry out the washer rom the valve seat.
- Just in case there are debris, clean the end of the washer holder.
Get a new washer to replace the old
There may be need for you to buy different washers usually sold as "compression faucets repair kit".
You may also change the rubber O-ring around the valve stem assembly if you wish.
- Fit the new washer into the valve seat and use the brass screw to hold it in place.
- If you're changing the O-ring, do so and fit it.
- use waterproof plumber's grease to coat the external part of the O-ring.
Re-assemble the compression faucets
- Fit the valve stem assembly into the body of the faucet and fasten it tightly.
- Replace the handle and the cap.
- Turn the water on again and test the faucet to see if there are still leaks.