Kung Fu Maintenance shows how to repair a faucet that is leaking from the handle by removing, replacing, and lubing the stem o ring.
OK. Today what I have for you is replacing a cartridge. You can probably see here, this one’s leaking from the handle. And usually what that is, is an O-ring inside the handle.
In the stem, there’s a cartridge stem similar to this. And it has a bib washer on the bottom. That seats against the bottom. As well as an O-ring on top, that prevents the water from coming up through the top.
If it’s dripping from the handle, then that’s your O-ring on the top. If it was dripping from the faucet itself, then that would indicate that this stem washer needed to be replaced. The bib washer.
This is a typical bib washer kit. It’s got all different sizes. And this is a typical O-ring set.
What we’re going to do to repair this, is come underneath the sink here. At the angle stops. And turn off the corresponding angle stop. I don’t think you can see it too well, because it’s pretty dark in there. But anyway. I just turned off the water there. OK. Now my cold side’s off.
Now if it was a single handle faucet I would turn off both the hot and the cold. And take this off, and I’m going to put some gloves on. You can see it’s been leaking for some time.
When you replace these O-rings, you want to use some faucet grease to put the new O-ring on. To lube the new O-ring. That stuff’s pretty smelly, so I was wearing gloves to make it easier to clean up later. It’s really hard to get that particular smell off your hands. And it smells pretty nasty, which I can’t exactly show you through the video. But anyway.
So there we go. I’ve got my channel locks here. You have to turn it back nice and easy. OK.
Now there’s different types of stems. And it just drives maintenance people crazy, because every year, they want to come out with the new faucet. With the new style. With the new type of, new types of stems. And different lengths. And I really wish they would just keep it consistent, and keep one method. Anyway. They won’t, so. We just have to deal with it here. Maybe plumbers like it, I don’t know.
Anyway. What you do is turn this through, and so you can pull it out the other side. And then we can go ahead and replace the O-ring here.
Taking these off can be a little tricky. You can use a little screwdriver. I usually use my little tiny screwdriver that’s on my Leatherman. Or this little, this sharp one here. Sometimes you can cut them off. Sometimes you can just pick it off. It’s only slightly tricky. Get in there.
There we go.
Now if you can keep it intact, that’s preferable. Because then you can use it to size up what it needs to be replaced with. And it looks like this size over here. Maybe? No. Too small. Next. That looks like it there. OK.
So this is where we’ll coat this little deal with the faucet grease once we’re finished here. There we go. And you can see that stuff just coming apart. That’s why the gloves just come in handy. And this is this faucet here, which we’re just going to lightly put around the O-ring. I can just put it on the glove and lube that up real good. OK. I’ve used enough. And then we’re going to feed it back through our stem here.
Wipe everything off so I can get a good hold on this. See how many times it takes a pair of channel locks and pliers to re-thread this through here.
There we go.
But if you have the kind that have a separate valve seat, or a valve seat in the faucet. You can replace it with one of these. Which is a ceramic disk cartridge. Much better. It doesn’t have parts that wear out. This uses a compression bib washer there that presses against the valve seat. And eventually these wear out. They just get squeezed down.
Whereas this ceramic disc cartridge is a little bit nicer. And it doesn’t have that squeeze, squeeze effect. That is eventually going to leak. Those will pretty much last a lifetime. And maybe you just have to clean it out once in awhile.
So just a quarter turn past tight. Putting the faucet in. We don’t want to strip it or anything like that.
And then when we turn our water back on, you want to go ahead and open the line, and turn the water on slow. So now if I turn it back on at the angle stop, underneath the sink, just nice and slow. And just continue to open it until we’re full open. OK now we’re going to test to make sure everything turns off OK.
Find any leaks or whatnot.
If we want to verify that it’s not leaking underneath the sink, let me grab my flashlight here, we’ll bring you down here, where the angle stop is that we turned on. For this, you’ll want to not wear gloves. Because you need to be able to feel the lines.
So I’m taking my gloves off. And turn the water on up top.
And we’re going to feel at each of the fittings. Starting here, with the angle stop. In between. Also where the supply line connects here. And then all the way up to the bottom of the supply line. And everything’s good there. We’re good to go.
Nice new faucet. No longer leaking from the handle. And of course I’m going to tighten this down.
Now replacing that bib washer on the bottom is very similar. You saw the screw that was on the bottom. You would just back that screw out. Take the bib washer out. Size up your bib washer according to your kit here. And just replace the bib washer.
In a pinch, if you got stuck and your faucet was dripping, sometimes you can flip the existing bib washer over. And that might buy you some time. Maybe another couple months, three weeks, whatever. Until you can get around to getting another bib washer, another stem, or another kit.
I guess one more thing here. What I should have showed you. Which I’m going to fix now. I’m being a little more careful. Is putting the C so it’s down here. And this one I might as well kind of do the same for the hot, it seems. Could have been adjusted a little bit.
And that way it’s just a little more professional. Hot and Cold being a little more down there. Like so. Hot and Cold. Very nice.