How to Stop a Sink Leak

We’ve all been there. After a long day of work, carpool, dinner and kids, you finally lay down to go to sleep and the only thing coming between you and your rest is the obnoxious dripping noise rhythmically trickling from the sink faucet. The last thing you want to do this late at night is stop a sink leak, but without doing so, you’ll never fall asleep.

Most plumbing actions are unfamiliar to many homeowners. While some repairs should be left to a certified plumbing company, there are a handful of fixes you can perform on your own to tie you over.

Follow These Steps to Stop a Sink Leak in Your Home

Shut off the Water Under the Sink

The key to stopping any leak, is eliminating the source of the dripping. You can do this by shutting off the water valve under the noisy sink, then closing the sink drain and covering it with a rag to catch droplets during the repair process.

Identify Your Faucet

Once the water is shut off, the next step is to determine what type of faucet you are working with. There are four variants of faucets, each that use different objects to seal the water from being released after the faucet is turned off.

A compression faucet uses rubber washers to seal the valve. Over time rubber washers can become worn and need to be replaced, which is often indicated by a sink leak.

Cartridge faucets use a threading retaining clip to hold a sink cartridge and O-rings in place. As O-rings wear over time, they need to be replaced and re-coated with non-toxic, heat-proof plumber’s grease.

A faucet that uses a ceramic disk requires you to replace neoprene seals from inside of the faucet’s disk cylinder as they become worn and damaged. The cylinder openings of a ceramic disk faucet needs routine cleaning, and failure to keep up with them could result in sink leaks.

The final of the four types of faucets is a ball-type faucet, which includes a lot of parts, making it difficult to find the source of a leak. In order to fix a sink leak with a ball-type faucet means taking apart the entire faucet, then reassembling the sink attachment with new O-rings, springs, valve seats and cam washers. An alternative option is to replace the entire ball-type faucet as a whole.

The truth is, when it’s time to lay down and sleep through the night, the last thing you’re willing to do is pull apart your sink faucet and repair it before bed. Repairs can wait until the morning, but be sure to shut off the water under the sink as to not waste water and money throughout the night.

At home plumbing is perfect for small tasks like stopping a sink leak. If you still feel unsure about your ability to fix the problem, call a trusted and certified plumber to identify what you need, and stop a sink leak for good.

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