How to Stop a Leaky Bathroom Faucet

Leaky Bathroom Faucet Reno

Learn to Stop a Leaky Bathroom Faucet with the help of Reno professionals Straight Up Plumbing.

A Leaky Bathroom Faucet Could Be Worse Than You Think

There is probably nothing worse than a leaky bathroom faucet. That constant drip drip drip while you are trying to sleep, the increased water bill, and the potential larger problem that may be lurking behind that drip drip drip! Luckily, a leaky bathroom faucet can be a fairly cheap fix. Remember though, not all faucets are the same. This procedure may or may not be applicable to your faucet.


Your water comes from either a well or the city water dept. As it leaves either location, it travels through pipes under pressure. Your bathroom pipes and other water pipes throughout your home have rubber or silicone-based washers form a water-tight seal when you shut off your faucet that stops the water from going any further through your pipes or coming out your faucet.

However, those washers take on some wear and tear from all that pressure and can become torn, dislodged, or worn out which can lead to that annoying drip drip drip. Most washers you can replace yourself as long as you have the proper tools and as long as the leak hasn’t caused the valve seat to become worn or corroded, requiring a more complicated repair that’s better left to a certified plumber.

Tools Needed For Repair

Basic tools you may need to stop a leaky bathroom faucet are:

  • Adjustable wrench; C wrench
  • Phillips and/or flat-head screwdriver
  • Penetrating oil, such as WD-40 or CRC
  • Replacement washers and O-rings

Shut Off Water Supply

Before you start attempting to correct the leaky bathroom faucet, make sure your water supply is shut off. This may be as simple as shutting off the water intake under your bathroom cabinet or sink. If you do not find a shut off valve there, you may need to shut off the main water line valve to your home.

Disassemble Handle Knobs

Depending on the type of bathroom sink you have, you may have a single water handle knob that controls both the hot and cold or dual knobs, one for hot and one for cold. If one of the knobs is leaking, it is best to replace both sets of washers so you do not find yourself having to perform the job again in short order. Follow these simple steps for disassembly:

  1. Remove decorative parts from handle knobs with a flat headed screw driver. Be careful not to crack or break them. This will expose the screw that holds the handle in place.
  2. Unscrew the screw(s) and then carefully remove the handle. You may need to use some penetrating oil to loosen them.
  3. Take the faucet handle off the stem.

Remove Packing Nuts and Stem

Use your wrench to loosen the packing nut and expose the stem. Some stems pop off while others twist off from the valve. Remove packing nut and stem. Check the removed parts for any damage and plan on replacing if damage is found before moving further.

Replace O-ring and Washer

Inspect the washer and O-ring to make sure the replacement ones are the correct size. If you are unsure, check to seat to see if the sides fit a cone-shaped or flat washer. If everything is intact at this point, inspect the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat—they could be the reason for your leak. Remove the washer and put a replacement inside the seat or take the old parts to your local hardware store to purchase the correct replacements.

Reassemble Bathroom Faucet

Now that you have all the parts you need it is time to reassemble your bathroom faucet. Carefully assemble all the parts in order – washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, and then handle. Wait to reassemble the decorative parts until after you have tested the faucet to see if your repair fixed the leaky bathroom faucet.

If your bathroom faucet is still dripping after your fix any of the following may be the cause: valve seat may be corroded, worn-out seals, loose parts, or broken plumbing. If any of these are the cause to your leaky bathroom sink, it may be best to call a professional plumber.

If you are facing plumbing problems in Reno Nevada and surrounding areas, contact the certified, licensed and bonded Straight Up Plumbing team online or call today!