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How to repair leaky faucets?

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst
Modern bathroom by homify Modern
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Delta faucets with two handles are often used in kitchens and bathrooms. Usually under each handle, these stem-style faucets have a seat and spring. Thus, delta faucets are different from cartridge-style faucets which do not include seats and springs.

Inside the faucet body, below each stem sits the seat and spring. The handle fits onto the stem which is attached to the body with a bonnet nut. When these types of faucets leak, it can usually be repaired with a new spring and rubber seat. If the faucet still leaks with the new replacements or the handle is stiff when turning on the faucet, the stem might need to be replaced.

Before we move on to more details about how to repair a delta faucet, here are some of the materials and tools that you will need for this DIY project: pliers, screwdriver, new rubber seat and spring (one set for each handle) and plumber's grease.

Find out exactly where the leak is

In order to do this, find the leak in the faucet and place your hand under it to check if the water is warm or cold. If the water is warm, you can determine that the drip is probably on the hot water side of the faucet and if the water is cold, the drip is probably on the cold water side. Sometimes, it may be that both sides are leaking.

Turn off the water source

Kitchen Designs by Paimaish Modern MDF

Kitchen Designs


The shutoff valve is usually located under the sink and may have a lever, knob or small football-shaped handle. To turn off the water source, you need to turn the handle clockwise until it stops. Next, make sure the water is turned off by opening the hot or cold faucet. Some sinks may not have shutoff valves under them. In this case, be sure to turn off the water supply to the whole home.

Remove the faucet handle

First, use a screwdriver to make the faucet handle loose by removing the screw on top of the handle. To get to the screw, sometimes you may need to remove a decorative cap from the top of the handle. Finally, remove the handle from the faucet stem by lifting it straight up.

Remove the bonnet nut

Use pliers to make the nut securing the faucet stem loose by turning the nut counterclockwise. Finally, remove the nut totally from the stem.

Remove the stem

Kitchen Designs by Paimaish Scandinavian MDF

Kitchen Designs


Before removing the stem, take note of its position as you need to put back the stem in the same exact position for the faucet to work properly. If you're not very confident, take a photo of the stem to make sure you get the position right. You can use pliers to remove the stem or simply pull it straight up.

Remove the seat and spring

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After you have removed the stem, you need to look for the seat at the bottom of the stem housing. Usually, the seat is a small, black rubber cap with a hole in the top. Below the seat, you will find the spring. Insert a small screwdriver into the hole of the seat, pulling up both parts together to remove the seat and spring. Make sure you take note of spring's position inside the sea as you need to install the new spring with the same position.

Install a new seat and spring

To install the new seat and spring, use a screwdriver to guide the spring and seat into the hole in the stem housing. Make sure it goes all the way down to the bottom of the hole. Finally, check to see if the seat has been installed properly.

Reinstall the stem

For this step of the process, you will need a small amount of plumber's grease for the O-ring at the base of the stem. In order to reinstall the stem, align the tabs on the stem with the slots in the housing. Then push the stem all the way down until it stops. Finally fit the bonnet nut by using pliers to tighten it properly. Be careful not to tighten the nut too much as it can cause damage to the stem housing.

Check for leaking and reinstall the handle

Rajeev Sapre Residence Rustic style bathroom by Nuvo Designs Rustic
Nuvo Designs

Rajeev Sapre Residence

Nuvo Designs

To do this, turn on the water supply again and check the faucet stem for any drips. If there are still drips, tighten the bonnet nut until there aren't any more drips. Finally, put the handle back onto the stem and tighten it properly. And you're done!

We hope this article has been helpful. For more ideas and inspiration, please have a look at our other articles on homify.

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