Plumbers: Fixing Leaking Faucets at Home

Plumbers Lorain Ohio install and repair pipes that supply water and gas to, or carry waste away from, homes and businesses. They must have excellent attention to detail and the stamina to perform physically demanding work.


Plumbing systems are used in a variety of settings, from residential homes to large industrial facilities. Plumbers working in commercial and industrial environments typically deal with larger public systems and may require a greater number of complex fixtures and appliances.

A leaking faucet is more than just an annoying nuisance: it wastes gallons of water and money every day. Fortunately, most leaks are easy to fix. If you have a few basic tools on hand, you can often save the cost of a plumber and the hassle of calling one to visit your home.

First, make sure the water is off. Look for a shut-off valve mounted underneath or behind the sink and turn it clockwise to stop the flow of water. If there’s no valve, plug the drain opening with a towel or rag to keep small parts from falling down the drain.

Next, remove the decorative cap on each handle with a screwdriver or utility knife and expose the handle screws. You may need to use a wrench to loosen the packing nut or grub screw that holds the stem in place. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can damage or bend the stem or the handle.

Once the nut is removed, you can unscrew the handle and pull it off. This will reveal the screw that attaches the cartridge to the stem. If yours is leaking, it’s likely time to replace it. Look for a cartridge kit that matches your faucet and install it as directed. Make sure the new O-ring is an exact match and coat it with nontoxic, heat-proof plumber’s grease to prevent future leaks.

Once the cartridge is replaced, it’s time to reassemble the faucet. Be careful not to overtighten the nut as this can damage or bend the stem and lead to another leak. Reassemble the handle and test it to ensure there are no more leaks. Be sure to use a washer that fits the hole in the faucet body and lubricate all moving parts with petroleum jelly or plumber’s grease.

STEP 1: Remove the Cap

Plumbers are skilled professionals who specialize in the installation, repair, and maintenance of plumbing systems. They use specialized tools to inspect, test, and measure existing pipe work and install piping components and appliances. They also diagnose and troubleshoot issues such as leaks, clogs, and damaged fixtures. Some plumbers also specialize in installing and maintaining gas lines.

In addition to these duties, plumbers often provide customer service by communicating with clients, providing cost estimates for plumbing projects, and ensuring customers are satisfied with their work. They may also collaborate with other professionals, such as engineers and construction teams, to ensure plumbing systems are integrated seamlessly into building projects.

Although the specific responsibilities of plumbers vary depending on the type of project, all plumbers must be comfortable working with pipes and other plumbing components. They must have excellent attention to detail in order to accurately assess and repair damage, as well as understand how different factors can affect the function of a plumbing system. For example, when repairing toilets and sewage pipes, plumbers must be aware that human waste can contain dangerous microbes that can cause infections such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, cryptosporidiosis, ascariasis, and schistosomiasis. In some cases, this may require them to wear protective clothing and masks when removing or cleaning these materials. Furthermore, plumbers must be familiar with a wide range of building codes and regulations when installing or repairing plumbing systems. They must also be able to read and interpret blueprints in order to properly complete plumbing projects.

STEP 2: Unscrew and Remove the Handles

Many sink faucet handles are held in place by a single screw. You can usually find this screw under a decorative cap on the base of the handle. Using a screwdriver, pry off the cap and expose the screw. You may need to apply pressure with a tool like a hammer or mallet while you are doing this. If the screw won’t budge, try spraying it with a penetrating oil. The lubricating effect of these sprays can sometimes seep into tight crevices and help you remove the stubborn handle.

Plumbers install, connect, and repair pipes, fixtures, and appliances such as sinks, toilets, water heaters, and dishwashers. They also inspect plumbing systems to ensure they are functioning properly and meet local codes and regulations. Additional duties include interpreting blueprints and coordinating with construction teams. Plumbers must have excellent critical thinking skills to evaluate and weigh options for solving problems. They must also have physical strength to lift heavy tools and materials.

STEP 3: Remove the Stem Nut

Beneath the handle there is a six-sided nut that holds the faucet stem in place. Fit your wrench to this nut and loosen it. It may be tight or difficult to turn, but keep trying. If it feels stuck, try applying WD-40 or penetrating oil to the nut. Some nuts unscrew with just a few turns while others require more force. Once the nut is removed, examine the stem for signs of wear and tear. If the washer is damaged, replace it with a new one of the same size.

Once the nut has been removed, you can remove the handle and expose the valve beneath. The next step is to disassemble the drain trap to get more room to work. This can be a tricky step, but it is necessary to allow you to work on the parts inside. If you are unable to disassemble the trap, you may need to cut it off with a hacksaw or a specialty nut-splitter tool.

Plumbers typically work on residential plumbing systems but can also be found working on larger scale commercial and industrial projects. Their responsibilities include installing and connecting pipes, fixtures, and appliances such as toilets, showers, sinks, and water heaters. They also perform inspections and repairs on existing systems. Other duties include interpreting blueprints and building codes, testing water pressure, and locating and fixing leaks and clogs. Commercial and industrial plumbers often collaborate with architects, construction teams, and facility managers to ensure that plumbing systems are integrated seamlessly into new buildings or renovations. They also educate facility owners on how to use and care for their plumbing systems. This helps to reduce costs and downtime due to plumbing problems.

STEP 4: Pull Out the Stem

Plumbers install and repair water and heating systems in homes and businesses. Their job duties include inspecting existing pipes; testing water pressure; locating leaks; and connecting waste disposal units. They also install and maintain fixtures such as sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, and dishwashers. Other responsibilities include interpreting blueprints and building codes to plan plumbing installations, and troubleshooting issues such as clogs and broken components.

To start a new career as a plumber, you will need several tools and certifications. Different states and municipalities have their own regulations regarding education, experience, and fees for becoming a plumber. Use this tool to determine the specific requirements in your area.

The first step is to shut off the water flow. Locate the main water valve and turn it clockwise. This will stop the flow of water and prevent further damage. Make sure to keep track of the valve location so you can shut it down in an emergency.

Next, remove the handle by removing the screw at the top with a screwdriver or a wrench. Most handles are attached to the stem with a set screw, and you may have to pry them off if they are stuck. You can also buy a handle puller, which flips the handle from underneath and draws it off the stem.

If the faucet stem is corroded, you will need to replace it. Choose a replacement stem that is the same diameter as the old one, and make sure it fits in the handle. If the new stem is too big, you can wrap packing material or strands of wire around it to increase its grip on the spindle. The new stems should come with an O-ring, which you can lubricate with plumber’s grease to ensure a tight fit.