Replacing Bathroom Faucet Rubber Washer

We had a pretty busy weekend, but not working on the house. We had just enough time to try and tackle a small plumbing job we’ve been meaning to get around to since we moved into the house a few months ago. There’s a half-bathroom in the basement, which is really pretty dreary looking, but we hardly ever use it, so we’re mostly ignoring it for now.

However, the sink has been dripping non-stop and it wasting a phenomenal amount of water. We finally had a chance to figure out why it was leaking, and what we needed to do to fix it. We figured it was something small, like an o-ring or something, but I’d never worked on a sink this old, so I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.

It turned out to be a total snap. This is a job any novice (like me) can handle.

Here’s a look at the old sink. Don’t look at the dirty wall behind it, or the dirty sink. It was that way when we moved in, and like I said, we’ve mostly just been ignoring this whole bathroom. If you look closely in the next couple photos, you can see the drips of water coming out.

Old Sink with dripping faucet.

To get started, just grab a hold of that hexagonal nut at the base of the knob,  and turn counterclockwise.

Grab the base of the knob with a Crescent wrench.

When that whole chrome piece is totally unscrewed, just keep rotating the handle counterclockwise and the whole thing will come out in one piece.

Just keep turning counterclockwise to pull the whole thing out in one unit.

At this point, if you haven’t shut the water off to this sink yet, you’ll be scrambling to do so now, as water will be pouring out of that hole in the sink. We avoided a disaster like that, but we did have to shut the water off to the entire house, since the previous owner didn’t install shutoff valves on any of the fixtures.

At this point, you’ll notice a rubber washer on the end of that piece. If you’re lucky, it will be in terrible condition, because then you’ll know that all you have to do is replace that washer and you’ll be done. The washer is just held on by a single screw. I was really surprised that this screw wasn’t rusted to pieces, but it wasn’t. Go figure.

Old busted up rubber faucet washer.

All you’ll need to do to fix it is to buy a new rubber washer. These things come in all sorts of different sizes, and the best way to find out which one you need is to just take the whole assembly to the store with you and fit the new one in place in the store. You want it just big enough that it’s a struggle to squish into place.

(The following photo is actually from a different faucet that I was doing the same repair to…)

Replace the rubber faucet washer.

Once you’ve replaced the washer, just re-assemble everything in reverse order and you’re set. No more leaks.

Easy stuff, huh?

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