How to repair faucets

Here is some tips to fix common problems with kitchen and bathroom faucets.

Replace gland O-rings
  • Most modern faucets do not have gland packing; inside the valve there is a threaded section with an O-ring. This creates the gland seal. To replace gland O-rings, when gaining access to gland O-rings it may be necessary to remove a circlip (a type of seal) positioned around the spindle of the valve. It is normally a case of trying to remove the washer unit first, without removing the circlip.
  • If this doesn’t work, try removing the circlip to see if that allows the washer unit to be unscrewed. On a traditional gland, plumber’s putty can be used to seal leaks, although teflon works best.

Spout O-rings

  • If you are replacing an O-ring at the base of the spout, remove the grub screw at the back of the spout, then twist the spout to release.
  • Lifting the spout off allows you to gain access to the O-ring at the base of the spout.
  • Identify the worn-out O-ring, then cut it off or pry it off with a screwdriver.
  • Roll on a replacement O-ring to renew the seal. Align the marker with the groove in the faucet body for reassembly.

Gland O-rings

  • Remove the valve. Damaged O-rings on the visible part of the valve can simply be cut away and replaced.
  • To gain access to gland O-rings, turn the spindle and valve body in opposite directions. This should allow the washer unit to unscrew.

  • On the washer unit there will be a further O-ring or O-rings that may need replacing. Cut away damaged rings with a utility knife or break loose with a screwdriver. Roll on a replacement and reassemble the valve. Put the valve back in the faucet body and reassemble the faucet.

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