How to Change the Washer on a Sink Faucet


If your sink faucet drips constantly, this could be the sign of a bad washer. The faucet washer is attached to the end of the faucet stem. The stem, in turn, connects to the faucet handle. Turning the handle rotates the stem, which raises and lowers the washer. A torn or otherwise damaged washer won't seal properly, causing your faucet to drip constantly. Save money on your water bill and change the washer when the faucet drips.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-bladed screwdriver
  • Knife
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Faucet washer
  • Silicone grease
  • Pipe thread compound
  • Shut off the water supply for the faucet you want to change. Look underneath the faucet to locate the water supply shut-off valves. Rotate these clockwise until they stop.

  • Open the faucet and allow any water inside to drain out.

  • Remove the faucet handle. There are two ways to do this, depending on your faucet. Look for a temperature indicator on top of the faucet handle. Pry this off with a knife or flat screwdriver to reveal the faucet screw handle. Unscrew this counterclockwise. Newer faucet handles will utilize a hex nut or screw located on the underside of the handle to hold it in place. Unscrew the hex nut and remove the faucet.

  • Locate the base of the stem, which has a hexagonal nut shape. Adjust the wrench so it fits snugly around the stem base and unscrew counterclockwise.

  • Turn the faucet stem over and locate the faucet washer at the bottom. Remove the screw and pull off the old washer. Press a new washer into the socket. Insert and secure the screw. Apply a few dabs of silicone grease to the face of the washer.

  • Apply pipe thread compound to the threads on the stem. Insert the stem into the faucet and tighten with a wrench.

  • Replace the faucet handle. Secure with the screw. Press the cap cover into place, if present. Restore the water supply. Run the faucet and check that it works correctly.

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