drip, drip, drip…

“What’s that sound?”


“Mail call! Oh, bills, bills, bills! How can anyone ever get ahead, when the bills just seem to keep piling up?”


Relax, Jim is here with some helpful tips for you today. Would you care for a suggestion for one way to reduce some of those bills? How about repairing that leaky faucet that you keep doing your best to ignore. While you might just have a drip or two a minute, a leaky faucet can waste up to 10,000 gallons or 38,000 litres of water per year. When water restrictions loom in hotter months, you might notice more, but why not attack the problem now, before all that money just slides right down the drain. Today, I am going to share a few tips on how to repair that leaky faucet and save some money in the process.



While the easiest solution to fix a leaky tap may be to call in a local plumber, I know there are more than a few handy folks out there that refuse to turn down an opportunity to tackle a DIY project. If you fall into that category, this is a relatively easy project that can potentially save a significant amount of money on your water bill.

First off, you will need;

  • screwdriver
  • adjustable wrench
  • new washers
Before you start the project, make sure to turn off the water to the faucet. For most taps, there is water shut-off valve located under the sink. If that is not the case in your home, you may have to turn off the water to the entire house.


Next step is to assess where the leak is coming from. If the leak is in the handle, then carefully pry off any decorative covers to give you access to the screws that hold the handle in place. Grab your screwdriver and loosen the screw, then gently slide the handle off.  Inspect the washer and replace if it is worn or broken. Then simply reassemble the handle and tighten the screw holding it in place. Turn the water back on and check to see if the leak is gone. Easy!


If the leak is in the actual faucet, you follow very similar steps. Again, make sure that the water has been turned off before starting. There will still be a minimal amount of water when you take the taps off, but nothing like the geyser you will get if you forget this critical step! FYI: Taping the ends of your wrench is also an easy way to ensure that you do not mar the finish of your faucet while you are working on it. So, with your adjustable wrench, gently loosen the nut at the base of the faucet and slip it off. Carefully pull the faucet off and inspect the washer on the base of it. Again, if it is worn or broken, go ahead and pry it off, then replace it with a new one.


Just a note, make sure that you replace any washers with identical sized ones or else that leak that you are working so hard to eradicate will still more than likely be there.


Last steps are to replace the faucet, tighten the nut at the base of the faucet, then turn the water back on and check for leaks. Hopefully any leaks that you had before are now gone! If not, grab the Yellow Pages and start dialing.


For further tips and a brief walk-through of the process, check out this helpful video from eHow. And happy plumbing!