Leaky Faucet Repair
A leaky faucet is caused by seepage from the water supply. In compression style faucets the washer is being compressed against the seat in order to stop the flow of water when you turn off the tap. Turn off the water supply to the faucet, which can usually be found under the sink. Remove the packing nut with an adjustable wrench. The stem can then be removed by turning it in the same direction you would use to turn the faucet on. Remove the screw that holds the washer. Once the stem is removed, use a flashlight to check for a smooth brass seat. You can also feel this with your finger. If the faucet has been leaking for an extended period of time water may have cut a groove in the seat. This is common for a hot water leak. Replace the seat which can be removed with a seat wrench or allen wrench. Examine the washer and replace if damaged. It is easiest to replace the whole cartridge, as there are O-rings that are inside the cartridge that may also be worn. Replacing the whole cartridge, will allow for the best performance. The whole cartridge consists of a stem, packing nut and washer.
For a washerless or seat and spring faucet follow the above steps up to and including removal of the packing nut. The washerless cartridge will pull straight out. It may require a small amount of wiggling to remove. Using a small tip screwdriver remove the rubber seat and spring. Replace with a new cartridge.