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Repairing faucets

Faucets have two main types of leaks - drips from the faucet head and leaks from the handle or base. A leaky faucet could waste between 10 and 100 L of water/day depending on the rate of the leak.

Repairing Aerator leaks:

Slow drips from your faucet head can really add up over time and the culprit is usually a pesky washer that is quick, easy and inexpensive to replace. Unscrew your aerator from your faucet. If you have calcium or mineral build up soaking in vinegar should help loosen things up to make removal easier. Take your old washer with you to the hardware store to buy the correct replacement, or easier yet, for a few dollars more, buy a whole new aerator.

Before Starting Repairs:

  • Always shut off the water supply and drain your taps before starting any repairs
  • Close the drain plug or put a towel in the sink bottom to avoid losing any parts
  • While taking the faucet apart, lay out parts in the order you took them off to make reassembly easier
  • Take old parts with you to the store to get the correct replacement
  • Clean corrosion and sludge from valve seats, valve stems, springs, seals, discs, and filter cones with a scour pad, vinegar, or brush as you go as Calcium or mineral build-up can be a contributing factor to leaking.
  • Be careful not to scratch or damage any parts.

What kind of faucet do you have?

There are two main types of faucets - washer-type and washer-less: All faucets have rubber washers that may need to be replaced when they become worn or corroded. Determine your faucet type and download the appropriate repair guide.

Washer-type faucets

Large Faucet Image
Washer-type faucets

Works with a rubber or composition washer that closes onto a metal washer seat. A faucet leak occurs when the washer becomes hardened and worn or the washer seat wears. Download the Faucet Repair Guide.

Washer-less, single-lever faucets

Comes in four basic types (disc, valve, cartridge and ball-and-cam) and are usually best repaired with a repair kit designed for the particular model that's leaking. Download washerless faucet repair guide.

* This information is provided for your benefit. If you do not feel comfortable making these adjustments please hire a qualified plumber. The City of Calgary will not be responsible for any damage to your faucets because of faulty repairs.