Got a leaky faucet or a running toilet? You can save money by making some minor plumbing repairs on your own. Yes, you!
Even though I’m married to a farm boy/engineer who can fix LOTS of broken stuff, he dared me to repair a leaky faucet many years ago. I took the bait. He often throws the fact that I LOVE to watch HGTV in my face and lovingly says, “You call yourself a DIY chick so…”
Sometimes you gotta put your money where your mouth is or your wrench where the nut is and do stuff.
I’ve repaired numerous leaky bathroom sink faucets over the last 20 years, and I’ve fixed a few running toilets, too.
YouTube is your friend here, but it pays to watch a few videos from different sources before you get started to make sure you understand the process. I watched two videos on how to repair a leaky faucet, Part 1 and Part 2.
I wanted to put off my master bathroom sink repair because I’m ever hopeful that the remodeling will begin soon, but a big unexpected expense might delay it. For several weeks, the faucet dripped and I ignored it.
When we came home from our Plum Prairie Ranch Christmas visit, the drip had turned into a trickle. I knew I couldn’t put it off for weeks or months, so I tackled it in less than an hour Saturday afternoon.
Here are the steps to repair a leaky faucet:
- Turn off the water by locating the valve under the sink and turning it clockwise. You’ll have one for hot water and one for cold. After turning off the cold water on my sink, the leak stopped.
- Take a Phillips head screwdriver and remove the handle.
- Using an adjustable wrench, remove the cartridge nut.
- Look at where the notch on the cartridge is (left or right).Take plyers and pull up on the cartridge.
- Your handle may include a small spring and seal underneath the cartridge. If so, pull it out.
- Take your cartridge to the hardware store so you can find an exact replacement. I often ask for help to make sure I get the one I want.
- Place the spring and seal in its hole and replace the cartridge, lining up the notches just as they were before. If you get them backwards, the handle will turn the wrong way. I’ve made this mistake before in the kids’ bathroom. I’m not sure I changed it back…
- Screw down the cartridge nut and tighten with the wrench.
- Put the handle back on and screw it in place.
- Turn the water back on.
- Do your happy dance when the faucet no longer leaks.
Here’s my little celebration of my little plumbing repair:
I’ve also done a few minor toilet repairs. Sometimes you just need a new flapper or float. Watch YouTube, and you’ll understand what I mean. There are times when you can’t fix what is wrong and you have to call a professional.
Once I think it involved a flushed Happy Meal princess that required a very long snaking of the drain. Another time, Shawn was working on a toilet repair, and the shut-off valve broke completely off the wall. He had to shut off all the water to the house. It was the night before the first day of school for three little girls. We called the plumber and paid him to fix the problem. And, yes, we paid more for Sunday night service.
You gotta know when to call in the professionals.
That said, we’ve been able to handle almost all the minor plumbing problems on our own. With repairing my leaky bathroom faucet, it cost $8 and an hour of my time.
Not only can a DIY repair save you the money you would otherwise pay a plumber, but a leaky faucet or running toilet is literally money going down your drain in the form of your water bill.
I’d say it’s worth my time and keeps me in good standing as the resident DIY chick.