When a water faucet continues to drip, no matter how tight you turn it off, a repair is necessary. A dripping water faucet will increase your water bill dramatically and cause a chemical buildup in the sink. The usual cause for a dripping water faucet is a faulty gasket. Sometimes, the valve gets corroded and needs replacing. With older faucets, a calcium buildup can affect the operation and lead to a total replacement.
Turn off the water
A highly recommended first step is to turn off the water source to the faucet. A shutoff valve is usually found under the sink. If no valve is available, turn off the valve where the water pipe enters the house. If the dripping water faucet is on an outside hose connection, it may be necessary to turn off the water at the meter.
With the water turned off, turn on the dripping water faucet to release the pressure in the water line. Indoor water faucets usually have a designer handle. Remove the top snap on cap that is marked “H” or “C” and remove the screw that attaches the handle to the valve.
Remove the handle and, using an adjustable wrench, remove the hex-nut that holds the valve in place. Remove the valve from the faucet.
There is a screw on the bottom of the valve that holds the gasket in place. Remove the screw and gasket from the valve. Sometimes corrosion causes the screw to break off and at that point, a new valve is recommended. There are several different sizes and shapes of these gaskets. Be sure to save the old gasket for comparison when you purchase a new one. Inspect the inside of the faucet to be sure that the gasket seat is free of calcium deposits and old gasket pieces. If the gasket seat is corroded away, a new faucet is recommended. It’s a good idea to take the old parts with you when you go to buy new ones. There are many different sizes of parts and to get the right one on your first trip is a gamble. You’ll narrow the odds if you take all the old parts with you the first time.
Be sure the gasket screw, on the bottom of the valve, is snug. Do not force the screw with a lot of torque. Replace the valve into the faucet and replace the hex-head nut. Snug the nut down but don’t force it. Replace the handle and your dripping water faucet will be like new.
Minerals in the water cause corrosion. Dripping water faucets and leaky connections are the effects of long exposure to water minerals. Periodic inspections of your water system will save you from drastic repairs in the future.
Sources: Personal experience