How to Fix a Leaky Two-Handle Faucet

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Is anything more annoying than a leaky faucet? Maybe not. But it's also well within your power to fix it yourself with Danco. Read on, to find out how.
 
Tools Required: flat head screwdriver, phillips head screwdriver, wrench, seat removal tool (optional)
Step 1

First, determine the source of the leak. If water is leaking from underneath the handle onto the counter, the stem of whichever handle is leaking needs to be replaced.

If water is dripping from the faucet, turn off the hot water supply valve under the sink. If water is still dripping, you need to replace the cold stem (right handle). If the water stops dripping when you turned off the hot water valve, you need to replace the hot stem (left handle). Once you’ve determined the trouble stem, turn off the water supply.

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Step 2

Next, remove the handle with a Phillips head screwdriver so that the stem is visible.

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Step 3

If you have a plastic stem, unscrew the top cap and pop out the stem. If you have a brass stem, use a wrench to rotate it in the on direction until it threads out entirely.

Once removed, you will need to take your stem to your local home improvement store and use the Perfect Match locator system from Danco to easily locate your replacement part.

Watch the video at the top of this page to learn more about finding the right stem in your local home improvement store.

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Step 4

Once you have purchased your new stem, you can install it into your faucet. You should also replace the seat at this time. You can remove and replace the seat with an Allen wrench or a seat removal tool. Turn the seat counterclockwise to loosen, clockwise to tighten.

Here are some How to "quick tips" to guide you through installing the new stem: 

How to Install a brass stem
  • Rotate it in the on direction until it threads in entirely
  • Tighten with a wrench.
     
    How to Install a plastic stem
  • Put the stem in and screw on the top cap.
  •  
    How to Install a stem that requires seats and springs
  • Springs go in first, wide end down (if applicable)
  • Next the rubber seats fit over the springs 
  • Place the cartridge or ball in last
     
    How to Install and Reverse most H/C Ceramic Disc Stems
  • Remove the c-clip from the stem
  • Lift the handle stop up and rotate it to the other bumper
  • Without turning the stem, lower the handle stop and replace the c-clip
     
    How to Install and Reverse most H/C Compression Stems
  • Remove the c-clip from the top of the stem
  • Slide the handle stop up the stem, making note of where the single over-sized "tooth" is on the 
  • Remove the handle stop and flip it over
  • Re-align the large "tooth" with the large "gap" on the spline and replace the handle stop
  • Replace the c-clip

     

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    Step 5

    Now is a great time to upgrade your faucet’s appearance with universal metal handles.

     
    How to install the new universal handles
  • Place the handle adapter over the stem and tighten
  • Place the new handle on the adapter and insert the handle screw into the washer then into the handle and tighten.
  • If your new handle has an index button, place it on the handle.
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    Step 6

    Finally, turn the water back on to ensure the leak is fixed.

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