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 quick tips to guide you through installing the new stem: 

If you have a brass stem, rotate it in the on direction until it threads in entirely. Tighten with a wrench. If you have a plastic stem, put the stem in and screw on the top cap.
 
If you have a stem that requires seats and springs, here is the order they should be installed:
Springs go in first, wide end down (if applicable); next the rubber seats fit over the springs, then the cartridge or ball is placed in last. 
 
 
 

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Step 5

Now is a great time to upgrade your faucet’s appearance with universal metal handles. To install the new universal handles, simply place the handle adapter over the stem and tighten. Next, 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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