How to Change a Washer in a Faucet: A Step-by-Step Guide

One of the most common plumbing problems in households is a leaky faucet. While it may seem like a minor issue, a dripping faucet can waste a lot of water and increase your water bill. Fortunately, fixing a leaky faucet is a simple DIY task that you can do yourself without calling a plumber. In this article, we will guide you through the process of changing a washer in a faucet.

What is a Washer in a Faucet?

A washer is a small rubber or plastic disc that sits inside the faucet handle and stops the flow of water. Over time, washers can become worn out or damaged, causing the faucet to leak. Changing a washer is a simple and inexpensive fix that can save you money on your water bill.

Tools You Will Need

Before you begin, gather the following tools:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • New washer
  • Plumber’s grease

Steps to Change a Washer in a Faucet

Follow these steps to change a washer in a faucet:

  1. Turn off the water supply. Look under the sink for the shut-off valve and turn it clockwise to turn off the water supply.
  2. Remove the faucet handle. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the handle in place. Then, gently pull the handle off the faucet.
  3. Remove the packing nut. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the packing nut that secures the stem in place.
  4. Remove the stem. Pull the stem out of the faucet body. You may need to twist it or wiggle it to get it out.
  5. Remove the old washer. Use pliers to remove the old washer from the bottom of the stem.
  6. Install the new washer. Place the new washer onto the bottom of the stem.
  7. Apply plumber’s grease. Apply a small amount of plumber’s grease to the washer and the stem threads to lubricate them.
  8. Reassemble the faucet. Insert the stem back into the faucet body and tighten the packing nut with the adjustable wrench. Then, reattach the handle with the screw.
  9. Turn on the water supply. Turn the shut-off valve counterclockwise to turn on the water supply.
  10. Test the faucet. Turn on the faucet and check for leaks. If there are no leaks, you’re done!


Q: How do I know if the washer needs to be replaced?

A: If your faucet is dripping or leaking, it’s likely that the washer needs to be replaced. You may also notice that the water pressure is low or that the faucet is making a squeaking or whistling noise.

Q: Can I replace the washer on a ceramic disk faucet?

A: No, ceramic disk faucets do not have washers. If you have a ceramic disk faucet and it’s leaking, you’ll need to replace the entire cartridge.

Q: Can I use any type of washer?

A: No, you need to use the right size and type of washer for your faucet. Check the owner’s manual or consult a plumbing expert to find the correct washer for your faucet.

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Learn how to change a washer in a faucet with this step-by-step guide. Fixing a leaky faucet is a simple DIY task that you can do yourself without calling a plumber.

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change washer in faucet, fixing leaky faucet, DIY plumbing, how to fix a dripping faucet

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