House Hacking Project: Leaky Faucet
A leaky faucet is a blight unto itself. While individually a minor inconvenience, in aggregate they can waste over 1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) gallons of potable water nationwide. We are looking to play our part in good conservation efforts. Let’s fix this thing already!
To start, you will need to determine your manufacturer and model to find individual faucet parts. This is a Moen unit, and we found great support on their website.
A screen capture from moen.com. By studying the diagram, we can find that each valve body has a “cartridge insert.” This is the part we are looking to replace, and luckily this faucet uses the same part number for both hot and cold sides.
Over on amazon.com, we found Moen Part# 1224 for under $11 each. We ordered up a few, and wait for them to arrive.
Our faucet also “needed” this tool, but we used needle nose pliers as a kludge instead.
The parts showed up quickly… ( You can see we are doing more than one plumbing fix, stay tuned for part duex! ) The 1224 cartridges come with a shorthand install instruction sheet. If you need more info, google is always a resource for DIY information.
Step one is to turn off the hot and cold valves under the sink, and then to relieve the water pressure by turning on the faucet. Be careful here, sometimes these valves can jamb and tear the internal seal. We will need to replace the hot side shut off in the future 🙁
Here we have removed both handle fixtures, exposing the clocking gears.
With the clocking gear removed, you can see the plastic nut that holds the cartridge insert in place. This is where that special tool would come in handy.
The locking nut isn’t very tight, nor does it need to be. We used both snap-ring pliers and needle-nosed pliers with success.
The ring removed, exposing the cartridge underneath.
Finally, the insert removed. It takes a bit of force to extract the cartridge, the “o”-ring interface is a tight fit. Expect a little water to splash around at this point!
Rinse and repeat for the hot side valve. We were left with a little bit of water above the inserts, and used paper towels to wick up the remaining water.
Both valves ready to have the handles reinstalled. Make sure to align both sides equally, and give clearance for full on and off positions.
You are done! For a whopping $22, you have refurbished a leaky faucet in a matter of minutes, with just a screwdriver and pliers. Give yourself a pat on the back, and clean up the mess you have just finished with.