Single handle faucets are not that difficult to repair. Fixing one yourself won’t consume too much of your time or your money.
Worn-out washers are the most common problem for faucets. You can save the cost of a plumber by replacing the washer yourself. You will need to have a few common items at hand: screwdrivers, rags, newspaper, towels and a knife. Use the newspapers and towels to protect your floor from water leaks while you are working.
Step 1. First, block the drain of the shower so you don’t lose rings, nuts, screws and other small parts if you drop them. Use cloth or paper to cover the drain area.
Step 2. Now remove the metal or plastic cover hiding the screw. Use a screwdriver or knife to pop this out. Next, remove the screw and put it somewhere safe. Take the escutcheon (the plate surrounding the fixture) off simply by popping it out from the wall.
Step 3. The cartridge will be held in place by a pin or a nut. Use pliers to remove this, popping the pin or twisting the nut. Again, keep the small parts somewhere safe and in order for reassembly later. Carefully pull out the cartridge to avoid damaging it.
Step 4. Inspect the cartridge for mildew or signs of damage. Clean the cartridge if necessary in running water. If the cartridge is seriously damaged, you might have to replace the whole unit. Otherwise, just take out the rubber o-ring and replace it with a new one. Most leaks and drips can be solved with this simple replacement.
Step 5. Put all of your parts back together in the reverse order, reattaching the last part you removed first. Clean away any mildew or dirt from the parts before reattaching them. Once everything is back together, turn on your water supply and run the hot and cold water to check for leaks.
The exact procedure you follow might vary a little according to what kind of faucet you have, but the general method is the same for all single-handle faucets. If you have a disk faucet, you’ll have to unscrew or open the cap that covers the cartridge. When you lift out the screws you will see seals at the cartridge’s bottom. These seals can be removed and replaced with new ones.