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Fix a Dripping Faucet: How to Repair A Dripping Faucet that Doesn't Use a Washer

By Edited Jan 7, 2014 0 0

If you successfully have repaired a faucet by replacing the washer, the next time you go to repair a drippy faucet you may be stumped if it's a different kind of faucet! Did you know that there are several kinds of faucets that don't use washers? Don't worry, it's quite easy to become familiar with these different types of faucets and learn how to repair them easily and quickly.
1. Faucets With Rubber Diaphragms
These types of faucets use diaphragms made of rubber to control the water flow, instead of a washer. If you come across this type of faucet, what's the first thing you need to do?
  1. You will possibly need to take off the faucet stem from the faucet body. Shut off your water supply first, then use a pair of pliers to do this.
  2. One thing to keep in mind is that you should definitely wrap plumbers' joint tape around the top of the stem first. This will protect the stem from being damaged by the pliers.
  3. At the bottom of the stem you will see the rubber diaphragm. Use a screwdriver to pry it off.
  4. Check the size of the diaphragm and purchase a replacement. You can easily find a replacement diaphragm online and order it for cheap.
  5. Now once you have your replacement diaphragm and have removed the original, go ahead and fit the new diaphragm over the base of the stem.
  6. Finally, reassemble the faucet.
As you can see this process is quite similar to fixing a faucet that uses a washer!

2. Faucets with Cartridge-type Stems
Cartridge-type stem faucets are another kind of faucet that doesn't use just a washer. This kind of faucet typically has a spring as well as a rubber washer. How do you replace these? It's not too hard.
  1. All you do is turn off the water supply, then lift up the cartridge out of the faucet body.
  2. Remove the washer and spring.
  3. Assuming you have already purchased a new spring and washer for your faucet, go ahead and insert these. You will need to be careful when you align the cartridge and make sure it fits correctly. It should fit perfectly into the faucet body slots. You will be able to see if it is not on correctly. Get it right and check that everything looks good before closing things up again.
Hopefully this fixed your leaky faucet!
3. Faucets With Two Metal Discs
Faucets that have two metal discs do not have washers. Have you ever seen this kind of faucet? It can look a bit weird if you're used to working on faucets with washers. However, it's quite an interesting design. What happens is, when you turn on the faucet, this aligns the holes in the metal discs and thus allows the flow of water. Should something go wrong with this metal disc kind of faucet, you will usually need to replace the valve assembly. Be sure your water supply is shut off before doing this.
4. Faucets With Rubber Seat Rings
This kind of faucet uses a rubber seat ring instead of a washer, but it performs the same function as a washer.
You will simply need to remove the seat ring from the stem once the water supply has been turned off.
  1. Grab the end of the faucet stem with a pair of pliers.
  2. Hold onto the stem firmly, and now unscrew the threaded center piece that is holding the seat ring in place.
  3. Remove the sleeve.
  4. Now insert the new seat ring. Again, you may have to check you have the right size before continuing with the replacement. One thing you should know about replacing the rubber seat ring on this kind of faucet, is that it's important that the seat ring's lettering should face the threaded part of the stem. Just check this before replacing the faucet.
Now you are done, see how easy that was?

5. Single-Lever Faucets
If it turns out that you have a single-lever faucet, you will need to buy a repair kit that is specifically intended for your faucet. There is no one-kind-suits-all, because there are tons of different kinds of single-lever faucets. It just depends on the specific model you have. So the first thing to do is check your faucet and find out what company manufactured it. Then do some research online to find out where you can purchase the right repair kit.
The repair kit you get will come with detailed instructions, diagrams, and all the replacement parts that are necessary to repair your single-lever faucet. It's usually quite easy to follow the instructions, so don't feel intimidated by your single-lever faucet. Make sure the water supply is shut off before you take the faucet apart, of course.

6. Faucets With the Faucet Seat Built Into the Stem
Some faucets with washers actually will have the faucet seat built into the stem itself. With this kind of construction, the base can be lifted off in a removable sleeve. This sleeve contains the valve seat. So to fix this faucet if it's dripping, or has some other problem that necessitates the replacement of parts, you will first want to...
  1. Unscrew the stem nut from the base of the stem. The water supply should be shut off before you do this.
  2. Next, remove the metal washer.
  3. Remove the washer retainer, which as you will see contains a rubber washer.
  4. Finally, insert the new washer into the washer retainer. Just be sure it's bevel side up.
This type of faucet is actually very easy to fix, even if you are used to another kind of faucet.

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