Faucets are a key part of your home for an obvious reason: They dispense water. Therefore, keeping your faucets in working condition is of great importance. A number of things can go wrong with your faucets, from leaks to noise. Sometimes you'll need to replace a faucet altogether to solve the problem.

A dripping faucet is the most common plumbing problem as well as one of the easiest to repair. Yet many people ignore it and leave the dripping faucet unrepaired. That costs money. A steady drip can waste $20 or more in water in a short time. Multiply that figure by the number of faucet drips in your home, and you can calculate how much of your money is literally going down the drain. The waste from a dripping hot water faucet is even more because you're also paying to heat the water before it goes down the drain.

What's the solution? A drip is caused by seepage from the water supply. Remember the water supply enters your home under pressure, so there must be a watertight seal holding back the incoming water when the faucet handle is in the OFF position. That seal is usually created by a washer pressed tightly against the faucet seat. Obviously, when the washer or the seat is not functioning properly, a little water can seep through and drip out of the faucet spout. To stop the drip, all you usually have to do is replace the washer or repair the seat.

In this article, we'll show you how to make a number of basic repairs to your home's faucet system, including stopping those pesky drips. We'll start by addressing leaky faucets on the next page.

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