Is faucet repair a DIY project?

Most faucet repairs are indeed something that you can do yourself, without having to pay for a professional to do the work. If you have a dripping faucet, you might need to change a washer. That might also be the case if your faucet is making a lot of noise; however the problem may be in the pipes, which is more serious and more likely to require professional help. You may need to or want to change your entire faucet, and this too is something that can usually be handled by the home handy-person -- even if you're installing a new spray hose along with the faucet.

There are some basic tools and supplies you'll need for these jobs, none of which is hard to come by. Most faucet repairs can be undertaken with the following:


  • A screw driver
  • A couple of adjustable wrenches or basin wrenches
  • Plumber's putty
  • Plumber's joint compound
  • Electric tape
  • A stiff brush
  • Penetrating oil, such as WD-40
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Clean cloths

Of course, you'll also need the replacement parts. Be sure that you know exactly what you need before heading to the hardware or home improvement store. You should check what size washer your faucet takes. If you're replacing the whole faucet, you'll need one that completely covers the mounting hole(s) of the old faucet. Most faucets are of a standard size, but if you have something unusual you may want to look for an adjustable unit.

You'll need to turn off the water to the faucets before taking anything apart. You may have an individual shutoff for the water in the particular sink you're working on, or for part of the house. If not, you will need to turn off the main water supply to you home. Remember that a leaky faucet wastes water, and therefore money. A little effort on your part can right the problem quite easily.