March 13, 2024
How to Replace a Leaky Faucet Washer

Leaky faucet washers are a common nuisance in households, leading to wasted water, increased bills, and potential water damage. Understanding what faucet washers are and how they function in various fixtures is crucial for protecting your home.

What Are Faucet Washers?

Fixtures that regulate water flow in a house, including faucets and valves, usually include faucet washers. They are essential components in maintaining a watertight seal and preventing leaks.

Kitchen, Bathroom and Utility Sinks

Faucet washers are crucial in kitchen, bathroom, and utility sink faucets. Positioned inside the valve assembly, these small rubber or plastic discs stay compressed against the valve seat when the faucet is off, effectively stopping the water flow. In kitchen sinks, faucet washers ensure reliable water control for washing dishes or filling pots. Similarly, bathroom sinks contribute to water conservation and prevent waste. Utility sink faucets benefit from faucet washers by providing dependable water shut-off for various cleaning and maintenance tasks. In bathtub faucets, faucet washers ensure precise water control, allowing users to adjust the temperature and flow for a comfortable bathing experience.

Washing Machines

Securing a dependable and leak-free connection between the water supply and the washing machine is the primary function of faucet washers in washing machine intake valves. These little discs fit snugly into the valve assembly and press down on the valve seat to prevent water from leaking. In addition to improving the washing machine’s performance and lifespan, they help with water efficiency by enabling precise control over the water flow.


Faucet washers are integral components of dishwasher inlet valves since they help maintain a secure and leak-free connection between the water supply and the dishwasher. By effectively preventing leaks, faucet washers safeguard the integrity of the dishwasher’s water supply system, reducing the risk of water damage to the surrounding area. In addition, they facilitate precise control over the water flow, helping the dishwasher conserve water resources.

Ice Makers

Inlet valves for ice makers, especially refrigerators with ice makers, need faucet washers. When the water flow stops, they create a tight seal against the valve seat. Faucet washers protect the ice maker’s water supply system against leaks, reducing the likelihood of water damage to the refrigerator and its surroundings. On top of that, they make it easy to regulate the water flow precisely, which means you can make ice efficiently and save water.

Water Heaters

Faucet washers help keep water heaters running efficiently and safely by maintaining a watertight seal between the water heater tank and the drain valve. This reduces the likelihood of water damage and increases the lifetime of the heaters. They also provide a tight seal during draining processes, making it easier to control water flow during maintenance procedures.

Outdoor Hoses

The operation of faucet washers in outdoor hose faucets relies on their ability to create a watertight seal. Set inside the valve assembly, these little discs block the water flow from the supply line to the hose’s discharge. The compression mechanism presses the washer against the valve seat, cutting off the water flow. This system keeps water from dripping from the faucet while not in use, which helps save water and avoid waste.

How Do They Become Faulty?

Faucet washers can become faulty for various reasons across different fixtures. In sinks, frequent use and mineral buildup from hard water can cause faucet washers to degrade over time, leading to leaks. High temperatures and mineral deposits can wear down faucet washers in water heaters. This compromises their ability to maintain a tight seal and leads to leaks at the drain valve.

Ice makers and dishwashers sometimes encounter issues with faucet washers due to the continuous cycling of water. The repeated opening and closing of valves causes wear and tear on the washers, resulting in leaks and decreased performance. In washing machines, debris such as lint or dirt can accumulate around faucet washers, leading to clogs and leaks in the inlet valves.

Washers on outdoor hose faucets tend to wear out faster due to exposure to harsh elements. Constant exposure to sunlight, rain, and temperature fluctuations can cause rubber washers to dry out, crack, or become brittle, ultimately leading to leaks and inefficiencies in water flow. Overall, a high frequency of use, poor water quality, extreme temperatures, and climatic variables degrade faucet washers and cause them to break.

What Happens When They Leak?

When faucet washers wear out or develop cracks, they lose their ability to create a tight seal. This means water can leak out, even when the faucet or appliances are unused. The leaking water can cause stains, promote mold growth, and cause structural damage to nearby areas. In addition, the continuous dripping sound of a faucet can be irritating and lead to higher water bills if ignored.

How To Identify Faulty Faucet Washers

Signs of a faulty faucet washer vary across different plumbing fixtures. In sinks, common indications include dripping or leaking water around the base of the faucet or handles, along with difficulty turning the faucet off completely. In washing machines and dishwashers, leaks around the inlet valves or difficulty filling or draining water may signal washer problems. Outdoor hoses may show signs of leaks or spraying water near the connection point. For water heaters, leaks at the drain valve or difficulty draining the tank can indicate washer issues. Any of these signs warrant inspection and potential replacement of the faucet washer to prevent further damage and water waste.

Fixing a Leaky Faucet Washer

When suspecting a leaky faucet washer, immediate action is crucial to prevent water damage and waste. First, locate the shut-off valve for the affected fixture or the main water supply to the house. Shut off the water supply to stop the water flow and prevent further leakage. Then, call BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair for plumbing service.

While DIY repair may seem tempting, it’s advisable to enlist the expertise of our plumbers for several reasons. We have the training and equipment necessary to identify and fix problems with faucet washers. We can assess the extent of the problem and ensure a thorough repair, minimizing the risk of future leaks or damage.

Our plumbers utilize tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, and plumber’s tape to disassemble the faucet, inspect the washer, and replace it. We also have the expertise to identify any underlying issues, such as corroded valves or worn-out components, that may contribute to the problem. We know exactly how to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure they don’t damage the fixture or appliance. If you attempt a DIY repair, you risk forcing components, overtightening fittings, and neglecting to seal connections properly.

Count On BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair

When you require plumbing repairs, you can count on BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair. Our motto is “5-star service guaranteed!” Since 2016, we have been assisting Las Vegas homeowners with plumbing repairs, HVAC services, duct sealing, indoor air quality testing, and more. Our HVAC technicians are NATE-certified and accredited by the BBB. We are also available 24/7 for emergency repair services. Contact BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair today to schedule a fixture repair for the leaky faucet washers in your Las Vegas home.

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