How to Repair a Drip on a Delta Two-Handle Bathroom Faucet

Ian Kelly

A dripping faucet is annoying and an unnecessary waste of water. Although Delta two handle bathroom faucets are elegant and designed to offer years of trouble-free service, abrasive hard water deposits eventually cause rubber seals to wear out.

A leaky faucet wastes water and drives up your utility bill.

Fortunately, Delta offers rubber faucet seat and spring replacement kits that any homeowner with basic DIY skills can install in less than an hour without having to buy special tools.

  1. Turn off the hot and cold faucet shut-off valves. These valves usually are situated against the wall below pedestal sinks, or inside the vanity containing a flush-mounted sink. If there are no valves fitted, locate the main household shut-off valve next to the water meter and turn the handle to the โ€œoffโ€ position.

  2. Open both hot and cold faucet handles to relieve trapped water pressure. Cover the drain opening to prevent parts from falling in.

  3. Undo the set screw on the base of the left-hand faucet handle with an Allen wrench and lift it off. If your faucet is fitted with a knob, pry off the cap on top of the knob with a thin screwdriver and undo the exposed retaining screw with a Phillips screwdriver before lifting the knob off.

  4. Place a rag over the exposed bonnet nut on top of the faucet housing. Grip the nut through the rag with a pair of channel pliers, and remove it by turning it counterclockwise. This will expose the stem unit and lever handle.

  5. Grip the lever handle with the channel pliers and pull it straight out to expose the small rubber seat inside the recess.

  6. Push a wooden pencil through the hole in the center of the rubber seat. Lean the pencil sideways, and pull both the seat and the underlying spring out of the seat recess.

  7. Clean the recess inside the faucet body with a soft cloth. If you detect a layer of abrasive hard water deposit, plug the recess with a rag saturated in white vinegar. Leave the rag for 20 minutes to allow the vinegar to soften the deposit before you wipe the recess clean. Soak the stem unit in white vinegar at the same time.

  8. Place the new rubber seat over the small end of the tapered replacement spring, and thread the pencil through the hole in the middle of the seat. Push the end of the pencil into the seat recess and slide the new spring and seat down the pencil. Settle the spring inside the recess and press the top of the rubber seat down with the tip of your finger.

  9. Clean the stem unit thoroughly with a soft cloth and lubricate all faces of the unit with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Slip the stem unit back into the recess. Twist the lever handle until the small tab on the side of the stem assembly lines up with the corresponding slot on the left of faucet body. This also will line up the wider stop on the opposite side with the recess on the right of the faucet body.

  10. Slip the bonnet nut over the stem handle and screw it all the way down until it is finger tight. Do not over-tighten the bonnet nut with the channel pliers as doing so will bind the handle and cause excessive wear on the rubber seat.

  11. Replace the handle or knob and tighten the relevant screws.

  12. Repeat this entire procedure on the right side of the faucet.

  13. Restore the water supply by opening the shut-off valves. Check both handles carefully for static leaks. Open both faucet handles to ensure that there are no further leaks and that the faucet is operating properly.

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