A noisy kitchen leak can be an annoying presence in your home. The incessant plunk of the water landing in the sink may slowly drive you crazy, and to make matters worse, it can also run up your water bill.
You might be thinking that a little drip isn't wasting much. However, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's drip calculator, if one faucet in your home releases 10 drips per minute, you'll be losing over 300 gallons of water a year. Don't let something as small as a leaky faucet make you spend more money than you need to. Instead, gauge whether you can fix the problem yourself or if you need to call in a plumber.
The first thing you should do is shut off the hot and cold water supply valves beneath the sink. Turn the valves to the right to turn off the water flowing into the faucet. If you forget this crucial step, you'll really spring a leak when you start removing pieces from the spout. Once you've shut off the water, you can move on to the main repairs.
A common problem that might be causing a leaky kitchen faucet is a worn-out rubber washer, gasket or seal inside the valve assembly. Replacing these worn parts should fix your issue, but you have to carefully disassemble your faucet to reach it. Keep track of each part and where it goes. Taking photos with your smart phone along the way may help to keep you organized.
The faucet aerator is another piece of the nozzle that could be contributing to a leak. To check if this is the issue, unscrew the aerator from the end of the faucet. Clean off any particles that may be attached to the aerator threads and filter screen. You could also turn the water back on for a minute to clear any obstructions from the spout. Return the aerator to its proper location and see if the spigot is still leaking.
If your leak persists, it's probably time to call in a professional to fix a leaky faucet. Yes, you could continue to solve the problem yourself and take the faucet apart. However, if you don't entirely know what you're doing in fixing a leaky faucet, you run the risk of causing more problems than you solve or at best, wasting a lot of your valuable time.