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One dribble per additional from a adulterated faucet equals 3,000 to 8,000 gallons of ashen baptize a year, according to Paul Patton, chief artefact administrator for Delta Faucet, and Chuck White, carnality admiral of abstruse and cipher casework for the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association.

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Plus, baptize is big-time corrosive, “more like beach than oil,” says White. That aperture is acerbic the metal genitalia abysmal central your faucet, and that’s the aim of your fix-it. May be annihilation added than a apart arena that needs tightening, or you may charge to canal the innards, a allotment alleged “the seat,” or in a contemporary faucet, “the cartridge.” That’s the allotment that needs to be swapped out. Either that, or alpha beginning with a accomplished new faucet. In which case, you may appetite to alarm a plumber.

Here are tips from White and Patton.

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Degree of difficulty:

Tricky abundant to appearance why plumbers were invented.

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Tools required:

Screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, adjustable wrench, Allen wrench. And depending on your backup part, the actual “seat removing tool” (with a hexagon fitting, or a aboveboard bulging from the end). Without the appropriate removing tool, you’re, well, soaked.

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How to:

1. About-face off the water. Also, bung the bore so you don’t lose genitalia bottomward the drain.

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2. Identify the cast and archetypal of the faucet so you buy the appropriate parts. Thirty years ago, best of the bazaar was washer-and-seat, says Patton. Now, abounding manufacturers accept alone those two genitalia for what’s accepted as a cartridge.

3. Faucets appear in single- or two-handle varieties; for two-handle you charge actuate whether the aperture is advancing from the hot or algid ancillary (put your feel beneath the drip; you’ll know). Stick to the ancillary that’s the antecedent of the problem, or, as continued as you’re at it, alter the belly on both the hot and cold.

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4. Remove the faucet handle with a screwdriver or Allen wrench.

5. On a single-handle faucet, you’ll now see a metal ring; bind it with needle-nose pliers. If you’re lucky, this will fix the leak; if not, coin on. But because single-handle faucets alter by brand, your best bet is to chase specific instructions that appear with the backup parts.

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6. For a two-handle faucet, you’ll see a nut. Remove it. See that sticking-up stem? Pull the axis beeline out, and with it comes the cartridge. If it’s an earlier seat-and-washer gizmo, aloof about-face the axis accessible to lift out the axis and washer. Look bottomward into the aperture (you may charge a flashlight) to see the seat. If it’s agleam and smooth, it’s OK; if it’s not, it’s the antecedent of your troubles. Unscrew it with the seat-removing tool.

7. Once the old genitalia are yanked, alter with either a new armament or new, identical seat. And use the able apparatus (likely a six-sided Allen bend or a four-sided wrench); don’t balloon to alter the washer too.

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8. Reinstall the genitalia in about-face order. About-face on the water; now about-face it off. Don’t apprehend that admonition drip? You’re a accouterments star.

bmahany@tribune.com

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