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Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks: A Simple Fix in Less Than 5 Minutes

Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks-A Simple Fix in Less Than 5 Minutes

How can I stop the annoying drip coming from my bathroom faucet, it’s driving me crazy?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? I have plenty of times.

A bathroom faucet leak can be one of the most frustrating things about being a homeowner.

But don’t fear this common problem. You can do this fix yourself and save your money for the movies instead.

What’s the worst that could happen? You could forget to turn off the water at the shutoff valve and have a gusher.

Okay, I admit I’ve done this :)

This post deals with repairing a Delta bath sink two-handle centerset faucet. If that isn’t a mouthful I really don’t know what is. The faucet in question is in the picture.

This small quick project requires the following supplies:

  • Delta Universal Seats & Springs Repair Kit ($4.47)(Part RP4993)
  • Delta Stem Unit Assembly ($13.26) (Part RP25513)
  • Allen wrench ($10.97)
  • Channel Locks ($13.96)
  • Needle Nose Pliers ($5.00)

If you have all of these tools or can borrow them the cost for the Delta replacement parts is under $20.00.

I’m sharing this tutorial because I’ve had to do this repair many times and discovered a few tips that will help you make it quick and painless. Plus, there’s a video for your viewing enjoyment. Don’t bother grabbing popcorn, it’s only 3 minutes long (tight budget, haha).

So let’s do it!

Determine Where the Delta Bathroom Faucet is Leaking

The first step is to identify the type of faucet you have. In this case I’m repairing a bathroom sink two-handle centerset faucet.

Then you’ll need to determine the area of the faucet that is leaking.

Is the leak coming from under the Delta bathroom faucet handle or is the leak coming from the aerator?

I knew the leak was coming from the aerator because I saw it first thing in the morning when I shuffled into the bathroom to begin my day. The pop-up stopper was always wet which indicated a persistent drip.

Turn the hot water shutoff valve under the sink to the off position (completely to the right). Check to see if the leak is still there. If the leak is gone you know the hot water side of the faucet is the culprit.

If the drip persists then you know the cold water side of the faucet is to blame.

You can also follow this flow chart to figure out HOW to fix the Delta bathroom faucet leak.

 

Delta Bathroom Faucet Repair Flow Chart

(A special thanks to Powell Svendsen for pointing out an error on the first version of my flow chart :))

 

Using a Delta Bathroom Faucet Repair Kit

Before you do anything make sure the water is turned off to faucet. You’ll only have to shut off the water to the corresponding handle that was causing the drip.

As promised, here’s the video that walks you through this entire fix but you can also view the pictures below if you prefer that instead.

 

Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks-A Simple Fix in Less Than 5 Minutes -- by Home Repair Tutor
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3:06
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39,950

 

To access the Delta faucet cartridge and seats & springs you’ll have to remove the faucet handle & body.

Unscrew the delta faucet handle by hand and use an allen wrench to loosen the set screw that holds the handle body in place. Remove the faucet handle body and set it aside.

 

Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks-Unscrew the faucet handle

 

Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks-Remove the faucet handle body

 

Unscrew the stem unit nut with channel locks.

Take a picture of the stem unit before you remove it with the channel locks. Believe it or not there is a proper way to reinstall it and a picture comes in handy.

 

Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks-Loosen the stem unit nut with channel locks

 

Remove the old delta faucet cartridge with channel locks or needle nose pliers.

 

Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks-Remove the old cartridge with pliers

 

If you need to replace the little rubber seat and metal spring you can use needle nose pliers to do so. I tried using my wife’s tweezers but they didn’t work (don’t tell her, she wouldn’t be happy).

 

Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks-Extract the old seat and spring

 

I always put the new seat and spring down into the faucet together as one unit. Just make sure they are oriented like in the picture below with the wider side of the spring facing down into the faucet.

 

Delta Bathroom Faucet Leaks-Make sure the wider side of the spring faces down

 

Firmly press the seat & spring into the faucet. If you need to replace the cartridge because you had a drip coming from the aerator go ahead and do that now following the tips in my video. As an FYI, one of my readers (Powell Svendsen) was able to clean the O-rings on the cartridge and eliminate a leak coming from the aerator. So you could give this a try before buying a new cartridge unit.

Thanks Powell for sharing your great tip!!

Screw the stem unit lock nut onto the faucet base and put the Delta faucet handle back in place.

You’re done!!!

Pretty easy, right. But if you have any questions please ask in the comment section below. One of my favorite things to do is interact with everyone who takes the time to visit HRT.

Here’s the link to my other tutorial on how to fix a leaky Moen bathroom faucet (it’s a popular post for one reason or another). http://www.homerepairtutor.com/repair-leaky-moen-bathroom-faucets/

You can also visit Delta’s website for help with other types of faucets. Here’s a great link that you might like http://www.deltafaucet.com/customersupport/troubleshoot/index.html

Did you like the video in this post? If so you should sign up for my  newsletter because you’ll get quick tips about everything home related. I think you’ll like them. At the end of this post just add your name and email in the sign up box.

Until next time, make it a great day!

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. Do you like inspiring pictures of kitchens & bathrooms that get your creative juices flowing? Follow me on Pinterest and view my Boards. I put them together for the Home Repair Tutor fans and constantly add new pins. Click on this Pinterest button then Follow the Board you like. I guarantee you’ll find some really fantastic ideas.

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44 comments… add one

  • Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl November 21, 2012, 1:10 PM

    Are we living in some parallel universe or something? Our bathtub faucet was leaking this weekend, I went ahead and replaced the stems and all. But, I also have a sink faucet that dribbles when on full force. I’m pretty sure it is clogged in the faucet and the aerator just crumbled in my hands. So, I’m off to get a new faucet…and it will be a Delta for sure!

    • Jeff Patterson November 21, 2012, 1:22 PM

      Parallel universe indeed, haha.

      You can’t go wrong with Delta, Moen, or American Standard. There are so many awesome styles to choose from. Please let us all know which faucet you choose over on prettyhandygirl.com :)

  • jsid November 22, 2012, 11:23 AM

    Thank you for this valuable info.

    My bathtub shower has a single knob and the drip is from the spout. Delta model #1600, cartridge # RP1991, purchased & installed in December 24,2007.

    Delta company wants me to send them the UPC number on the box or a receipt from the store. In 2005, we had hurricane Katrina,then later years ,Gustavo and recently Issac.It is very difficult to keep all the receipts of the last 4 years and to find the box.So the company refused to give any replacement part, even under 5 year warranty.They quoted my the price for the cartridge at $23.55. I found the same cartridge on http://www.ebay.com for $13.00(free shipping). I am hoping to replace the cartridge to stop the leak…..thank you jeff….:)

    • Jeff Patterson November 25, 2012, 8:33 PM

      You’ve been through a lot!!!

      I can’t blame you for being frustrated. Usually the big companies like Delta are pretty good about warranties.

      The cartridges are pricey and buying name brand is sometimes worth it just for the peace of mind. Let me know how you make out and if your drip gets fixed.

      I am super happy I was able to help :)

  • Ira Morse November 22, 2012, 8:01 PM

    Wow, what nice tips you have here…the good thing about this Delta Bathroom Faucet is that it has a repair kit, so it is easy to fix it.

    • Jeff Patterson November 25, 2012, 8:17 PM

      You brought up a great point Ira, buy faucets that you know have repair kits.

      Here in the states Moen, Delta, American Standard, and Kohler are the brands that have easily accessible repair parts. Sometimes the faucets are a bit pricier but it’s worth it because they have warranties and last longer than cheaper varieties.

      I’ve bought cost effective (aka low quality) faucets in the past and have always had problems with them within a few years. Lesson learned :)

  • Leida December 11, 2012, 9:21 PM

    I have one of those faucets, and this tutorial sure helps. Thanks so much for this well prepared video.

    • Jeff Patterson December 11, 2012, 9:23 PM

      Glad it was helpful Leida. Always feel free to ask any question, I’d be more than happy to assist :)

  • Stephanie January 29, 2013, 12:27 AM

    This was an easy fix until i tried to put the cartridge back in. I cannot do this to save my life. The seal and spring are as pictured, but the cartridge wont fit back down – I tried aligning the white tabs with the slots on the cartridge holder; tried pushing the cartridge down with a 12 pound weight, but it won’t go far enough in to allow the bonnet nut to engage. Any tips before I have to call a plumber to clean up this “easy fix”?

    • Jeff Patterson January 29, 2013, 5:44 AM

      Hmmm, was your cartridge exactly the same as the one in the post Stephanie?

      Do you mind send me some pictures at jeff@homerepairtutor.com and that way I can see what the problem might me?

  • Karen Mortensen March 17, 2013, 4:35 PM

    I saw your wonderful video but my handle just is not willing to come off after I removed the set screw.

    I have wd40ed and pryed and pryed it just won’t come off. Is there a trick?

    On the video you just pulled it right up and off. Mine will not do that so I can’t get to the innerds to pull out the stuff to be replaced. Please help.

    • Jeff Patterson March 19, 2013, 5:34 AM

      Karen, would you mind sending me a picture of your handle? Send it to jeff@homerepairtutor.com.

      Sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble with this fix. We’ll figure it out together :)

  • Armando Sardanopoli May 7, 2013, 6:05 PM

    have a delta bath sink faucet with a swivel neck. The leak is comin from the base of the swivel neck. Can this be fixed or is it the nature of this design?

  • Carl May 27, 2013, 6:01 PM

    Thanks Jeff. Your video truly made this a 5 minute repair!!

  • Marty Rhoden June 20, 2013, 6:22 PM

    Hi Jeff,
    I replaced a stem, seat and springs on my dripping Peerless bathroom faucet after watching a tutorial. I was patting myself on the back for a job well done. It didn’t drip for a few weeks and then oh my gosh a stream was coming out… for several hours while I was out in the yard. I just set the spring and seat on the little hole and placed the stem back on. The video said nothing about pressing down on the seat and spring. So how exactly do you press it down (how firmly)….with the needle nose pliers? Would that have been why all of a sudden it started streaming out? Also I used a universal stem …for several different faucets….should I stick with a Peerless stem? The universal one doesn’t have metal on the bottom like the original Peerless one. Okay one more question….In setting the stem I couldn’t push it all the way down to slide in the notches….how do you do that at the same time your screwing the nut back on? Thanks

    • Jeff Patterson June 21, 2013, 5:55 AM

      Marty, thanks for your questions. Always use the manufacturer’s step instead of a universal variety. I’ve made the same mistake and it just stinks when something wrong happens like in your case. You mentioned that the stem couldn’t be pushed completely down to engage the notches. So this is one clue that the stem wasn’t fitting correctly. If you have the old stem take it to the hardware store or a plumbing store and get the name brand replacement part. The replacement stem should completely sit down into the faucet in the notches then you can tighten the nut.

      You can push the seat and spring down into the faucet until they don’t go any further. Sorry I didn’t explain this in the video. Use your index finger to accomplish this job instead of something like the pliers so that the rubber seat doesn’t get ruined or torn. Hope this helps :)

  • Jey July 22, 2013, 9:07 PM

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for the great info. It was a big help!! I may have the answer to one of your readers question. Hard water (calcium) hardens the assembly and it becomes almost impossible to unscrew a part. I sprayed Lime Away on the part (make the part more accessible to Lime Away by opening anything that you possibly can) then cover with a towel, spray some more Lime Away, and finally cover with an air tight plastic bag. Leave overnight or even more and it should come off. Hope this helps!!

    • Jeff Patterson July 24, 2013, 7:02 AM

      Hi Jey,

      Lime Away-cool!!! For some reason my thick head never thought of using it. Thanks so much for the great DIY Insider Tip!!
      :)

      Jeff

  • Chloe Benson August 13, 2013, 1:55 PM

    Thank you for the great article! I have a Peerless bathroom faucet currently installed…I tried fixing it but I was unable to do so! Instead I just had to buy a new one, thank goodness for PlumbersStock, the online retailer I purchased it from, because I could actually afford it! XO

    • Jeff Patterson August 13, 2013, 2:39 PM

      Hi Chloe,

      Sorry to hear that you needed to replace your faucet. Bummer :(

      Thanks for bringing Plumbers Stock to our attention. I’ll have to check it out the next time we need some supplies-which seems like all the time!!
      :)

      Jeff

  • Tom October 28, 2013, 2:42 PM

    Thanks for the article. I have a delta bathroom faucet that was leaking. I followed your directions. I have everything in place, but two issues: 1.) it appears that when I put the handle on to the stem, it doesn’t go all the way down to the base. It is really loose. Not sure if I don’t have the spring and washer all the way down? 2.) the set screw does not seem to want to “catch” onto the stem. Any tips for making this easier? Thanks, Tom

    • Jeff Patterson October 28, 2013, 9:15 PM

      Hi Tom, thanks for your questions. Make sure the cartridge is in the correct way and the whole way down. There is likely a slot on the faucet base that the cartridge should fit into. One way to see if the cartridge is in the right way is to remove the other handle and compare the setup. I’d do it if you lived close to the Burgh, Tom :)

      This could also explain why the set screw isn’t catching properly. Let me know if this helps Tom.

      Jeff

  • Helen November 17, 2013, 8:06 PM

    I replaced the spring and seat, since I had an infrequent drip from the faucet. I’ve replaced these several times over the years and all has been well.

    This time, my drippy faucet is fixed, but I have a pretty steady leak underneath the sink where the hot water line connects to the sink basin. Help! I’m afraid to tighten anything under the sink. This is foreign territory for me.

    • Jeff Patterson November 17, 2013, 8:36 PM

      Hi Helen,

      Don’t be afraid, you can fix this drip. It sounds like the connection between the supply line and the faucet needs to be tightened by 1/4 to 1/2 turn.

      Chances are you’ll need a basin wrench to tighten the nut on the supply line. This tool costs $15 to $20 and helps you reach the nut without removing the sink.

      You can buy basin wrenched at any hardware store.

      If you are looking up at the connection from under the sink, turn the nut clockwise to tighten it.

      If you cannot fit under the sink (like me) you can still tighten the nut with the basin wrench. But turn it counterclockwise from this perspective in order to tighten the nut.

      I hope this helps and let me know if you’ve got more questions.

      • Helen November 17, 2013, 9:29 PM

        Jeff,

        There’s a thin white plastic fitting between the brass supply pipe and the sink base. It’s kind of hard to describe. I’m worried I’ll break that with a wrench.

        • Jeff Patterson November 17, 2013, 10:06 PM

          That nut holds the faucet tight to the sink. The nut you’d need to tighten is on the supply.

      • Helen November 17, 2013, 9:31 PM

        I wonder if I’ve put something back in wrong or perhaps I need a new stem. Would that cause a leak under the sink? I also see some water appearing under the faucet handle base when I turn on the water. That was not happening before.

        • Jeff Patterson November 17, 2013, 9:45 PM

          Hi Helen,

          If you didn’t tighten the nut enough that holds the stem in place then water will leak from under the handle.

          Here’s my prescription:

          1. Tighten the nut by 1/4 to 1/2 turn clockwise that holds the stem in place

          2. If you still see water dripping from under the handle then take the stem to the store and get a replacement.

          I hope this makes sense :)

          • Helen November 17, 2013, 10:35 PM

            Jeff,

            Yes it does. I’ll try tightening the nut first. I don’t think I’ve ever replaced this stem–only the seat and spring. Perhaps it’s time for a replacement.

            I emailed you a picture of the hard-to-describe new leak from underneath.

            I love this page, by the way. Makes me feel “almost” handy.

            Helen

          • Jeff Patterson November 19, 2013, 5:22 AM

            Helen,

            Let me know if tightening the nut helps or if the cartridge needed to be replaced. Either way, I hope this helps you :)

  • PeggySue November 18, 2013, 11:20 PM

    Hi, I watched your video but my handle will not come off. The handle is off and I removed the set screw but the handle body will not budge! I have 2 sinks with leaky handles, neither one will come off!

    I have used WD 40 and tried prying with a screwdriver but they won’t come off. Do you have any other suggestions?

    I have cold water on one sink and hot on the other, not very convenient.

  • Todd January 8, 2014, 12:22 AM

    Hi Jeff–I’m REALLY frustrated with my Delta single handle tub faucet (Monitot 13 Series). A few days ago, water started dripping steadily from the bathtub spout even with the faucet handle all the way in the off position. I took the faucet apart and replaced the old cartridge with a new one (Part# RP19804). I reassembled the faucet, but the steady drip from the end of the spout still persists even with the hanbdle in the off position. The spout is a generic model in which the shower diverter is activated by pulling down on the round collar at the end of the spout where the water comes out. What could cause this drip? Did I just waste $45 for a new cartridge?

    • Jeff Patterson January 12, 2014, 3:17 PM

      Thanks Todd for your question.

      So you still have a drip coming from the spout. Okay, does your cartridge slot have seats and springs? That’s one thing that you might need to replace if you have them. You’ll have to pull the cartridge out to reach them but if they’re bad you’ll still have a drip coming from the shower head or tub spout.

      Please let me know if you have seats and springs because I’d like to help you figure out this problem.

  • Duncan P February 6, 2014, 2:22 AM

    Thanks for the video, and the parts list. I wanted to mention that the replacement cartridge comes with an extra plastic ‘tooth’. I did not understand it’s use until I realized that in order to get the two faucets to rotate in the correct opposite directions, one had to add a plastic tooth to one of the cartridges (look carefully at the leaking one to see where you need to add that tooth in). In my case it was to the cold water side.

    • Jeff Patterson February 7, 2014, 3:05 PM

      Yah, that’s right. I forgot about the extra insert Duncan. Thanks for pointing that out. This is super important since often times it’s easy to forget to replace the insert in the right position. Or it might just get lost during the repair process.

      I lose stuff all the time. Oh, and another tip I just thought about. Make sure to put the pop-up stopper in the down position so that nothing gets lost down the drain!!!

      Yep, this has happened to me a few times.

  • Abbey February 18, 2014, 12:23 AM

    Jeff-I replaced the seat and the spring and it seemed that all went well till I put everything back together and turned the water on now the water runs if the faucet is turned on or off. What did I do wrong?

    • Jeff Patterson February 18, 2014, 5:29 AM

      Hi Abbey, thanks for your question. The good news is that this is easy to fix. You likely inserted the cartridge the wrong way.

      When this is done the water will run continually. Simply turn the cartridge 180 degrees and your faucet should work the right way.

      Hope this helps. It’s a bit alarming when you see the faucet behave the way you did. But you can fix it :)

  • Susan March 22, 2014, 12:31 PM

    When we moved into our house, we discovered that the master shower handle temperature control is weird. Off is at four oclock position. As you turn the handle counter clockwise, the water temp goes from cold to warm at one oclock, hottest at twelve oclock and cools off at eleven. Turning the handle all the way counter clockwise to the stop gives cold water! What do you suggest?

    • Jeff Patterson March 29, 2014, 9:00 AM

      I had the exact same situation Susan. It’s most likely a cartridge being inserted incorrectly.

      What kind of shower handle do you have (e.g. Moen, Delta, Kohler)?

  • Chris Schelling April 16, 2014, 8:01 PM

    I have the exact same faucet, and none of my allen wrenches work – none are even close. The size is somewhere in between a 2.5mm and 2mm allen wrench and between a 3/32 and 5/64. The bigger ones don’t go in and the smaller ones just slip. What gives? And what am I supposed to do?

    • Jeff Patterson April 18, 2014, 5:34 PM

      Chris, I’ve run into the same issue. And the ultimate problem was a stripped set screw, bummer! So I decided to call Delta and ask them for a new handle. They sent two replacements in the mail for free, which was awesome since the handles were expensive.

      I had to drill out the set screw with a small bit. This ruined the existing screw but it was already toast. The drill put a small hole in the cartridge stem but that wasn’t a big deal and the new handles slipped on with no problem.

      Sorry I don’t have a better solution but figured I’d share my experience :)

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