Any number of fancy faucets with exotic valve mechanisms are available for kitchens and bathrooms, but laundry tub faucets are built for strength, not looks, and they usually have simple screw-down valves. They are known as compression valves, and when a compression-style laundry faucet is leaking, it's very easy to repair. In fact, if you have easy access to a shutoff for the laundry room, the repair seldom takes longer than 10 minutes.
These faucets can leak from the handle or the spout, and while each type of leak has a different cause, the repair procedure is virtually the same for both of them. You'll need different materials, though. If the leak is from the spout, you'll need a new washer for the base of the valve, and if the leak is coming from the handle, you'll need new graphite string packing.
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Old Laundry Tub Faucet Repair
Whether your faucet is leaking from the spout or the handle, it's a good idea to replace both the washer and the packing when you do the repair. That way, you won't have to go back and repeat the procedure a few months down the road.
Step 1: Turn Off the Water
If you have a dedicated valve for the laundry room, turn it off. If there's no dedicated valve, turn off the water for the entire house. Let everyone know what you're doing and assure them the job won't take long. Open both faucet handles all the way and let the water drain completely.
Step 2: Remove the Faucet Valves
Use a wrench to loosen and remove the retaining nuts holding the faucet handles to the faucet. You shouldn't have to unscrew the faucet handles from the valve stems to complete this repair, but it depends on the faucet design. If you do have to remove the handles, use a Phillips screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws holding them on. As long as you're doing the job, you might as well repair the hot and cold valves even though only one of them may be leaking.
Step 3: Replace the Washers
Turn each valve over and locate the Phillips screw holding the rubber or fiber compression washer. Remove the screw and replace the washer with an identical new one. Since you probably won't know what size of washer you need until you get the faucet apart, at this point, you'll probably need to take the old washer to the hardware store to find a new one. Get some graphite string packing while you're there.
Step 4: Repack the Handles
Clean out the old packing material from under the retaining nuts using a flat-head screwdriver. Wind new graphite string packing around the valve stem inside the nut. Wind the packing clockwise so it tightens when you screw the nut back to the faucet. Three or four windings should be enough.
Step 5: Reassemble the Faucet
Insert the valves into the holes in the faucet, screw on the retaining nuts, and tighten them down with a wrench. Turn on the water and check for leaks. If you see any, tighten the nuts until the leaks stop.