Step 1: Remove the cap and handle

repairing two-handled stem faucet
Photo: Craig Raine
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Richard turns his attention to his two-handled laundry faucet. Here, the dripping spout indicates that the problem's in a handle, so he pops the cap off the cold-water handle to reveal an encrusted screw. To get it off, "push down with all your might—if you strip the head, you're up a creek," he says. But the fused handle is another matter, requiring the finesse of a faucet-handle puller.
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    Tools List

    • Phillips screwdriver
      Screwdriver, for removing the screw that holds the handle in place)

    • faucet-handle puller
      Faucet-Handle Puller, in case the handle won't budge and you need more force to remove the screw. See how Richard uses this tool)

    • adjustable wrench
      Adjustable Wrench, to loosen the packing nut)

    • needlenose pliers
      Needlenosed pliers, to pull out the stem assembly)
    • round file
      File, to file away the pitted wall of the stem)
    • faucet seat wrench
      Seat Wrench, to remove the seat and check it for burrs)

    Shopping List

    1. Seat Washer, the rubber disk on the stem's underside

    2. Washer Screw made of brass

    3. Nickel/Copper-Alloy Retainer Bowl to rebuild the stem

    4. Pipe Joint Compound to reseal the seat