Step 2: Disassemble the stem

Next Richard has to remove the packing nut, which secures the stem into the faucet body. He loosens it with an adjustable wrench and pulls out the entire stem assembly with needlenosed pliers. The seat washer—a rubber disk on the stem's underside and the usual suspect in a spout drip—looks scarred, and its fastener screw is badly corroded. He's able to twist the screw off without snapping its shank, though he was prepared to drill it out and rethread the hole with his "tap and die" kit, if necessary.

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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