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How to Repair Faucets and Drains

Plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey fixes a faulty faucet and replaces a leaky drainpipe

In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains how to repair faucets and drains.


1. If there's no water at faucet, check to ensure that all shut-off valves are open.
2. Loosen bleeder valve to determine if water is reaching the valve.
3. Remove and clean the aerator from the faucet spout.
4. Replace the aerator, then open the hot- and cold-water handles to see if water flows from the faucet.
5. If there's still no water flowing, close the shut-off valves under the sink.
6. Use pliers to loosen and remove faucet spout.
7. Remove the diverter valve from inside the faucet housing.
8. Open the cold-water shut-off valve, then slowly turn the cold-water faucet handle until water trickles from the faucet housing; shut the faucet.
9. Replace the diverter and faucet spout; tighten with pliers.
10. Open both the hot-water valve under the sink; both valves should now be open.
11. Test faucet to ensure that cold and hot water flows freely.
12. To repair a leaky drain line, remove the tailpiece from the sink strainer.
13. Replace the trap if it's deteriorated; otherwise just clean it out.
14. Use tubing cutters to cut a new tailpiece to fit between sink strainer and trap.
15. Install the new tailpiece, then tighten the compression nuts with pliers.
16. Open the faucet handles and check for leaks in the drain line.