How To: Fix A Slow Running Bathroom Faucet

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A few weeks back, the city of LA sent out a huge construction team to put in a whole new sidewalk system. Unfortunately, during the process they cut into our main water line and had to replace it. After the water supply was turned back on, we noticed our cold water flow to our bathroom sink had turned into an incontinent dribble that only could be described as a drooling bulldog in flow. So this weekend we decided to see if we could fix it, suspecting we had a sediment blockage...

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First thing you want to do is just pop off the cap of the faucet lever and turn of the water supply. That is unless you like seeing a fountain water show in your bathroom (we're not saying this happened to us...um...yeah).

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Inside, you'll see a phillips screw; gently remove and remove faucet handle housing.

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Using some locking needle nose pliers, we removed the control valve hidden underneath this faucet lever housing. We prefer the locking pliers since they reduce the chance of stripping the hardware.

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Yuck, this is what it looked like after we removed everything. You can see how hard our water is, with buildup even evident on the outer and upper ring. Peering inside with a flashlight, we could see there were little sediment pieces blocking the flow.
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We took an old toothbrush and gently brushed away the buildup ontop, then took a piece of tightly wound paper towel to clean the inside. Afterward, take a glass of warm water and rinse it all off; this will push out all the sediment and build-up you've cleaned. Do it several times until the water that comes out is clear (you can inspect more closely with a flashlight).

The last part is just putting it all back together and turning the water back on. When it was all finished, just 15 minutes later, we were rewarded with a water flow that was near Niagra in effect. You'll see some funky brown-red water come out for a few seconds; just let it run for a few seconds and it should clear up for use.

We now plan to check our faucets at least once a year for this build up, including the flexible hosing below the sink that can also accumulate blockage (our hot water supply had this issue). This definitely one of those easy repair tasks anyone can do and will save you from calling ole Mr. Piumber's Crack for some expensive face time.