Is There Anything Less Romantic Than Plumbing Issues?
February is a month for lovers, and everyone wants to set the perfect mood for romantic moments. A leaking faucet constantly dripping in the background might not be drowned out easily by the crooning notes of mood-setting ballads.
Why Be Concerned By a Dripping Faucet?
The US Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that leaking faucets without proper sink repair can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water in a year, roughly enough to fill a swimming pool. Paying that water bill would be painful!
What Causes Leaky Faucets?
Common reasons for leaks include:
- Mineral deposits on internal parts, gaskets, or o-rings
- Washers that need replacing
An uncommon cause could be a broken pipe. Inspect the valve seat for faucet corrosion. The valve seat is a small connector between the faucet and spout in the compression structure of the faucet. Corrosion should be cleaned periodically to avoid deterioration.
O-rings around the stem screw hold the faucet handle in place, but these wear out or become loose after prolonged use. Replacing the o-ring could quickly fix the leak.
Washers that are improperly installed or are the wrong size for the unit cause friction when the washer is forced against the sink valve. Dripping or leaks around the spout of the faucet usually identifies the problem.
Broken piping can cause a leak, especially if the overall water pressure has decreased. Broken piping causing a leak is not common but should be repaired by a professional plumbing company.
How to Fix a Leaking Faucet
Step 1: Turn off the water to sink. Most sinks have shut-off valves, but turn off the water for the house if none are present.
Step 2: Remove the faucet handle. A hex key or Allen wrench can remove handles that have set screws behind the handle. A flat head screwdriver can pry off the top screw cover, and a Phillips head screwdriver can then loosen the screws underneath.
Step 3: Remove the cartridge or stem. Most two-handled kitchen or bathroom faucets contain this piece used to regulate the flow of both hot and cold water. A wrench can loosen the packing nut on the handle assembly. Pull the cartridge or stem straight up and out gently to avoid damage.
Step 4: Install a new cartridge or stem. Because cartridges and stems come in many different shapes and sizes, knowing the make and model of the faucet before going to the hardware store or bringing the piece with is the best option. Use a clean cloth to dry the area around the handle. Inspect and replace any o-rings that look worn. Insert the new cartridge or stem, ensuring proper alignment before reinstalling the handle.
About Henco Plumbing Services
Henco Plumbing Services, in Vancouver, WA, is dedicated to excellent customer service and provides a lifetime warranty for all major home repipe services. Our trustworthy technicians provide expert service at flat rate pricing with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call today for plumbing services in Vancouver, WA.