While many people know how annoying a leaky faucet can be, they seldom appreciate the incremental cost racked up one drip at a time or the cumulative amount of damage that can occur if this plumbing problem is allowed to continue. The difficulty is, however, that most people are intimidated by the idea of doing it themselves and extremely gun shy about calling a plumber for such a minor issue.
What Makes A Faucet Leak?
The first thing to know about leaky faucets is that there are generally two kinds of leaks—an upper leak and a lower leak. A lower leak is one which occurs in the water supply tube leading into the faucet. These leaks are particularly destructive since they put water onto surfaces that are not meant to stay constantly wet.
Fixing a lower leak is relatively easy. Often, the leak can be eliminated by tightening the nut that connects the pipe to the faucet body. Many modern designs actually use nuts that are designed to be finger tightened and thus need no tools at all. Others may require the services of a pair of slip-joint pliers.
Sometimes, it is the supply tube itself that has failed. In this case, it is necessary to first shut off the water supply to the faucet–often accomplished via a shutoff valve located directly underneath the faucet—-and then removal and replacement of the offending tube. The best way to get the right replacement is to remove the old one and then take it to the local building supply company for a match.
Fixing an upper leak is a little more challenging but not massively so. Faucets are either a single or double valve that allows water into the faucet body when the handle is turned. Leaks occur most often when the rubber o-rings inside the valve become worn out.
Replacing these is usually pretty simple once you get the valve apart. Start by removing the handle. This usually requires either a phillips screwdriver or an allen wrench. Once the handle is off, the valve body itself is typically held in place by a large decorative-looking nut on top of the fixture. This has to be taken off and it is best to wrap the circumference of it with tape or a towel so that you do not scuff up the finish on it.
The inner workings of the valve consist of a plastic, nylon, or brass cartridge with several o-rings on it.
In some cases, it is best to buy complete new cartridges and in others it is possible to simply purchase new o-rings. Your friendly guy in the plumbing aisle will show you which is which. Reverse the process and say goodbye to drips. You did it.
For More Serious Faucets Leaks, Be Sure To Contact A Professional
For extreme faucet leaks, be sure to contact a professional plumber. Sometimes, leaky faucets can be a bigger issue that what meets the eye. If you have a serious leaky faucet or if you are in need of plumbing services, contact Robinson Plumbing today. Robinson Plumbing is a local, family owned company that is known for trusted, quality service.