What is more annoying, a leaky faucet in the bathtub or a leaky faucet in the kitchen? Between the upsetting feeling of a leaky faucet water bill and the ugly bands of leaky faucet drips on your wall décor, what bothers you more? Enough with the leaky faucets and the drips bands: Let us explore repairing faucet leaks. How much does a leaky faucet cost? Well, if you consider the increased water bill spending, it costs much more than any premium leaky faucet repair kit. All you need to do is master the following guide on how to stop the leaking once and for all.
• Use masking tape to pad the jaws of your wrench so that it does not scratch the fixtures.
• Get some distilled white vinegar to scrub out layers of mineral formations on under the faucets. Apply the vinegar on a soft scoring pad to avoid scratching.
• Close all taps to prevent running water and drain all the sink water.
• Seal of the sink underside and pad the floor with a rug to prevent falling parts from bouncing too far to be seen.
• Make a special space for arranging the faucet parts when you dismantle it strategically.
Before you begin, there are a few things you need to understand about faucets. You need to know the different types that are there and how differently they function. If you know, then you are good to go. However, a little revision wouldn’t hurt your chances of doing a great job.
Types of Faucets
Faucet manufacturers produce four types of faucets:
• Ceramic disk.
Fixing Compression Faucets
This type of faucet is different from the other three because it seals the valve seat with the support of rubber washers which are susceptible to wear out over time. Compression faucets require the most maintenance and the highest replacing rate compared to the other three.
Most of the time, you must replace worn-out rubber washers when fixing leaky faucets. Start by taking the faucet apart from the decorative cap, the handle screw and then the handle to the packing nut. You will need the crescent wrench, which you insulated with duct tape at the jaws, to swivel the packing nut out. You can access the damaged rubber washer and replace it after removing the nut. After replacing the worn-out washer, use the high-quality and poison-free grease that plumbers use to insulate the washers from heat.
You must replace the O-ring if the faucet was leaking at the handle. To do that, you should start by popping out the stem of the packing nut. You can’t just replace it with any random O-ring because they range in sizes. Therefore, you must first make sure that you have the right fit for your faucet. For heat insulation, use the same plumbers’ oil that you applied on the new washers before locking the new O-ring into its place. Afterward, carefully reassemble the faucet and make sure that you fasten all the joints type.
Test the faucet to see if you successfully fixed the irksome leaking or not. If the leaking persists, the valve seat could be damaged or worn out. Proceed by first deconstructing the faucet again just to access the valve seat via an apparatus that is technically referred to as a valve-seat dresser. The tool will sure grind the valve finely to eliminate any pitting.
Fixing Ball-Type Faucets
You must be very careful with this one and remember where goes what as you take it apart strategically. Ball-type faucets are assembled from many parts. You do not need to identify the specific leaking part because that can be quite time-consuming. It would be much easier if you just opted to buy replacement kits. They are largely inexpensive. Taking it apart includes removing the set screw holding the handle in place. Then pry the collar and cap off before lifting the faucet cam, its washer and the rotating ball that pivots the faucet. To reach the O-rings and cut them off, you must first take out the seals and springs. You will need special tools for this phase, and you can get all of them in faucet replacement kits.
Reconstruct the faucet by replacing every part with spares one at a time. Start by insulating the new O-rings with plumbers’ grease before placing them in place. Follow up by adding new inlet seals and springs and just retrace your steps by replacing everything in chronological order.
Fixing Cartridge Faucets
• Remove the handle’s decorative cap.
• Screw off the handle, tilt it back and pull it out.
• Remove the threaded retaining clip to pull out the cartridge.
• Cut the O-rings out after getting the spout out of your way.
• Insulate new O-rings with plumbers’ heat-insulating grease and replace worn-out O-rings.
• Replace any of the other faulty parts as you reassemble the faucet back to proper functioning.
• Replace it from the base if you find that you still have a leaky faucet after replacing the cartridge.
While replacing the parts that you identify to be faulty, make sure that they are all compatible with the faucet specifications.
Fixing Ceramic-Disk Faucets
• Remove the handle by pushing it backward and screwing it off.
• Uncap it and remove the disk cylinder by unscrewing it.
• Remove the seals from the cylinder by using any blunt-pointed tool.
• Wash the openings of the cylinder with the white vinegar and soft scouring pad.
• Replace any faulty parts, especially the seals.
• Reassemble the whole thing and screw joints tightly.
• Test by turning the water on slowly to avoid damage from intense water pressure.
Leaky faucet washers and other faulty spare parts are always to blame for the mess in your kitchen sinks, bathtubs, sprayers, showers, and inflated water bills. Fixing such problems requires specialized equipment and skills. An experienced plumber will always beat your efficiency and effectiveness at fixing leaky faucets. However, the information above is enough to help you in fixing some of your plumbing issues.
So what is your experience with leaky faucets?