You may never think about how important they are, but your faucet is a vital component of your sink and plumbing system. If it’s not working correctly, your sink is all but useless. Operational and good-conditioned faucets are essential to keeping your systems working well. While it may not seem like an emergency, a leaking faucet means your fixture is not in good condition. Additionally, it costs you money with every drip down the drain. The additional water that is being wasted is still added to your water bill each month, so it’s not only fiscally important to fix your leaky faucet – it’s also an environmental issue.
Leaky faucets aren’t a difficult repair for any plumber, and you may be able to fix it yourself if you get to the problem early enough. All you need to repair your leaky faucet are basic tools, the ability to follow simple instructions, and replacement parts. When your faucet is leaking, it’s usually due to corrosion, worn parts, or hard water buildup. Prolonging repairs can turn a simple leaking faucet into an expensive replacement project.
Over a year, an untreated plumbing leak amounts to nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted in a single home. A leaky faucet is the most common water waste issue across plumbing fixtures. By fixing a leaking faucet, you can shave 10% off your water bill. The cause of most leaking faucets can be isolated to common issues like worn parts or faulty valves.
Combating a Leaky Faucet
Since a leaky faucet is the most common household water waste, learning how to combat this problem is a great way to improve your home's smooth operation and efficiency.
Here are several troubleshooting tips for correcting your leaky faucet:
- Faulty O-Ring: The stem screw that secures the faucet handle to the unit can become worn or broken. This stem screw assembly has a disc affixed to the end called the O-ring. This essential faucet part can become worn after years of use, and once it’s broken, it can lead to a dripping faucet.
- Corroded Valve: The connection where the faucet and spout meet. Sediment from your water supply can accelerate the wear and tear of your valve. When the sediment lodges in this space, it can cause corrosion, which means your faucet could start leaking from the spout. Regardless of whether the leaking is caused by corrosion or something else, you may need the help of a professional plumber to isolate the cause of this problem.
- Worn Washer: An old and used-up washer is the leading cause of leaky and dripping faucets. A washer can become worn out from repetitive use. When you turn on your faucet, the washer is pushed into the valve, and this reoccurring friction between the two parts causes them to wear out. Once either part is completely worn, the faucet can begin to leak and drip from the spout.
- Faulty Installation: If your system is fairly new, wear and tear can be ruled out as a cause of your drips and leak. A new fixture that is leaking or dripping is either faulty or installed improperly. You will need to contact a plumbing professional to inspect your fixture for missing, faulty, or improperly installed pieces.
No Replacement for Professional Plumbing
Hiring a good plumber to inspect your fixtures and perform some basic maintenance can ensure that your system is in good working condition. It’s important to make repairs to your plumbing systems as soon as you notice there are problems. Ignoring small plumbing issues can ensure you will eventually have serious plumbing problems.
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