Faucets are primary essentials. We cannot deny their use in any case. A leaking faucet can be very problematic. It wastes a lot of water. Also, a dripping tap disturbs the users a lot. We must fix a leaky faucet as soon as possible.
Before fixing the problem, one should know about the cause of the problem. It will save you from the fuss of the same situation next time.
Causes of a Leaky Faucet:
There can be many causes of dripping taps. Knowing the reason will make you aware of the solution. Below are the top reasons for faucet leakage.
Washers are small, circular rubber or plastic parts. They are present inside the faucet. These washers prevent water from leaking out by creating a tight seal. Over time, the washers can become worn or stiff. It is a potential cause of water leakage.
Damaged Valve Seat:
It connects the body and the spout. Metals are often used in its making. The valve seat can become corroded due to water, minerals, and salt exposure. When the valve seat catch corrosion, it can cause water to leak out.
Frequent operations can make the nuts, bolts, and other faucet parts lose. It may result in leakage of water from the faucet. It is valid for older faucets we have used for a long time.
Improper installation can cause water to leak out of the faucet. It can happen if you have not tightened the tap during installation. The problem may also arise if you cannot assemble parts well.
High Water Pressure: High Water Pressure operation can damage the faucet. High water pressure puts more stress on the tap. It can cause the seals and washers to wear out more quickly. It is more common for older faucets. It is because they cannot withstand high water pressure.
Some faucets use O-rings to seal the water in. O-rings are small, circular rubber parts. They get corrosion and wear after frequent use.
In some cases, broken pipes can cause a leaky faucet. It is a rare cause but can occur sometimes. But it can happen if the pipelines are old or damaged.
How To Fix A Leaky Faucet?
Fixing a leaky faucet does not require a lot of effort. It needs basic information on plumbing fixtures. The process is different for every type of faucet. Here is the detail on fixing a leaky faucet on your own.
The faucets have different structures. Their fixing varies because of their design. Below is the leak solution for the most common types of faucets.
Leaky Compression Faucet:
Fixing a leaky cartridge faucet can seem like a challenging task. Yet, with a few simple steps, it’s pretty manageable. Here’s a Comprehensive guide on how to fix a leaky cartridge faucet:
- Replacement washers.
- Replacement O-rings.
- Adjustable wrench.
- Flathead screwdriver.
- Penetrating oil.
- Needle-nose pliers.
Step 1: Beginning:
Before working on the faucet, turn off the water supply. It prevents any further leaks or damage. The shut-off can be in your bathroom or kitchen.
Step 2: Remove the Faucet Handle:
A screwdriver can help you lose the handle of the faucet. Once you remove the screw, you can lift the handle off the faucet body.
Step 3: Remove the packing nut:
Use a wrench to loosen and remove the nut from the tap body. This nut is present just below the handle and holds the stem parts in place.
Step 4: Remove the Stem Assembly:
Once the packing has come out, pull the stem assembly out of the faucet body. You can use your fingers to remove the parts. A nose plier is also a good option.
Step 5: Inspect the Washers and O-rings:
Inspect the washers and O-rings in the body. Observe the signs of damage. These parts create a watertight seal when the faucet is in a close position. If the washers or O-rings are damaged, replace them with new ones.
Step 6: Replace the Washers and O-rings:
Remove the old washers and O-rings from the stem assembly using needle-nose pliers. Take the stem washer out for inspection. Lubricate the new washers and O-rings with a small amount of grease or oil. Put the new washer inside. You can now install them onto the stem assembly.
Step 7: Reinstall the Stem Assembly:
Carefully reinstall the internal parts in the tap body. Make sure to align it well. Tighten the packing nut with the adjustable wrench until it is snug.
Step 8: Reinstall the Faucet Handle:
Replace the faucet handle and secure it with a screw. Tight it enough so that it doesn’t get lost.
Step 9: Turn on the Water Supply:
Allow the water to flow and test the faucet for any leaks. You can also replace the stem assembly with a new one.
Leaky Cartridge Faucet:
The fixing of this problem is slightly more complex than compression leakage. It’s still something you can tackle on your own. Here’s a step-by-step insight into the solution.
- Replacement cartridge.
- Adjustable wrench.
- O-ring lubricant.
Step 1: Turn Off The Water Supply:
Start the procedure by turning off the water. It saves from wasting water, leaks, or damage. Go to the central control valve of your house for this purpose.
Step 2: Remove The Faucet Handle:
With the help of a Screwdriver, remove the handle. Once you take out the screw, you can lift the handle off the faucet body.
Step 3: Remove The Cartridge:
Now remove the cartridge from the faucet body. Some cartridges may require additional tools, such as pliers or a specialized cartridge removal tool. Don’t forget to follow the product’s company instructions for removing the cartridge.
Step 4: Inspect the Cartridge:
Inspect carefully the cartridge of the faucet. Observe if there is any indication of damage or breakage. In case of a damaged cartridge, replace it with a new one. Apply grease on the new cartridge. Align the position of the cartridge with the slots inside. Now fix the cartridge using a wrench. You can proceed to the next step if the cartridge is in good condition.
Step 5: Replace The O-rings:
If the cartridge is in good condition, but the faucet is still leaking, the problem may be with the O-rings. Use a small screwdriver to remove the old O-rings from the cartridge carefully. Apply lubricant to the new O-rings. Now install these lubricated O-rings onto the cartridge.
Step 6: Reinstall the Cartridge:
Carefully reinstall the cartridge into the faucet body, and align it properly. Tighten the cartridge with the adjustable wrench until it is snug.
Step 7: Reinstall the Faucet Handle:
Replace the faucet handle and secure it with a screw.
Step 8: Observe the Outcomes:
Run the water through the faucet and test it for leaks.
Leaky Ball Faucet:
Fixing a leaky ball faucet requires more skill than a cartridge or compression faucet. You can still do it with some essential tools. Here’s a step-by-step insight on how to fix a leaky ball faucet:
- Replacement ball.
- Replacement cam and cam washer.
- Replacement O-rings.
- Needle-nose pliers.
- Channel-lock pliers.
- Allen wrench.
- Flathead screwdriver.
- Penetrating oil.
Step 1: Turn off the Water Supply:
The first step remains the same, which is to cut water flow.
Step 2: Remove The Handle And Trim:
Use a wrench to remove the set screw which holds the handle. Lift the handle of the faucet body. Next, use a screwdriver to remove the trim plate and expose the ball assembly.
Step 3: Remove The Ball Assembly:
Use needle-nose pliers to remove the cam and cam washer from the faucet body. Next, use channel lock pliers to loosen and remove the ball assembly from the faucet body.
Step 4: Inspect The Ball Assembly:
Inspect the ball assembly for any signs of damage. Replace the ball if it has wear signs. The ball appears just like the ball and socket joint. Pull out the seals and springs from the faucet. You can proceed to the next step if the ball is in good condition.
Step 5: Replacement of O-rings:
With a small screwdriver’s help, remove old O-rings from the faucet body. You must apply grease to the new O-rings for lubrication and install them.
Step 6: Replace the Cam Washer and Cam:
If the cam and cam washer are problematic, replace them with new ones. Apply grease or oil to the new cam washer before installing it.
Step 7: Reinstall the Ball Assembly:
Carefully reinstall the ball assembly into the faucet body. Make sure to align it well. Tighten the body with the channel lock pliers until it is snug.
Step 8: Reinstall the Cam and Cam Washer:
Reinstall the cam and cam washer onto the ball assembly. Make sure to align the cam with its space inside the ball’s body.
Step 9: Reinstall the Trim and Handle:
Replace the trim plate and secure it with the set screw. Place the handle back at the position and tighten it.
Step 10: Observe Leakage by Water Flow:
Let the water flow across and observe the working of the faucet.
How can We Save Faucets from Leaking?
Preventing faucets from leaking is an essential part of maintaining their maintenance. It also saves us from expensive repairs. Here is how we can keep taps safe from leaking:
Regularly Check and Maintain Your Faucets:
Check your faucets often for any signs of wear and tear. It also includes corrosion, loose handles, or worn-out washers. Tighten loose handles and replace worn-out parts to prevent leaks.
Avoid using too much force while turning the faucet on and off. It can damage the internal parts, which results in damaging the faucet. Be gentle and turn the faucet handles only as much as necessary. It will save from damage.
Avoid Hanging Heavy Objects on Faucet Handles:
Hanging heavy objects such as towels on handles can damage the internal parts and cause leaks. Avoid turning anything on the faucet handles to prevent damage.
Install Water-saving Devices:
Water-saving devices can help reduce the amount of water pressure on your faucets. It can help prevent leaks and tears. The water-saving devices can be low-flow showerheads and aerators.
Clean And Maintain Plumbing System:
Clean and maintain your plumbing system to prevent the blockage of minerals. The minerals and other deposits can cause leakage. Use a solution for softening water or a filter to remove impurities from a water supply.
Cut off Supply When You are out Of Town:
Turn off the supply before leaving for a vacation. It prevents water wastage and tears while you’re away.
Hire a Professional Plumber For Regular Inspections:
It would be best to consider hiring a professional plumber to inspect your plumbing system regularly. A plumber can identify any potential problems. It can help perform preventative measures to save your money.
Fixing a leaky faucet is always annoying. You can solve this messy problem by following the fixing solution above. It does not require a plumber every time to replace the faucet parts. One can do it with a little more attention and a careful approach.
Each type of faucet needs a different procedure for fixing. Be sure about your faucet type and choose the suitable material for repairing. Replacing the correct part is essential to solving the dripping issue. If the problem persists after repair, consult a plumber for the right advice.