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Best Tricks to Use to Avoid a Leaking Faucet

Failing to fix a dripping faucet can cost you more than money. While it’s true that a dripping faucet won’t immediately cause major damage, it can cause minor damage, and it can be annoying. Plus, the minor issues that a leaky faucet causes can turn into major ones quickly. There are different ways to prevent leaks in different kinds of faucets. Here are tricks to fix some of the most common kinds of faucets.

Compression Faucet

A compression faucet is a plumbing fixture that controls water flow with a handle. The handle compresses a rubber washer against the valve stem, which allows the water to flow from the faucet. Compression faucets get installed in kitchens and bathrooms. Fixing a leaking compression faucet is easy and can save you some money on your water bill.

First, turn off the water. Remove the handle by loosening its mounting screw and pulling it away from the control valve. Remove the decorative cap from the top of the handle and remove a screw beneath it to remove the bonnet nut. Look for a rubber O-ring inside the bonnet nut, which could be worn and cause a leak around the handle. If so, replace it with a new O-ring of matching size and shape.

Examine the valve stem for signs of leaking, such as black staining or gunk buildup on its threads where it meets the brass seat in the valve body. If you find any, clean them out with vinegar or alcohol and tighten or loosen them slightly until you get a good seal. Re-assemble everything with new packing material where necessary. And finally, turn on your water supply again to test your repair job.

Ceramic Disk Faucet

Ceramic disk faucets use a hard disk made of ceramic instead of washers or rubber gaskets. This helps them last much longer than other faucets because ceramic components are typically more durable than those made of plastic.

If you suspect that your ceramic disk faucet is leaking, turn off the water. Remove the handle using a screwdriver or socket wrench. Turn the handle so that it is facing up. Unscrew the old washer with a small wrench or pliers. Take the new washer and put it in place of the old washer, making sure that it is snapped into place properly. Reattach the handle, being careful not to tighten it too much. You want it snug but not tight so that water comes out when you turn the faucet on. Turn on the water, and make sure that there is no leak from your faucet — you might want to test out your faucet by turning it on and off a few times.

Cartridge Faucets

Cartridge faucets get installed in either a single-handle or double-handle configuration. The cartridge is controlled by a handle located on top in both configurations. When you turn the handle in one direction, water flows from the spout and stops when you turn in the opposite direction.

To fix a leak in a cartridge faucet, turn off the water supply. Remove the faucet handle with a screwdriver. Remove the bonnet nut inside the faucet with a wrench. If your model has an escutcheon, remove it. Replace the stem washer and any other worn parts.

New cartridges should come pre-assembled; if yours are loose, follow the instructions on the package to assemble them. Re-assemble the parts starting from the last to the first. Turn on the water supply and test your faucet.

Ball Faucets

Ball faucets are a type of water faucet with a valve that opens and closes via a handle attached to a ball. The ball, usually made of solid brass, is mounted inside the faucet handle and connected to the valve stem.

Turn off the water supply for the ball faucet. Remove the handle from the faucet. Unscrew the collar. Pull out the ball assembly and see if there is any mineral buildup on any part of it. Replace all rubber gaskets inside your ball assembly with new ones. Put everything back together again. Note: the collar should have its threaded side facing down when you reattach it to the faucet stem.

Faucet Leaks in Your Home: What Are the Common Causes?

Many things can cause faucet leaks in your home. Luckily, you can often resolve these problems quickly and easily.

Broken Washers

The washer on your faucet makes it possible for water to flow without leaking. It’s a small piece of rubber that sits between the seat and threads, creating a tight seal. If it gets worn out, it can’t do its job anymore. Sooner or later, all washers wear down and need replacement because of dirt or grease.

Worn-out Cartridges

Most faucets have a set of cartridges inside their handles that control water flow. Over time, these can wear down or become damaged, causing them to leak even when the faucet is off. Since water damage can be costly, it’s essential to regularly replace your faucet’s cartridges.

Bad O-ring

O-rings are small rubber gaskets that create a seal between faucet parts, preventing leaks. When you tighten the nut that holds your faucet together, the O-ring gets squeezed, making a watertight seal around the pipe. If it has become old or damaged and no longer makes a good seal, water will leak out through its center hole.

Corroded or Stuck Valve Sets

When your kitchen faucet stops working properly, it leaks because the valve set is either stuck or rusted. Corroded valve sets need a little lubrication to work properly again.

High Water Pressure

Think about the damage that high water pressure can do to your pipes. It’s like having an invisible enemy trying to break into your house. Fortunately, you can use several ways to reduce any damage caused by high water pressure. Just install a pressure-reducing valve in your water supply line or adjust the limits of your existing valve. If you aren’t sure why the water pressure has changed suddenly of if you aren’t comfortable taking your pipes apart yourself, contact one of the plumbing professionals at Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

Accumulation of Mineral Deposits

Mineral deposits in water such as calcium and magnesium can build up over time with repeated use of the faucet. This buildup causes friction and corrosion, leading to leaks. Fortunately, you can remove it by applying an all-purpose cleaning solution directly to the affected area.

If you run into one of these common problems, take a deep breath, think quickly, try some of the suggestions above, and you’ll be back to normal before long. If you’ve tried these home remedies and nothing has worked, give us a call.

Contact the Professionals

Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing provides complete HVAC and plumbing services in Tucson, AZ. Our services include installation, maintenance, and service of furnaces and air conditioners, heat pumps and humidifiers, water conditioners, and hot water tanks. Call us today and schedule any of your commercial or residential jobs.

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