An efficient plumbing system is essential for your home’s comfort and safety. One problem that homeowners often ignore is a dripping faucet. While it may seem like a minor issue, there could be implications. In this article, we explore some facts about faucets and what to do in case of a leak.
Implications of Leaky Faucets and Fixtures
It’s unwise to dismiss dripping faucets as a nuisance. You can waste a lot of water and cause a host of problems on your property. A fixture dripping water every second can fill an average glass with water in 15 minutes. That can add up to approximately 15 gallons of water per month.
Other plumbing fixtures may also be leaking. Worn-out threads and gaskets on the showerhead can contribute to hundreds of gallons of water wasted annually. If you don’t fix the leakages on time, you’ll soon notice your water bills spike dramatically.
Dripping faucets also contribute to environmental degradation and hazards from microbial growth. Even in the absence of large-scale flooding, the water can damage walls, flooring, and the foundation.
Understanding the Different Types of Faucets
You can find different types of faucets today for your bathroom, kitchen, or outdoors. The materials and finish may vary depending on the applications and design goals. Modern fixtures can be of bronze, stainless steel, copper, or plastic.
However, for faucet leaks, it’s critical to understand the assembly of modern faucets. There are four main types of mechanisms, namely disc, ball cartridge, and compression faucet.
The disc assembly is common for single-lever faucets. It gets its name from its chamber with ceramic discs that move to control the flow of water. As you move the lever, it mixes cold and hot water proportionately.
Disc faucets are amongst the top choice for modern fixtures. They require little maintenance. However, they have a complicated assembly that requires some expertise and experience. The Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing team can provide professional faucet repairs in Tucson.
If you have a double-handle faucet, it most probably employs a compression or cartridge assembly. The handle of a cartridge faucet is much easier to turn than that of a compression faucet. Cartridge faucets are more expensive but require lower maintenance than other fixtures.
Ball faucets are inexpensive, but they’re more prone to wear and tear than other types of water valves. Their rubber seal tends to get worn out quickly. Therefore, maintenance is essential to avoid leaking.
Faucets and Common Repair issues
One of the leading causes of a dripping faucet is a worn-out O-ring. The circular seal sits just below the fixture’s spout. If it’s defective, you’ll see water running around the bottom of the faucet.
If you have a compression faucet, a worn-out washer is the most likely source of the leak. The washer can deteriorate due to continuous friction and high water pressure. Replacing the washer usually stops the leaking.
The valve seat connects the spout and the rest of the faucet. If it accumulates rust, it may not provide an adequate seal to prevent water from flowing out.
What Factors Cause a Leaky Faucet?
One of the most common factors that contribute to the breakdown of fixtures is clogging. Sometimes, water backs up from your drains into pipes and sinks. The wastewater can speed up the corrosion of washers, seals, and other components of the faucet.
In some places in Arizona, the water hardness levels are high. Minerals in the water can accumulate on fixtures, especially if they run hot water. The deposits can build up on components such as the valve seat. With time, sediments reduce the lifespan of the faucet, allowing it to leak.
Another factor that can accelerate the deterioration of fixtures is high water pressure. Most faucets are designed to work within certain limits. Generally, that’s usually between 40 and 80psi.
When the pressure of the water is above the standard rating, it can weaken seams and seals. Components also deteriorate faster from the excessive force of the water.
But many plumbing issues also happen due to substandard replacements and installation. You can minimize the risk of leaks by ensuring the process complies with industry standards and local regulations. For complex plumbing tasks, you can rely on Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Tucson.
Signs You Have Leaky Plumbing Fixtures
Faulty washers or cracks in your plumbing can limit the flow of water. That’s why when you have low water pressure, you should consider having your plumbing inspected.
If there are leakages, the waste can accumulate and increase your water consumption. A rise in your water bills could be a sign that your plumbing fixtures are leaking.
The water your faucet wastes has to go somewhere. Sometimes it leaves stains on the walls and ceilings. Parts of the wall or ceiling may warp or rot due to water damage.
Another sign of plumbing problems is an unusual smell coming from your plumbing. The odor is often from clogs and decomposing debris. Kitchen wastewater can carry a lot of microbes that could pose a hazard unless there’s proper drainage.
The more the moisture accumulates, the more the microbial growth will spread. So, it’s advisable to act quickly to address leakages, even if it’s only a dripping fixture.
What to Do If You Have Leaky Faucets
If you notice the faucet is dripping, turn off the fixture to stop the wastage of water. If you attempt to remove the faucet, you should ensure you turn off the water to prevent flooding. You can locate the shut-off valve below the sink and turn it clockwise. You may then turn on the faucet to see if water will flow out.
Some issues are easy to fix and only require tightening or a seal and washer replacement. However, some faucet assemblies require expertise and experience.
Plumbers understand different types of plumbing connections and fixture assemblies. When fixing a faulty faucet, you also have to use the correct replacement or risk wasting water and causing flooding. Consider consulting a qualified plumber to avoid losses in your home.
Organize a Plumbing Inspection
Organize an inspection of your plumbing. Generally, a plumbing service should perform maintenance on your system at least once every two years. But that depends on factors surrounding your home.
If there are many trees on your property, your plumbing can succumb to root infiltration. The moisture coming out of pin-size holes may compel roots to grow and rupture the pipe. A certified maintenance plumber can use miniature cameras and other tools to spot the source of the leaks.
Certified plumbers will also pinpoint developing issues before they graduate to expensive repairs. They can conclusively address leaks and clogging. An efficient plumbing system lasts longer and incurs lower utility bills and repair expenses.
If you have dripping faucets and clogged pipes, look no further than Tucson’s Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Our team has extensive experience fixing water heaters, drains, as well as sewer and main lines. We use sophisticated tools for leak detection and repair. You can expect our team to work quickly and efficiently to complete the task.
You can talk to our friendly staff today to experience unrivaled customer service. Besides plumbing services, we can also help with heating, cooling, indoor air quality services as well as energy audits.