How Do You Treat Leaky Faucets?

Hot water faucet

The Importance of Leaky Faucet Repair

When you have a leaky faucet, repairing may seem to be one of those things “when you get around to it”, but it should be addressed as soon as possible. Why is it important to get a leaky faucet repaired so quickly? Because a leaky faucet is wasting water, as much as 10%!  That is money leaking right out of your faucet and wasting a natural resource.

What causes a faucet to leak? 

There are 5 things that commonly cause the need for a leaky faucet repair: 

  1. The O Ring 

This is a small ring in the faucet stem that holds the handle in place. When this ring gets worn out, the faucet starts leaking usually around the handle. This leaky faucet repair can usually be done by a homeowner. 

  1. Corrosion and Sediment Buildup

When sediment builds up within the faucet, it creates corrosion which causes a leaky faucet. Repair for this can often be done by simply cleaning out the sediment. If this is done on regular basis, it can prevent corrosion.

  1. A Faulty Washer

The washer inside a faucet gets a lot of use, If it becomes worn out or doesn’t fit properly, it can lead to needing a leaky faucet repair.  

  1. The Seals

This is another area that can lead to leaky faucet repairs because of sediment buildup. Sediment can eat away at the seals, causing the faucet to leak. 

  1. Loose or Broken Plumbing Parts

If the faucet is defective, has loose parts, or there is broken plumbing somewhere within the plumbing system, it can cause a faucet to leak. 

Can I repair a leaky faucet myself, or do I need to call a plumber? 

If you have a leaky faucet, you’re first thought may be, “How much is that going to cost?”. Well, for basic leaky faucet repairs, most plumbers have a set rate. But if they have problems that require more work, it can be charged by the hour plus parts. 

However, you probably can do your owner leaky faucet repairs, it depends on your ‘handyman’ aptitude!  Most leaky faucet repairs or replacements can be done by a homeowner, provided you have the right tools. This includes plumbing parts in the following parts:  

  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Sink
  • Toilet
  • Hose bib

However, if you have doubts and you’re unsure, it is better to call a professional plumber for a leaky faucet repair versus getting into the job and getting underwater!  This is for sure with older homes where the plumbing could be 30, 40 years or older, the sediment buildup, corrosion, and rust could have done more damage than basic homeowner repairs can handle. 

If you’re going to do your own leaky faucet repairs, what tools do you need? 

If you don’t have them already, purchase the following tools:

  • Set of Allen wrenches 
  • Set of basic screwdrivers
  • Large slip-joint pliers

If you have never done any type of home repairs, a leaky faucet repair can be intimidating for some. But, after learning the basics, a modern faucet is pretty easy to repair. There are videos online and many home improvement stores offer classes for these things.  The hardest part for older leaky faucet repairs is finding the parts. Often, you’ll end up having to totally replace the faucet. 

What are the steps to fix a leaky faucet?

This can vary depending on the type of faucet you have. The fancier the faucet, the more complicated it can be, and you may want to have the leaky faucet repaired by a professional. The basic steps include: 

STEP 1: Remove any decorative cap from the handle.

STEP 2: Remove the handle by removing any screws. 

Disassemble the faucet by removing internal components. This will depend on what type of faucet you have. 

STEP 4: Inspect the parts, and determine what can be cleaned and used or need to be replaced. 

STEP 6: Reassemble the faucet and re-install it.

STEP 7: Test the faucet for any leaks.

How do I identify the type of faucet I have? 

If you’ve ever walked through the plumbing section of a home improvement store, you know there is a wide selection of faucets. And within that wide range of faucets, there is a different technology that enables us to find that one that is just right for our personal tastes in functions and aesthetic designs. The following are the 4 basic faucets you’ll find: 

  • Ball Faucets

This is a single-handle faucet that has a handle sitting on a ball-shaped cap atop the faucet. The handles move side to side for temperature control and back and for water flow. There are O-rings, slots, and spring-loaded rubber seals within this faucet. The rubber parts tend to wear out and can require a higher level of maintenance and leaky faucet repairs.

  • Disc Faucets

This is the newest of faucets and is identified by a single-lever control on a wide, cylindrical body. There are 2 ceramic discs for controlling the water temperature where the water mixes before coming out of the faucet. Leaky faucet repair for this type is best done by a professional plumber. 

  • Cartridge Faucet

This faucet is generally indistinguishable until you use it. Cartridge faucets operate smoother using a lever-style handle that is easy to grasp and turn. This is the lower-maintenance faucet on the market. 

  • Compression Faucet

This double-handle style of faucet means the cold and hot water lines are controlled individually and are distinguished by the 2 knobs. This is the oldest technology in faucets, and when leaky faucet repairs are needed, they are relatively easy and cheap. 

In Closing 

You may not be annoyed by a dripping faucet, but this is something that should be addressed sooner than later. Not only is it increasing your water bill, but is wasting a natural resource. If you require faucet repair in West Los Angeles, CA, please get in touch with our friendly crew at (310) 454-2010.