Leaky Faucet: Diagnose and Repair
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Leaky Faucets and Water Waste
The average homeowner is looking for any and all ways to save money these days. The mortgage is going to be the same, month after month, so that isn’t really a viable avenue. You can try to save on energy, but there are only so many lights you can turn off and so much insulation you can pack into the attic. For many, though, fixing something that has probably gone unnoticed for a long time could have sizable savings. The cornerstone of Mississauga plumbing, the faucets in your home can waste a tremendous amount of water if you let them drip continuously for months on end. If you have one that you keep meaning to come around and fix, now is the time to do so.
Even faucets that are only leaking a modest amount (approximately a single drip per second) can waste 2,000 gallons of water every year. You can easily look at how much you’re paying for water each month to see how much extra this small problem is costing you where it counts. The next time you’re tempted to yell at your children for leaving the TV on when they leave the room, think about that dripping faucet and remember that you have no room to talk. Plumbing doesn’t get a lot of attention when it comes to saving money in a household, but it could be a good place to start.
Most faucets are either going to be compression based or washerless in nature. Those that are compression based use a rubber washer set within a metal tubing to form a seal that water can’t penetrate. However, when that washer gets worn with age or begins to harden, the seal could easily break. Thus, the faucet begins to leak and you have a minor plumbing problem that could cost you major water waste. If you have a washerless faucet, the situation is a bit more complicated. Instead of washers, these faucets use several metal parts moving in conjunction to form the seal.
Repairing the Leak
Before you set about repairing the leak, you have to first determine the cause of the problem. If the job is no more complicated than replacing a washer, there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself. If it involves taking the faucet apart and examining each part to see where the damage lies, you may feel more comfortable leaving this plumbing repair to the professionals.
How To Diagnose Leaky Faucet
A leaky faucet is a pretty common problem and an easy one to fix. But before you can make a repair, you have to determine the cause of the leak. Use this guide from Mister Plumber to determine the cause of your leak, or, if you would like a professional evaluation, give us a call. Our highly trained staff of Toronto plumbers can inspect the problem and make any necessary repairs for you.
If the faucet leaks from the handle, you may need to tighten or replace the packing nut, clean the stem, or replace the O-ring or washer. For two handle faucets, the problem is usually with one handle or the other. You can determine which handle is leaking by first turning on the hot water to see if this stops the leak. If so, the hot water handle is the problem. If not, try the same thing with the cold water. If this stops the leak, the cold water faucet is causing the leak. However, it’s a good idea to go ahead and repair both handles since they are likely to both be worn.
Faucet Leaks from Spout
If the faucet leaks from the the base of the spout, you may need to replace the O-ring or clean inside the faucet assembly with an abrasive sponge. If the faucet drips from the spout, you may need to replace the seat washer or the valve seat for compression style faucets. For other types of faucets, you may need to replace the cartridge or disk.
Faucet Leaks under the Sink
If the faucet leaks underneath the sink, run the faucet and look for the source of the leak. If it’s a leaky drain pipe, you may need to tighten the slip nuts or perform a simple pipe repair.
Get Expert Faucet Repair
While fixing a leaking faucet can be easy to do yourself, you may feel more comfortable calling in the experts. At Mister Plumber, we’re here for all your plumbing needs, from faucet repair to pipe repair and everything in between. Give us a call – we’re your go-to source for trusted Toronto plumbers.
What’s Causing That Dripping Faucet?
One of the largest difficulties with telling someone how to repair a faucet is that it can vary widely depending on the specific model and year. If you don’t have that information, then all of the information and advice given must be very general. If you follow some basic guidelines, however, you can group different shapes and styles of faucets into general groups which will require the same basic steps to open up and repair. Whenever you’ve gotten into that particular faucet, then all you really have to do is find the proper replacement parts and put it all back together in the correct fashion. While we’re talking about this, it is very important to take a close look at what everything looks like before and while you are dismantling it.
Find the Issue
If the water is dripping out of the spout, like if you can’t turn it all the way off, then you have a bad valve seal or bad valve under the handle. Check to see if the water is warm or cold to determine which side has the leaky valve. If you have a single-handle faucet, the warm and cold inlets both have their own set of valve parts. That being said, if one is bad, you will want to replace both. If your faucet leaks at the base, then you most likely have a bad o-ring under the base of the spout. This is a common problem with spouts that swivel.
Shut Off The Water
The first, and probably most important step in fixing your leaking faucet is to turn the water off. Open up the cabinet under the sink and shut off the water at the football-shaped knobs that are located between the pipes coming into the cabinet and the pipes actually going up to your faucet. Turn each knob clockwise until they stop turning. Always shut off both hot and cold water supplies even if you just need to fix one. If you don’t have shutoff valves underneath your sink, then you will need to turn the water off to your entire house at the main shutoff valve
Take Your Faucet Apart
Start by opening the faucet handles to make sure that the valves are properly shut off and all water has exited the faucet. Once you have done that, search for the set screw that is typically located under a decorative plastic cap that can be pried off with a screwdriver. The next steps will vary according to your particular faucet. If at all possible, find your manufacturer’s instructions.
Find New Parts and Finish Up
After you have dismantled your faucet, it is time to find the parts that are causing your problem and replace them with new parts. The best way to do this is to pack everything that you need into a plastic bag and head over to the local hardware store. An associate should be able to help you find what you need. If not, then you may have to search online. After you have found the pieces that you need, simply install them back into the proper locations and test your faucet. If everything works, then great. If not, then you may just need to call a Toronto plumber to help.
Don’t ignore the leaky faucet
Don’t ignore the leaky faucet in your kitchen as it might cause full-fledged flooding any day. We are often faced with trivial issues that we choose to ignore. It’s always better to unclog the drain before it gets too late. In case a small leak turns into a big one, you can always rely on emergency plumbing services to rescue you from a watery mess.
Be it a burst pipe or a gas leak, emergency plumbers are your go -o guys for any such unforeseen disasters. Faulty water pumps, broken cisterns, frozen pipes and clogged drains; everything is fixable. If you want a smooth sailing plumbing experience, here are a few pointers that you need to keep in mind before calling an emergency plumbing service.
Identify the Problem
The first step is to locate the scene of the crime. Find out what needs to be fixed, the kitchen drain, the boiler or the toilet. Emergency Plumbers have their own areas of expertise; you can call a Gas Engineer, Boiler Repair Specialist, or a Blocked Drain or Toilet Plumber depending on your requirements. You need to isolate the origin before you call in the experts.
Preparation is the key to handling any disaster, so make sure you are well-prepared for any eventuality. Get a number of different opinions before you call in a plumber. Talk to your neighbors and find out about the plumbing services they hire. You can go online and check out various forums for more information. However, don’t get swayed by some fancy looking plumbing website that offers “world class” services. Anyone can have a website, and marketing skills have nothing to do with plumbing techniques. If you don’t trust the virtual world too much, you can go down to the hardware store or the plumbing supplies store and garner information about the best plumbing companies in your area.
Stay a Step Ahead
In times of crisis, if you don’t keep a cool head, you might aggravate the disaster instead of controlling it. So, get all your facts straight before hiring an emergency plumber. It is always best to contact a number of plumbing services instead of just one. Find out the price each one is quoting, the time period in which they promise to set things right and the type of materials they are using. Compare all these essential details and then zero down on your final choice.
Make sure you get all the technicalities right and don’t pay the full amount until the task has been completed. Stay in the loop and keep checking-in on the progress of the work. You have to be firm if you don’t want to be cheated into accepting poor quality services for high costs.
In order to avoid a future disaster, keep a few tips handy. Repair a leaky faucet without delay, check your pipes regularly for any signs of damage and get rid of clogs before they turn into a plumbing emergency.
Mister Plumber specializing in Toronto, ON sewer repair, drain cleaning, and emergency plumbing, Mister Plumber uses the latest technology to effectively troubleshoot and quickly repair any plumbing problem and offers a fast response and free estimates. Call us 416 939 1530 or fill the form for Online Free Estimate.
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