Your faucet drips. That tick-tick-tick of the water leaking out from it drives you nuts. How can you possibly fix it so you never hear that noise again?
There is good news. In some cases, you don't need to call a plumber for leaky faucet repair in Newmarket. Instead, take a look at the guide below. Chances are, you can tackle the job yourself and save yourself some cash and some wasted water.
When Do You Need Leaky Faucet Repair in Newmarket?
There are a few reasons your faucet could be leaking. How you decide to fix the problem depends on why the water is dripping. These are the top four reasons for a leaky faucet:
- Corrosion on the valve seat
- Build up on the valve parts and/or washers
- O-ring and seal wear and tear
- Other parts are loose
Don't Ignore a Leak
If you're accustomed to listening to that dripping water sound, it might be easy to tune it out. Don't ignore the small problem. What seems like a tiny inconvenience now can cause some disaster problems in the future.
Wear and Tear
Over time, a leaky faucet causes more wear and tear on the washers. It can even damage the sink itself. If you let it go, you might have to do more than replacing the faucet components.
A leaky faucet that drips once every second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year. That's equivalent to more than 180 showers. That's a lot of waste.
Your Water Bill
You may not worry about your water bill beating out other larger bills. However, a little leak can add up over time. The more water that drips, the more water you pay for that you aren't actually using.
Contact Customer Support Service
The good news is, most faucets will come with a lifetime warranty. You might want to pick up the phone and call customer support before you dig out your tools. They could save you some time and money by providing support.
However, if they are unable to help you, a leaky faucet is something you can tackle on your own.
Tools You'll Need On Hand
Again, you won't need to call up an experienced plumber. This is a job you can do yourself with a few tools at home. If you follow the instructions carefully, it'll take you about an hour of your day.
You'll need the following tools:
- Flathead screwdriver
- Allen wrench (or Hex wrench)
- Channellock-Style Pliers
- C wrench
- O-rings and washers
- Utility knife
- Bucket and a plastic bin
- Clean towels
- Empty egg carton
- WD-40/CRC/ dish detergent. plumber's grease (lubricants)
- White vinegar
- Q-tip, scouring pad, cloth rags, old toothbrush, and various cleaning implements
- Parts specific to your faucet type and/or faucet repair kit
When buying replacement parts for your faucet, you'll want to make sure you have the right size. When you're disassembling the faucet, clean up the pieces and put them in a bag.
Bring the bag to your hardware store. It's a common mistake to buy them blindly and end up with the wrong size. Taking them to the store, you can compare and make sure you get a perfect match for what you need.
Determine Where the Leak is Coming From
How you'll need to repair your leak depends on where it's actually coming from. A drip from the spout's end will need a different plan of attack than a leak at the base.
Figure Out What Type of Faucet You Have
Each faucet type works in its own way. Also, each faucet will have different components to work with. You'll need to know what kind you have in order to make proper repairs.
To figure out what kind you have, remove the handle.
- Compression Faucets have two handles.
- Ceramic Disk Faucets contain a ceramic cylinder under the handle.
- Cartridge Faucets contain a cartridge under the handle.
- Ball Faucets contain a ball bearing under the handle.
Step #1 Turn the Water Supply Off
If a dripping sound is driving you crazy, you probably don't want to experience a flood in your home. It's important to shut off the water supply before you do anything else.
Under the sink, there are water valves. You can turn off the water supply to the faucet from there. If you can't find the right valve, you can turn off the water in your entire house instead.
Once the water is off, turn on the faucet. This will drain out any excess water left in the pipe. Don't forget to use a stopper to cover the drain. This will make sure no small parts wash away during the repair.
Step #2 Put A Bucket Down
Place a bucket near the water supply lines below the sink. This will collect any possible drips after you disconnect the supply lines.
Step #3 Prepare Your Collection Area
Things might get a little messy. Set out a bin, a clean towel, and an empty, styrofoam egg carton. You can use the egg carton to collect the parts you remove as you repair your faucet.
If you're really organized, you can label the order of the removed parts with a permanent marker as you place them in the carton. Styrofoam egg cartons work best. This is because they're not affected by water. All your parts will be safely organized if it happens to get wet.
Step #4 Prepare A Cleaning Station
You'll have a lot of little parts to clean. Place your distilled water in a clear bin and all your cleaning implements nearby. This is where you will remove any and all mineral deposits on the faucet parts.
Step #5 Take off Any Decorative Parts
Use your flathead screwdriver to take off the decorative handles. You might find the screws have corroded over time. If that's the case, use one of your lubricants to loosen the parts.
Take note where each part and screw go. This will help you when it's time to put it back together.
Step #6 Inspect Your Faucet
No matter what kind of faucet you have, you'll need to inspect the different components.
Inspecting Your Ceramic Disk Faucet
Ceramic disk faucets are durable. They tend to last for a long time before they start leaking.
1. Remove the handle
2. You'll see a metal escutcheon cap directly under the handle. Take this out.
3. Use a wrench to remove the disk cylinder. This will expose the neoprene seals.
4. Using white vinegar, clean the seals after you take them out. If there is a lot of build-up, you can let the seals soak in vinegar for several hours. However, if they are in poor shape, it's best to replace them.
5. If you cleaned the seals, put them back into place. If needed, replace them with new ones. Reassemble your faucet and turn it on slowly. The ceramic disk needs to be soaked before you can turn on the water full blast. Otherwise, you risk cracking it.
Inspecting Your Cartridge Faucet
Cartridge faucets are one of the most durable faucets. They're also a little more difficult to repair.
1. Remove the handle.
2. Some cartridge faucets use a circular retaining clip to hold the cartridge in place. Using pliers, take out this retaining clip.
3. Remove the cartridge from its place.
4. Use a wrench to take out the faucet spout. Locate the O-rings inside.
5. The O-rings are difficult to remove. You might need to cut them with a thin knife. Note: When you need to replace O-rings, coat them with vaseline or plumber's greats before you install them.
Inspecting Your Ball Faucet
Ball faucets are pretty durable. The downside is that they are also complicated and expensive to repair, even on your own. If you need to fix a leaky ball faucet, you'll need to purchase a replacement kit. You can find a kit at most retails at around $30.
1. Remove the handle.
2. Use either a wrench or pliers to remove both the bap and the collar.
3. There is a special tool in your tool repair kit. Use it to loosen the cam. Remove the cam, the washer, and the ball.
4. Take out the seals and springs from the mechanism. You might need to use thin piers to reach them.
5. Remove all the O-rings by cutting them. Replace them with new ones. Don't forget to coat them with vaseline or plumber's grease.
6. Replace all the old elements (springs, cam washers, and valve seats). Your repair kit should have new ones.
7. Reassemble the handle. If you've done everything correctly, it should be ready to go.
Step #7 Reassemble The Faucet
You've cleaned all the pieces. You've replaced any damaged parts. You've taken note of where all the pieces fit together. It's time to reassemble and test it out.
Take extra care to make sure you're putting each piece where it belongs in assembly. Remember, you should have made a mental note on where it all goes during the repair. If you used an empty egg carton, your pieces should be placed in the order they go back.
Once everything is pieced back together, turn the faucet on slowly, sit back, and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
There's Still a Leak
Most of the time, this simple DIY fix cures a leaky faucet. However, you might find it's still leaking. If that's the case, something else is causing the problem.
This is the time when you need to call an experienced plumber. It's likely you have a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Replace The Faucet
The majority of faucets last over 10 years. The problem is, the lifespan of a faucet depends on usage, water quality, and maintenance. It's possible your faucet might have more wear and tear on it and needs to be replaced.
Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind.
- If you are replacing a pair of compression faucets, replace them one at a time. This avoids mixing up the parts. If you accidentally reassembled them backward, it would cause the faucet handles to open and shut the opposite way they're supposed to.
- If you're not replacing small parts, make sure you clean them with warm, white vinegar. If soaking them isn't enough, you can also use CLR. This is a potent and safe product to clean minerals.
- Friction can make O-rings difficult to install. If this is the case, you can use some liquid dish detergent to lubricate the parts.
- Hot water wears washers out quicker than cold water. Chances are, the washer on the hot faucet will wear out before the washer on the cold faucet. You can protect the hot faucet washer with heatproof plumber's grease.
As you work on your faucet, you might find a few other concerns you need to address.
Your sink has a "trap." This is to stop sewer gas from coming into your home. For this to work, a certain amount of water needs to sit in the trap to work as a blocker. If you have nasty smells, you might need to run the tap for a little bit.
Some sinks are prone to getting blockages. The cause could be long hair, soap scum, or skin cells. If you seem to have this problem, you might want to invest in a snake to hook out some of the junk.
Enjoy Being Leak Free
No one likes to have a leaky, dripping faucet, but it's a problem almost every homeowner will face. Leaky faucet repair in Newmarket doesn't have to be expensive.
With the help of a few tools, you can fix it on your own. Doing so will keep you from wasting water. It will also keep your water bill from growing any more than it should.
Follow the step we provided for you, and before you know it, you'll be drip-free. If you're still facing this or another plumbing issue, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.