Faucets are used every day and are an important part of your every day. Having them run consistently in your home is of utmost importance. A leaky faucet does not only add to your water bill and cause some unnecessary anxiety, but the sound of the constant dripping of a water tap can surely drive you crazy! We have compiled a small list of causes of a leaky faucet and how you can properly fix it.
How Water Faucets Work: Single- Vs. Double-Lever Mixer
In a single-lever mixer, the handle causes the inner cartridge in the tap body to move up or down to start and stop the water flow. Both hot and cold water flows into the same cartridge, and a rotation of the handle controls the mixture and temperature.
Cartridge faucets with two handles work in a similar way, but in this case, there are two cartridges controlling the flow of either hot or cold water. In these, the movement of the handle rotates the cartridge instead of lifting it up and down.
Why Do Faucets Leak?
There are two common reasons that cause your bathroom or kitchen faucet to leak. Either limescale deposits contaminate the cartridge or the sealing ring (O-ring) and has hardened over time, thus prevents sealing.
First you may want to find the location of the water leak in order to have an idea of what the problem might be. In the case of a single-lever mixer (faucet with one handle), the cartridge in the fitting may be calcified. If you still own a classic model with rotary handles, a defective seal or calcified valve seat may be the reason for the dripping.
An O-ring is a small rubber ring around the valve stem preventing water from oozing out around the spout. Over time, these rings become worn out or damaged through regular use of your faucet. If your O-ring is the problem, you will see water dripping near the handle.
If the malefactor is a calcified seal that no longer closes properly, it may have become rigid or brittle due to material aging, temperature loads, or calcareous water and therefore no longer serves its purpose. A faucet with two handles for regulating hot and cold water has a valve top with seals on each handle.
Another cause for dripping is a cartridge that is dirty or worn out due to lime deposits. The cartridge is the heart of a single lever faucet (hot and cold water come from the same tap thanks to a cartridge) and controls the quantity and temperature of the water coming out of the tap by transmitting directly to it every movement of the tap handle. If it is no longer properly sealed, the tap may leak.
How To Fix A Leaking Faucet
Depending on the origin of the leak there are different ways to fix it. These tips work for every cartridge faucet, whether the leak is in your kitchen, bathroom, bathtub, or from your shower head.
If the leak is located near your faucet handle, try replacing the O-ring first. It is important to buy the right size, otherwise, the new part will be as non-functional as the old one. If replacing the O-ring doesn’t stop the leak, you may need to install a new valve cartridge, as well.
There is a way to temporarily fix a leaky faucet in just a few seconds. Tie a thread around the tap and let the loose end hang down to the bottom of the sink. This way the drops run along the thread and no longer make a noise. But this does not solve the problem.
Relatively few tools are used to repair a leaky faucet, and you may already have them at hand.
First off, turn off the main water switch or by closing the valves under the sink in order to prevent flooding. Then, turn on the leaky faucet to drain any excess water from the pipes.
For the further procedure, it is best to collect the following tools and accessories in advance:
- (old) rag
- Screwdriver (lengthwise and crosswise)
- Pipe Wrench
- new rubber sealing ring, cartridge, and seal
- Sealing grease
Note, that the fixing procedure of the faucet leak depends on the faucet type. Most likely you have a cartridge faucet installed in your kitchen or bathroom since this type is the most modern one. Cartridge faucets may appear in either a single-lever or two-handle version.
Install A Flow-Tech System
Most often, damage occurs in areas where the water is particularly hard, i.e., calcareous and therefore deposits form more quickly. Meaning, when a faucet (kitchen faucet, laundry faucet, bathtub faucet, outside faucet, etc.) is leaking, it is usually led back to water with a high share in calcium, magnesium, or minerals (or the white build up you see over time).
We’ve created a long-term solution for homeowners and their faucet problems and this is to install a Flow-Tech whole house anti-scale system.
It is a new innovative solution that will send a signal into the fluid column everywhere throughout your home and hold the calcium and magnesium in a cluster formation. This way your water will stay consistent 100% of the time. Not only does this system control the limescale build-up of magnesium and calcium but is also maintenance-free and eco-friendly. As a result of installing the Flow-Tech system, any work we do in your home will last longer and run more efficiently.
We stand by the Flow-Tech system, and we know your water flowage will benefit as a direct result of its components. Ask us how we can help install a Flow-Tech water system in your home and you can stop worrying about leaky faucets! See a complete list of our plumbing services.
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