Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Feeling bold? Try repairing a leaky faucet.

In homes all across the Greater Cincinnati area, a faucet is either leaking, has leaked, or will be leaking soon.

According to http://www.hometips.com/repair-fix/faucet-dripping.html, there are 4 types of faucets: cartridge, ball, compression and disc. Before tackling a faucet repair, it’s important to identify which type of faucet you have. Typically, single-lever faucets are either a ball-type or a cartridge-type. A faucet with 2 handles (one for hot and one for cold) is usually a compression faucet. To muddy the water a bit, disc-type faucets can be either single lever or dual handles.

The best way to identify your faucet type is to take it apart. Tip: Before you begin, turn the water off at the shutoff valves under the sink or at the water main.

What Causes Leaky Faucets?

Once, it was our 3-year old who decided to stand on the kitchen sink faucet to reach an upper-shelf item in the cabinet. The faucet (which was clearly not cast brass) snapped off under his weight, sending water everywhere. Fortunately, we had the wherewithal to grab a large drinking glass, turn the glass upside-down over the spewing stream to route the water into the sink while someone shut off the water.

Usually, leaks are more mundane – a washer, seal or an O-ring is worn and needs to be replaced. According to http://www.hometips.com/repair-fix/faucet-dripping.html, “Failed washers or seals usually cause drips… leaks around the handle usually mean that the O-rings on the stem need to be replaced or that the packing nut or adjusting ring needs to be tightened.”

• As a general rule, compression faucets are notorious “drippers.” The washers or seals are constantly compressed against the metal valve seats, causing wear. When they fail, the non-stop drip can waste water, create rust stains in tubs and lavatories, and become downright annoying. A clue that your compression faucet needs attention: no matter how hard you tight the faucet handles, the drip does not cease.

• Disc faucets leak when the inlet and outlet seals fail or when sediment builds in the faucet inlets. Replace the worn seals with new, matching seals, being careful to align the seals properly.

• Cartridge faucets, on the other hand, leak when the O-ring cushion in the cartridge stem fails or when the cartridge needs to be replaced. It’s imperative that the replacement cartridge matches the original. New cartridges are readily available from Amazon.com or the local home center. It’s a good idea to take the original with you when looking for a replacement.

• Ball faucets, such as the ubiquitous, inexpensive single lever models made by Delta and Price-Pfister, become drippy when the seals wear out and leaky when the O-rings fail. If the leak happens when you move the handle a certain way, tighten the adjusting ring after lifting the handle off the assembly. If the handle continues to leak, replace the cap; if the spout drips, the inlet seals and springs or the ball need replacing. If all those approaches fail, throw the faucet as far as you can and replace it with something better. Seriously.

Water you waiting for? While fixing a faucet seems like an easy task, there are better ways to spend 3-4 hours on a Saturday. Call the professionals at Allied Reddi-Rooter while you kick back and relax. Ray is on hand for free estimate. Call today: (513) 396-5300.