A leaking faucet is one of the most frustrating home plumbing problems. Leaking faucets waste a ton of water, the constant “drip…drip” sound the leak makes is incredibly annoying, and water leaks are one of the main contributors to excessively high water bills. One leaking faucet in your home can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day. That adds up to about 600 or more gallons of wasted water every month—just from a single leaking faucet.
Once you notice a leaking faucet in your home, it’s important to repair it as quickly as possible to avoid wasting water and prevent your monthly water bill from skyrocketing. Repairing a leaking faucet is sometimes possible to do on your own, even if you don’t have any previous plumbing experience. Here are 5 tips for fixing a leaky faucet once and for all, the right way—without making the problem worse.
1. Don’t Forget to Prepare
Before you get to work repairing your leaking faucet, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for a successful repair job.
Start by shutting off either the main water supply to your home or the water supply to the faucet that’s leaking. This is an important step that can help you avoid causing additional damage to your home plumbing system. To shut off the water supply to the faucet you are trying to repair, find the shut-off valve underneath the sink and twist it clockwise.
Also, close the drain before you start to disassemble the faucet. You will most likely have to deal with tiny screws and various small parts while repairing your leaking faucet, and the last thing you need is for one of those minuscule parts to disappear forever down your sink drain.
2. Know Your Faucet
There are multiple different types of faucets, and the repair process for each type of faucet is slightly different. It is important to understand which type of faucet you have before attempting to repair it.
The most common types of faucets are compression faucets, ball faucets, cartridge faucets, and ceramic-disk faucets. Compression faucets are recognizable by their two screw handles—one on each side for hot water and cold water.
If your leaking faucet is not a compression faucet, you will likely have to disassemble it before you can determine which type of faucet it is. Ball faucets have ball bearings, cartridge faucets have cartridges, and ceramic-disk faucets have ceramic cylinders, but these parts are usually invisible before disassembly.
3. Clean All Parts
Over time, the internal parts of your faucet can get bogged down by debris and mineral build-up. This can cause certain parts to not fit and function as they are meant to, which can lead to leaks.
It is possible that all your leaking faucet needs is a little bit of TLC. After carefully disassembling your leaking faucet, use a cloth soaked in water and white vinegar to effectively remove grime and mineral deposits from each part. Soak the parts in white vinegar to get rid of especially stubborn mineral buildup. Once all of the parts of your faucet are clean and dry, reassemble the faucet and test it. You may notice that the leak has disappeared entirely.
4. Buy a Replacement Kit
If you have already tried to disassemble your faucet, thoroughly clean all of its internal parts, and reassemble it but are still dealing with a frustrating leak, it’s probably time for you to buy a replacement kit.
You should be able to find a relatively inexpensive faucet part replacement kit at your local hardware store. Just make sure you know exactly which type of faucet you have before you go out to purchase a repair kit. Faucet repair and replacement kits include some of the most commonly worn-out parts of a faucet—such as washers, O-rings, seals, etc.—to allow you to easily swap out any aging parts that might be malfunctioning or loose and causing your faucet to leak.
5. Call a Professional
While it is possible to repair a leaking faucet in your home on your own—depending on the nature and location of the leak—it is often easier, more convenient, and even cheaper, in the long run, to call in a professional instead of attempting to deal with the problem yourself.
Accurate Leak Locators and Plumbing is a professional plumbing company that serves customers throughout Southern California—across the Inland Empire, Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, and beyond. They offer a wide range of plumbing services at affordable prices, and their skilled team has more than 30 years of experience in the plumbing and leak location industry. In fact, they specialize in detecting and repairing home plumbing system leaks—including faucet leaks, of course.
If you’re struggling with a leaking faucet in your Southern California home, give Accurate Leak Locators and Plumbing a call today to get professional plumbing and leak location expert in your home right away to solve the problem for you.