Did you know that household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually in the USA? According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, leaks can waste 10,000 gallons of water every year per household and 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Fixing leaky faucet can save you more than ten percent on your water bill!
A faucet is a device that delivers water from a plumbing system. It has some components which include a spout, handle(s), lift rod, cartridge, aerator, mixing chamber, and water inlets. Almost every homeowner at one point or another faces the problem of leakage of a faucet. Here are some instructions you can follow to fix a leaky faucet.
Before You Start
There are some precautions you need to take before trying to fix the faucet. It will make the job easier down the road.
The first step is to shut the water off under the sink. Then close the sink drain and cover it with a rag to catch dropped parts. Moreover, it is important to tape the jaws of your wrench with a layer of duct tape to avoid scratching the fixtures. Next, you need to find a place to lay the parts in order of removal. At last. make sure to use distilled white vinegar and a soft scouring pad for removing mineral deposits on faucet parts.
Here are the 5 steps to fixing a leaky faucet:
1. Shut Off the Water
Begin by turning the water off. Do not make the mistake of taking apart the faucet, else you could end up with a flooded kitchen or bathroom. Locate the shutoff valves below the sink to turn off the water to the fixture. Alternatively, you can also turn off the main water supply for the entire house. Turn on the faucet to verify that the water is shut off and to relieve pressure from the lines. Cover the drain with a lid to avoid losing any small parts down the hole.
2. Remove Faucet Handles
You can use a flathead screwdriver to remove the decorative handles from the faucet. Use a high-quality screwdriver to remove the screws holding the handles in place. Sometimes you will find screws and other handle parts are corroded that can make it difficult to remove them. You can use lubricants to loosen the parts. Set the parts aside and make a note as to where they go and how to reinstall them.
3. Inspect the Faucet Parts
Use the wrench to loosen the packing nut and reveal the stem. You can then twist or pry the stem off of the valve. Inspect the packing nut and the stem for signs of buildup or corrosion. Additionally, check the O-ring and the washer in the valve seat to make sure that they are in good condition too. Clean the parts as needed to remove any buildup or deposits, and then set them to the side.
4. Clean the Valves
After all of the parts have been removed from the faucet, you can inspect the valves. There is likely a fair amount of mineral depositing or other buildup. Pour white vinegar over the affected areas and allow everything to soak for several minutes. This helps dissolve the deposits to make them easier to remove. Use the scouring pad to clean the surfaces. Remove the stopper from the drain and pour clean water over the valves to rinse away any dirt and debris.
5. Put the Faucet Back Together
Put the faucet back together in reverse order of the order you followed when you took it apart. If any of the parts are overly corroded or damaged, be sure to replace them with new parts. Now, turn the water supply back on and inspect the faucet for leaks.
Know When to Replace the Faucet
As with anything else, faucets deteriorate with age and need to be replaced sooner or later. If the faucet you are working with is old, then it might be time to replace it with a new one. Many faucets have a lifespan of about 10 years before they require major repairs or replacement. If you are frustrated with not being able to fix your leaky faucet yourself, don’t worry! Plumbing 911 has your back. You can give a call on (866) 720-0911 a Toll-Free number.