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Stop the Leak | How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Stop the Leak | How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

While you may think that your leaky faucet is something you can solve on your own, it can be complex and an indication of larger plumbing issues.

Nearly all homeowners in Hamburg, NY and Erie County are sure to face a leaky faucet at some point. Leaky faucets are not only irritating due to the constant dripping sound, they also serve as a continuous reminder that you’re wasting water, your water bill will be higher, and you could be facing water damage. Repairing a leaky faucet is generally an easy and inexpensive project and you should stop the leak as soon as you notice it and fix the leaky faucet.

Causes of a Leaky Faucet

Faucets control the flow of water using an inner stem or cartridge with rubber or neoprene washers or seals that open and close against water inlet ports inside the faucet body. When the seals don’t properly fit, it allows a small amount of water to continue up to the faucet spout, where it creates a drip.

A faucet leak can be credited to numerous causes; however, the most common reasons are:

– Mineral/Scale Buildup: All water has minerals in it and those minerals can build up and lead to a faucet leak. This buildup causes interference with the faucet’s ability to seal the water inlets due to a blockage from the buildup.

– Part Corrosion: Like all things, faucets, their parts, and plumbing corrode over time and with use. This can cause a leak due to parts not functioning as they should.

– Worn Out Faucet Parts: O-rings, washers, cartridges, valves, handles, etc. can all wear out and cause a leak. If plumbing seal was used, that may also deteriorate over time and cause the constant drip.

Finding the actual cause of a leaking faucet may not be clear until you disassemble the entire faucet. It is recommended to contact a plumbing expert to check your leaks to ensure there are not larger plumbing issues.

Tips to Fix a Leaky Faucet

While it’s not recommended to fix a leaky faucet by yourself, you may want to give it a shot before contacting a plumber. Below are some tips for how you can attempt to mend a leaky faucet in your Hamburg, NY and Erie County home.

– Turn off the Water: Step one of any plumbing repair is turning off the water. Water left on can lead to a flood of water and could cause additional water damage. Be sure to turn off the shutoff valves to the water fixture or the main water supply for your home, if there are no shutoff valves for the faucet. You should always test the faucet to ensure the water is shut off and to relieve any excess water, prior to beginning any work.

– Remove Faucet Handles: All faucets are different, but you can typically use a flathead screwdriver to remove decorative caps on top of the handle to get to the handle screws that should be removed. As you set the parts aside, make note of how to reassemble the faucet when you are finished.

– Detach Valve Stem or Cartridge: Once you have removed the handles, you will be able to see the inner valve stem or cartridge of the faucet; this part will need removed and how you do so varies on the type of faucet you have. Read the manual for your faucet or look online for instructions for your fixture.

– Inspect the Parts: Look at all the parts that are removed and still intact to see if you can identify what is causing the leaky faucet. Is there mineral buildup, corroded parts, parts that look worn out or broken, or anything else of note?

– Fix Parts or Replace the Faucet: If you have identified what part or parts of the faucet are causing the leak, now is the time to replace or repair that part. Sometimes, it is best  to replace the faucet all together. Most faucets have a lifespan of about 15-20 years before they require major repairs or replacement.

– Reassemble the Faucet: Put the faucet back together how you took it apart. You can clean valves and any scale buildup prior to doing so to prevent future issues down the road.

While you may think that your dripping water is something you can solve on your own, fixing a leaky faucet can be complex and can be an indication of larger plumbing issues.

At Duffett Plumbing, Heating, & AC, we are a full-service plumbing team. This means our friendly, professional plumbers can fix any plumbing problem in your home. Broken water heater? Leaking pipe? Clogged drain? We handle it all.

When you need plumbing help, turn to the locally trusted plumbing company in Hamburg, NY: Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC. Contact us today.