Leaky faucets are a common occurrence at every home. Most homeowners have more or less an idea on how to repair a faucet leak. But leaks can arise from a variety of causes. Some are because of minor loose pipes; others are symptoms of much more serious problems.
If you find yourself facing the problem of a leaky faucet, the ideal thing to do is identify the problem first. Some are easy to address, so you can conduct the repairs on your own. Others, however, would require the help of professional plumbing services.
Here are some steps to repairing a leaky faucet on your own:
Turn off the water supply
Before you even get started, you have to shut off the water supply. This is so you can inspect the faucet without worrying about water spillage. A wrong twist or turn might cause water to shoot out of the pipes and flood your home. Avoid this by making sure the water supply is turned off.
Identify your faucet type
Faucets are not all the same. In fact, there are four different types. These are the ball type, cartridge or sleeve type, ceramic disk type, and compression type. The differences in the family of faucets mean that they have different parts and characteristics.
Identify how your faucet is classified so you can better address the leak according to the specifics of your faucet.
Faucets that belong to the ball type have a lot of parts. That’s why it’s difficult to identify the issue. If you were able to identify what’s causing the leak, then replace that troublesome part. If it’s only a very minor issue that you think can still be contained, you can use an adhesive sealant to stop the leak in the meantime. But if you can’t determine where it’s coming from, it’s best to replace all parts to prevent future problems.
Cartridge type faucets, on the other hand, have a part called an O-ring. The O-ring is the culprit of leaky faucets. So you have to replace them to end your problem with leakage. If your faucet is cartridge type, disassemble the parts and cut off the O-rings. O-rings come in different sizes, so make sure you get one that is an exact match for your faucet.
For ceramic disk faucets, the problem usually stems from what is called the neoprene seals. This can be found inside the set screw. Once you’ve accessed this area, remove the cap and take the cylinder out. You have to replace the attached neoprene seals if they’re damaged. Use white vinegar to clean the openings of the cylinder. After you reassemble the parts, make sure you’re careful in turning the water back on. Do this very slowly because the sudden rush of water might damage the ceramic disk if not done with care.
Compression faucets are the most commonly used. They’re the only types that make use of seat washers or rubber washers. This is a part that should be replaced periodically to avoid leaks and damage to the faucet. Compression faucets also have the O-ring that causes leaks, so replace this part as well.
Leaky faucets are generally very easy to fix. More often than not, the vital parts of the faucet just need replacing or patching up with adhesive sealers. Identify the problem in your faucet first, and see if you can conduct the reparation. If not, then seek the services of professional plumbers to help.