Drip, Drop, The Leak Needs to Stop
Is there anything as annoying as a leaking faucet? There are very few things on that list, perhaps nails on a chalkboard or the neighbors playing unwelcome music at all hours. The sink drip can be dealt with quickly and easily if a homeowner is in the mood for some daring or not-so-daring DIY.
Hazards and Harms of a Leaky Faucet
A leaky faucet is more than an annoyance; allowing it to drip continually can cost more than 3 gallons of water per day. If the leak is even more severe, it can waste about 30 gallons per day. It can add hundreds of dollars to a yearly water bill.
Another issue that arises from leaks is the risk of mold and mildew. These growths are unsightly, but they can also lead to health problems if certain types of mold are involved.
Leaky Causes: Common Mood-Killing Culprits
While every faucet design is different, standard features and parts prevent the valves that keep the water in the pipes from closing completely. Though these parts are often tiny, they can affect the whole system if they wear out or loosen.
- Cartridge: This is a valve and washer combined into one piece that sits on the pipe stem and allows or inhibits the flow of water when the handle turns. It is the most common type of faucet handle mechanism.
- O- Ring: This flat piece of silicone is a hard-working part of the handle. Wear and tear cause loosening and damage to this piece, and it may need replacing.
- Washers and Seals: Sediment in the pipes and corrosion can cause these parts to break.
- Stem Seat: This piece is essential to keeping the water from flowing. It is a silicone or rubber piece sometimes accompanied by a spring nestling into the pipe below the handle. The entire handle mechanism sits on this piece.
- Nuts and Bolts: Age and use can cause these pieces to loosen. They may need a quick tightening with a wrench.
DIY Love: Replacing a Sink Cartridge
Steps for replacing a single handle cartridge:
- Turn off the water using the valve below the sink.
- Remove the stem screw cover.
- Remove the stem screw and handle.
- Remove the old cartridge.
- Verify placement of stem seat, O ring, and spring if applicable.
- Replace with a new cartridge.
- Replace the handle and stem screw.
- Test the water by turning it back on and turning the newly repaired handle.
- Replace the decorative cover.
- Enjoy the newly repaired sink.
If a homeowner has doubts about their do-it-yourself chops, the professionals are always there to help.
About Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing
Since 1986, Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing has provided excellent plumbing solutions in Sparks, NV, and the surrounding areas. Call today for details on their preferred customer program and their emergency service.