Your faucet brings fresh, clean hot and cold water right into your home, so when it breaks, that’s a big problem. Whether your faulty faucet is spraying a plume of water straight into your face or just dripping non-stop day and night, faucet problems can cost you time, money, and even some of your sanity (drip, drip , drip…).
Fortunately, even though faucet technology has evolved in recent years, it’s still fairly easy to fix the most common faucet problems yourself. Even if you have to hire a plumber to fix your leaky faucet, it may be worth it – a faucet that drips quickly can waste 30 gallons or more of water per day, and that kind of water use is not cheap. Here’s what causes five of the most common faucet problems, and what you can do to fix them.
Leaky faucets tend to get worse over time; when they start tearing, they can tear so rarely that you don’t even notice it. But soon, the dripping gets so bad that it’s constant, raising your water bill noticeably.
The right fix for this faucet problem depends on whether you have a compression faucet or a cartridge faucet. If you have a compression faucet (one in which the handle screws on and you can feel a stem inside the handle pressing down on a washer inside), you can fix the faucet by replacing the washer on the stem end of the the faucet. If it is a cartridge faucet, you will need to replace the cartridge.
2. Flowing handle
A leaking faucet handle can be the result of a loose packing nut on the handle. It may also be a sign that the O-ring inside the handle needs to be replaced. Turn off the water, disassemble the faucet, and clean the valve body and the inside of the spout. Lubricate the new O-ring with silicone-based grease before installing it.
3. Loud sounds
Banging, sloshing, twisting and gurgling when you turn off a faucet is usually a sign of water hammer, a phenomenon that happens when the air in your pipes has nowhere to go. In severe cases, water hammer can suppress the pipes so much that it damages the fittings and connections. However, it is easy to remedy by placing in an air chamber.
If you already have an air chamber, or one installation didn’t help, shut off the water to your home and drain the lines. Then turn the water again. If the noise continues, it may be a sign that you need to adjust the water pressure coming in from the main supply, or repair the faucet valve. At this point, it is worth finding a Washington, DC plumber or faucet repair service to get to the root of the problem.
4. Dribbling or spitting
If you turn on your faucet and the water dribbles, spits, or sprays more than it normally flows, the problem may be with your aerator. Usually, a dribbling or spitting faucet is a sign that the aerator needs to be removed, removed, and replaced. A spraying faucet usually means the aerator needs to be tightened.
5. Low water pressure
If your water pressure is low, you should first check that the problem is not with the water department or the water supply valves that let water into your home from the supply principal. If the problem is only with your faucet, then low water pressure is probably a sign of a faulty diverter in the faucet. The diverter is a small valve that can be found inside the faucet body. It controls the flow of water to the faucet, but if it gets clogged, the water will not come out in the faucet spout as it should. Disassemble the faucet body and clean the diverter of any dirt or debris using vinegar and a small brush. Put the faucet back together and if the water pressure is still low, replace the diverter.
Faucet problems can really throw a wet blanket over your plans – but they don’t have to be persistent. With a little elbow grease and maybe the help of a qualified plumber, you can put your faucet problems behind you – just let the water flush them away.