A leaky faucet may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can lead to significant water wastage over time. In order to avoid facing extremely high water bills, it is essential to identify the issue early and seek professional assistance right away so as to pinpoint the root cause of the leak. A skilled professional will be able to pinpoint the root cause of the leak and efficiently conduct the necessary repairs and replacements. There are four main types of faucets: cartridge faucets, compression faucets, ball faucets, and ceramic disk faucets. Since different faucets have varying designs and mechanisms, the reasons for leakage may vary. If you have a leaky faucet, knowing the type of faucet you have and its working mechanisms will help you schedule the proper repair services, preventing water leaks from recurring in the future.
Cartridge faucets are single-handle faucets known for their smooth operation and durability. They operate using a movable brass or plastic cartridge inside the faucet. The cartridge controls the flow of hot and cold water and mixes them to achieve the desired water temperature. The cartridge also contains seals that prevent water from leaking around the handle when turning the faucet on.
Compression faucets are commonly found in older homes. They feature a rubber or neoprene washer that creates a watertight seal and controls the flow of water.
Ball faucets, also known as single-handle ball faucets, are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. They feature a single lever that controls both the temperature and flow of water. They also feature a ball assembly with small openings and rubber seals that regulate water flow.
Ceramic Disk Faucets
Ceramic disk faucets feature two ceramic disks, one stationary and one movable, that slide against each other to control water flow.
Common Causes of Leaky Faucets and How to Address Them
In compression faucets, rubber or silicone washers create a seal to stop the water flow. Over time, constant compression and decompression during each use can cause these washers to wear out, leading to leaks around the faucet handle.
Cartridge faucets control water flow through a movable cartridge mechanism. Water can leak from the spout or handle area when the cartridge wears out or becomes faulty.
Loose or Broken O-Rings
O-rings are small rubber or silicone rings that help to create a watertight seal in faucets. Over time, these rings can loosen or get damaged, leading to leaks near the faucet base.
Corroded Valve Seats
Valve seats are metal components that connect the faucet to the spout. When valve seats corrode, water can seep through and cause leaks around the spout area.
Improper Installation or Sealing
Leaks can sometimes occur due to improper faucet installation or inadequate sealing during setup. If all components are not correctly aligned and tightened during installation, they create gaps or loose parts, resulting in water leakage.
Steps We Take When Fixing Leaky Faucets
Step 1: Shutting Off the Water Supply
Our plumbers will begin by identifying the water shut-off valve, which is typically located beneath the sink or, in some cases, near the main water supply line. This ensures that water flow to the faucet is completely hindered, preventing further leaks and potential water damage.
Step 2: Disassembling the Faucet Handle
Disassembling the faucet handle grants us access to the internal components that control water flow. With the faucet handle disassembled, our technicians can now focus on identifying the root cause of the leak.
Step 3: Inspecting and Repairing Faulty Components
Leaks can often be attributed to specific parts within the faucet assembly that have worn out, become damaged, or developed mineral deposits. Our experts can carefully examine these components to determine which parts need repair and restore the faucet’s functionality.
Step 4: Reassembling the Faucet
Reassembling the faucet is a crucial step that requires careful attention to detail to ensure a proper fit and prevent leaks from recurring. Before proceeding, our plumbers will thoroughly clean all the components to remove any debris or mineral buildup that may have accumulated during the disassembly process. The reassembly process comprises the following steps.
Following the Reverse Order
During reassembling, we will follow the reverse order of the disassembly process. We start by carefully inserting the removed components, such as the cartridge, washer, ball assembly, or ceramic disk, back into their respective positions.
Lubricating the O-Rings
We will apply a small amount of plumber’s grease or silicone-based lubricant to the O-rings and other rubber seals. Lubrication helps create a watertight seal and reduces friction during operation, preventing premature wear and tear.
Gently Tightening Connections
When reassembling the faucet, we usually use our hands to tighten the connections. This is because we understand that using excessive force or tools at this stage may lead to overtightening, resulting in damage to the faucet or its components. This may cause faucet leaks in the near future or impair the faucet’s functionality.
Properly Aligning Handles and Spout
Sometimes, faucet handles may have set positions to correspond with specific water temperatures (hot and cold). Correct alignment improves the faucet’s aesthetics and contributes to its smooth operation. At Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we always ensure that the spout is properly positioned and the faucet handles are correctly aligned, thus preventing loose connections that could result in leaks.
Testing for Smooth Operation
After reassembling the faucet, we test the handles and spout for smooth and easy operation. The handles should turn without hindrance, while the spout should move freely. If we encounter any resistance or difficulty, we will disassemble and reassemble the faucet again to identify and rectify the problem.
Step 5: Testing for Leaks
At this stage, our plumbers will gradually turn the water supply back on, assess the spout, and then check for leaks around the base of the faucet. We will also examine the water pressure and temperature to ensure the water flow is steady and smooth. A thorough evaluation will ensure that your faucet is fully functional, allowing you to enjoy a leak-free and efficient water fixture.
Tips for Maintaining a Leak-Free Faucet
Use Genuine Replacement Parts
Using off-brand or incompatible parts may compromise the faucet’s performance and lead to leaks. If you need to replace any faucet components, you can trust Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We only offer genuine replacement parts from reputable faucet manufacturers.
Check Water Pressure
High water pressure can strain the faucet’s internal parts, leading to leaks and premature wear and tear. If your home’s water pressure is consistently high, our plumbers can install a water pressure regulator in your plumbing system to help you manage your water pressure.
Address Plumbing Issues Promptly
If you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, odd noises, or a change in water color, have your plumbing system inspected immediately. These issues could be symptoms of underlying problems that affect your faucet’s performance.
Use Faucet Aerators
Faucet aerators help to reduce water consumption and minimize splashing. They add air to the water stream, maintaining a consistent flow while reducing water usage and pressure on the faucet’s internal components.
Winterize Outdoor Faucets
When water freezes in pipes, it can result in leaks and burst pipes. If you have outdoor faucets, we recommend you have them properly insulated and winterized, especially before winter.
Call the Professionals
Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers a wide range of heating, cooling, and plumbing services to the residents of Norcross and the surrounding areas. Our comprehensive plumbing services extend beyond fixing faucets! We also offer drain cleaning, sewer line repairs, and bathroom remodeling projects. Our team of skilled technicians is also dedicated to providing top-notch HVAC services and ensuring your home remains cozy throughout the year. Therefore, whether you have a leaky faucet or a malfunctioning AC unit in Norcross, you can count on us to deliver exceptional service that suits your needs. Contact Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today for more information on our services!