Most faucet repair jobs include small work such as replacing seals, washers, seals, O-ring and other such small parts. These hardware parts are easily available in most stores for plumbing materials and hardware stores. A faucet repair took kit can be very helpful here. As I explained in my previous articles, faucets are named after their working mechanism namely cartridge, compression, ball and disc. Out of these four types of faucets, cartridge, ball and disc faucets are single-handle faucets (Though cartridge and disc faucets may have 2 handles). Compression faucets are double handled.
Out of these four types of faucets, the ones with washers mostly cause water dripping problem. This is why most people prefer washerless faucets.
Faucet Drips: How to Fix a Dripping Faucet
Most faucets (tap) drip or leak because some part of the faucet has worn and need replacement. This is quite easy and simple. Just disassemble the faucet, find out the worn out part and replace. It could be the washer, O-ring, seal or any other small part. Most of these parts of faucet are readily available in most hardware stores.
Repairing dripping and leaking of a faucet also depends on the type of faucet you have and which part of the faucet is dripping.
If it is a single handle faucet, most probably it is either a disc, ball, or cartridge faucet. If your faucet has two controls, for hot and cold water supply, it is probably a compression faucet. Disassemble the faucet and locate the washers, seals, and O-rings. Check if they are worn out. Replace if needed.
Repairing and Fixing Washerless Faucet Dripping Problem
Washerless faucets are so called because they don’t have normal compression washers that disc, cartridge, and ball faucets have. They are less prone to dripping or leaking. They use O-rings in place of washers. These O-rings can wear out over a period of time and may need replacement. If a washerless faucet drips, most probably you need to change the O-ring.
Compression Faucet Repairs
Compression faucets are the most likely to drip because their washers or seals wear out too quickly over repeated use. These washers should be replaced immediately with a new one or constant dripping of water can even cause more damage as it can waste water, corrode fixtures and stain sink bowls.
Remember, a compression faucet can have either a washer of an O-ring.
Cartridge Faucet Repairs
Cartridge faucets leak or drip mostly because of wearing or breaking of the O-ring. If replacing the O-ring doesn’t fix the dripping or leaking problem, you may have to change the cartridge with a new one.
These cartridges are available in most home improvement centers, hardware stores and plumbing material supply stores.
Make sure that you buy a cartridge that matches the existing original one or it may not fit.
Disc Faucet Repairs
Disc faucets leak mostly when the inlet and/or outlet seals wear. They can also leak if the inlet and outlet are clogged with sediments. Discs of a disc faucet normally don’t often wear out too quickly. They are long lasting. The leaking and dripping problem occurs mostly when the seals fail. Replace the worn seal with a new one to fix the problem.
Make sure that you buy seals that match the existing original one or they may not fit.
Ball Faucet Repairs
Ball faucets drip or leak mostly when the inlet seals or the O-rings wear or break.
If the handle of the ball faucet is leaking, just lift the handle and tighten the adjusting ring. If the handle continues to leak, replace the cap.
If dripping is from the spout the inlet seals and springs or the ball may need replacing.
DIY Kitchen Faucet Repairing Tips
If your faucet is dripping, check and replace the washer, seal or the O-ring. Do not apply too much pressure on any part to avoid damage. If the faucet is too old and is continuously dripping or leaking, it is better to replace it with a new one.
If the water supply is slow, check for any blocking or clog. Make sure the supply valve is fully open. Sometimes, an unclean aerator may resist the flow of water. Unscrew the aerator and clean it with hot water and toothbrush.
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