A leaky faucet can damage your sink, water pipes, and even your home’s drywall. Fortunately, faucet repair is easy and often inexpensive if you know what to look for. For help, contact Plumbers Linden NJ.
Turn off the water supply valves underneath your sink, either by turning the levers clockwise or by using a wrench. Remove the decorative cap from each handle, then use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screw inside.
Faucets leak when parts wear out or corrosion sets in. It’s not always easy to determine the cause, but a few simple steps can help you get it under control.
Leaks in faucets usually stem from worn or damaged washers, O-rings, valve seats, and other components. Replacing these with new ones will eliminate the drip and make your faucet look like new again. Before installing the new parts, clean off any old sealant or paint to prevent water from getting into crevices or causing other problems.
In most cases, you can replace the washer, O-ring, and valve seat without disassembling the entire faucet. A few exceptions apply, however:
Ball or ceramic-disk faucets: Unscrew the top cap to remove the handle and expose the neoprene seals. These should be easily replaced by hand, but you might need to use pliers to get the decorative plastic button off. A screwdriver can then be used to unscrew the handle. Be careful not to bang it against the faucet body; this could break the handle or the inner workings.
Cartridge faucets: If the O-rings are in good condition, you may be able to cut off and replace the cartridge itself rather than the whole assembly. You’ll also need to replace the inlet seal and springs if they’re worn out or damaged.
Once you’ve replaced the O-ring, cartridge, stem, and packing nut, reassemble the faucet, turn off the water supply, and check for any remaining leaks. If the problem persists, it’s probably time to call a plumber or try another DIY solution.
If the leaking continues after you’ve cleaned or replaced the O-rings, the valve seat could be corroded. This little connector sits between the spout and the faucet’s compression structure, so it’s exposed to a lot of water sediment. It’s a difficult part to clean, but a plumber will be able to thoroughly clean it and restore the seat to its original shape. A professional can also clean the spout to remove any mineral buildup or hard water deposits that might be causing a leak.
If you have a rusty, green, or black buildup around your faucet, it may be time to clean it up. This can be caused by mineral deposits, which are easily removed with a little bit of vinegar and water. White, hard-water stains can also be cleaned with the same solution. If you have a stainless steel sink, you can also use this solution to scrub hard-to-reach areas and the nooks and crannies in the handles and faucet basin.
Aside from being unsightly, this buildup can also be a health hazard. This is because mold, especially in the early stages of growth, releases spores that can infect people and animals who breathe them in. These spores can also contaminate food, fabrics, papers, and other items in your home. In addition to causing respiratory problems, these spores can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms in some people.
Before you start tinkering with the fixtures beneath your sink, be sure to put on a mask and rubber gloves. You should also open a window for ventilation to help reduce the spread of mold spores. Also, make sure to remove any aerators and reverse-flush them. Scrub them with a brush and soak them in a 50/50 bleach/water solution before replacing them.
You can use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to remove hard-water stains from your faucet. Mix equal parts of each, apply it to the stain, and allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a soft brush. Rinse the area thoroughly with water afterward to prevent streaking.
A dingy sink and shower can give off a bad impression and detract from the overall look of your bathroom. Mold and mildew are common problems in bathrooms because they thrive in damp, dark areas. The moisture in your bathroom can come from a number of sources, including faulty plumbing, poor ventilation, and humidity.
To get rid of mold and mildew around your faucet, you can use a mixture of white vinegar and water. To remove rust and mineral deposits from your faucet, you can use a commercial product like CLR. If you have a copper faucet, you should consult a water treatment specialist to ensure that you don’t have copper poisoning.
Chrome-plated faucets are found in many homes, providing a sleek, shiny look that is resistant to corrosion. Over time, the chrome finish can become scratched or scuffed by daily use and the rough surfaces of pots and pans that bang against it. Scratches in sink fixtures are unsightly, but they can be repaired with a little effort. The spout, handle, and other parts of the faucet should be cleaned regularly to prevent mineral deposits, hard water buildup, and stains. Using the right cleaning products for each fixture type is also important to ensure a long life.
Brass-finished faucets are often prone to oxidation and dulling, especially without the protection of a wax coating or other safeguard. This is particularly true if abrasive cleaners are used to clean the fixture, as they may damage the soft metal and create deep scratches in the finish. Instead, brass finishes can be cleaned with mild soap and hot water or a non-abrasive cleanser like vinegar. Then, a brass polish can be applied to restore the shine.
The rougher surface of brushed stainless steel can also be susceptible to scratches. Fortunately, these are typically easy to repair using household products. For instance, a small amount of non-gel toothpaste can be dabbed on the scratched area to act as a light abrasive. It can be wiped away with a wet cloth, and the scratches should be less noticeable.
Another option for removing light scratches from brushed stainless steel is to use a mild abrasive, such as fine-grit sandpaper. This should be rubbed on the surface of the sink in the direction of the grain to minimize the appearance of the scratches. Alternatively, a stainless steel scratch remover can be applied to the sink with a clean microfiber cloth.
While abrasive cleaners and sharp objects can cause serious damage to your kitchen faucet, the good news is that most minor issues can be easily cleaned up with some elbow grease and household items. Using the right cleaners for each type of faucet and regular cleaning to keep hard water and minerals from accumulating will help your fixtures last longer. However, if a faucet has been damaged to the point of rust or a gouge in the finish, it is likely time to replace it.
Occasionally, even if you have cleaned up mineral deposits and reassembled your faucet to remove leaks, it may still drip. This can happen because of a corroded valve seat or other damage to the faucet assembly. If this is the case, it’s likely best to call a trained professional to help you determine the cause and repair it properly.
Start by removing the handle. Look for a screw underneath the decorative cap on the handle and gently lever it off with your flat-head screwdriver. If it’s stuck or seized, use penetrating oil to loosen it. Once the screw is removed, you can easily pull the handle off of the stem.
Next, remove the washer and O-ring under the stem. This can be done by hand or with a wrench. Replace these parts and reassemble the cartridge. If you’re using a ceramic-disk model, reinstall the cleaned neoprene seals on the base of the ceramic cylinder. The cam washer can be replaced by hand or with a wrench, but it’s important to align the keyway on the washer and cap with the tab on the faucet cam so they work together.
You can buy these replacement parts at a home improvement store or plumbing supply specialist. The brand name on your faucet should be stamped on its components, so bring the old ones with you to make sure you purchase the right parts. You should also coat washers and O-rings with plumber’s grease before placing them to prevent leaking in the future.
Rust stains and hard water buildup are common problems that can be prevented by installing a water softener in your home. While some of these deposits can be cleaned with lemon juice or vinegar, extensive rust or hard water stains are an indication that it’s time to replace your faucet. Calling a professional to evaluate your water quality and install a water softener is the best way to reduce this type of damage. This will save you both money and the hassle of trying to clean it yourself. This will also extend the life of your sink and other appliances in the house.