There are several signs you need to watch for to determine when it is the right time to repair or replace the faucets around your home. Just like other types of “machinery,” faucets have moving parts and components that do wear out from repeated use. These same parts and components can also become encrusted in scale and lime deposits if you have hard water.
Depending on the age of your home, it's plumbing, and your faucets, corrosion could be another factor that causes your faucets to wear out. To help you decide whether it is time for faucet repair or replacement, let’s look at types of problems to watch for and tips on what to do when you discover a problem from our Katy and Houston local plumbers.
Dripping Sink Faucets
Dripping faucets are one of the most common problems, whether in the bathroom, kitchen, or other areas of the home. A slow drip is caused when the internal parts and components inside the faucet no longer seal correctly when shutting off the water.
Depending on the type of sink faucet you have installed, it could be possible to fix dripping faucets. For instance, you have two separate knobs you use to turn the hot and cold water on and off. It can be fairly easy to take apart the affected knob and replace the washers and other interior components.
With a single control level faucet design, where you move the lever to adjust the hot and cold water, the process can be a bit more complex, yet it is still possible to replace internal hardware to repair a dripping faucet.
If you notice water leaks from around the faucet base, knobs, or control level, the internal seals that keep water inside the faucet are wearing out. In some cases, depending on the make and model, you can have the affected part or component replaced with a new one without having to replace the entire faucet.
Before replacing the damaged parts, it is best to compare the costs of a new faucet. Sometimes the costs for a new faucet will not be much more than the faucet repair costs. Getting a new faucet installed can also be beneficial if you want to upgrade to a water-conserving model.
Squeaky Faucet Knobs or Handles
If the knobs or handle on your faucet squeak when turning it on or off, it means the internal components need to be lubricated. The lubrication which was originally on the components does slowly wear off and degrade. You will need to take the faucet apart to apply the new lubricant. This task can be complicated, depending on the faucet model. You may want to enlist help from your local professional plumber.
Rust can develop as the coating on the metal parts and components wears off. If you notice rust at the base of the faucet or around knobs or the faucet handle, it may be time for a new faucet. If the rust is isolated to just one area of the faucet, a repair could be an option, depending on which parts and components need to be replaced.
Just remember, if you have rust-colored water, this may or may not be related to rust inside the faucet. There are several causes for rust-colored water, including rust inside the water heater, old metal plumbing lines, and rust in well water. Your plumber can recommend which plumbing services would be best to resolve rust-colored water in your home.
Lime and Scale Buildup on Faucets
Another common problem is if you notice scale or lime buildup around the base of the faucet and or knobs. Scale and lime are common in households with hard water. As the deposits continue to grow, they can gradually lead to dripping faucets and leaky faucets. They are also known to cause water flow problems.
It is possible to remove minor scale and lime deposit buildup from around the faucet, although you do need to be careful if you use a scale and lime deposit remover to not damage plastic parts and components.
You can unscrew the water aerator cap and clean the screen to try to fix water flow problems. In extreme cases, where repairs are not possible or the scale and lime can no longer be removed, it is often better to have your kitchen and bathroom plumbing professional replace the faucet with a new one.
Bathtub and Shower Faucet Problems
Bathtub and shower faucets can experience all of the previously mentioned types of faucet problems. Repairing and replacing bathtub faucets can be rather complex because the plumbing lines are not always easily accessible.
In addition, depending on when your home was built, there may not be a water shutoff valve for these fixtures. As such, it may be necessary to shut off the water to the entire home before they can be repaired or replaced.
Showerheads are a bit easier to work on since you only have to keep the faucet shut off. Showerheads typically screw on to the end of the water supply line. Most of the time, when addressing leaks, drips, and other such problems, it is more efficient to replace the showerhead than repair it.
Kitchen Water Sink Filtration Faucets
Some homes have a dedicated water filtration system faucet as a separate fixture on their kitchen sink. These faucets can develop the same types of problems as other faucets in your home. You also need to make sure the filtration system is well-maintained.
Kitchen Sink Spray Nozzle Problems
If your kitchen sink is equipped with a spray nozzle, there are a few different types of problems that can develop. Some of the most common issues you may notice could include:
- Low Water Pressure: There could be deposits inside the water supply line or nozzle head restricting the flow of water.
- Stuck Handle: The handle on the nozzle could stick on and not shut off. This occurs if you do not use the nozzle that often.
- Handle Doesn’t Move: The handle can also stick so you cannot depress it. This could indicate some types of deposits have built up inside the nozzle.
The best way to resolve these types of problems is to have your kitchen and bathroom plumbing professional install a new spray nozzle.
The faucets on the exterior of your home can develop leaks, drips, and other such problems. Sometimes the problems can be fixed and other times you will need to replace the faucet. One of the more common problems has to do with leaks if you have a vacuum breaker installed. Some of these devices require a special “key” you have to connect to the garden hose, and then the water spigot.
Fixing and replacing outdoor faucets can be challenging since plumbing lines are not always easy to access. To avoid causing accidental damages to your exterior plumbing lines, it can be best to get help from your professional plumber.
Laundry Room/Utility Room Faucets
The faucets in your laundry room or utility room can also wear out. One common problem is when the water supply hoses from the faucet to your washer burst unexpectedly. This occurs if the hoses are older. Ideally, you should replace the hoses every five years.
If you notice leaks around the faucet and water supply hoses, this typically indicates the washers inside the hoses need to be replaced. It is easy to replace the washer by shutting off the water supply and unscrewing the hoses.
As you can see, there are all sorts of faucet problems you can encounter. By being aware of them, you can take steps to resolve them quickly when they occur. Doing so helps avoid more costly plumbing services later.
For help with faucet repair, bathroom plumbing, water drainage issues, and other plumbing services for your Katy or Houston home, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning at 281-603-9949 today!