Because we tend to ignore dripping faucets, they are often the main culprits for water wastage. Ignoring the leaking can have far-reaching implications for your plumbing and your home. In this article, we explore facts on dripping faucets and why you should take action immediately.
What Type of Faucet Do I Have?
A defective fixture can lose water and be a nuisance in your home. Before you attempt to fix the leaking, it is wise to understand the different types of faucets. They employ varying mechanisms to manage the flow of water as efficiently as possible.
The three main categories of faucet constructions are ball-valve, ceramic disc, and cartridge faucets. A ball valve is one of the most common for bathrooms and kitchens fixtures.
A ball-valve faucet has a single lever and a ball in a socket. Turning the lever determines the flow of water and temperature. The ball can either be in bronze, stainless steel, or PVC.
Their primary advantage is the simple construction that makes it easy to repair. However, the O-ring and the ball mechanism are more prone to deterioration than with other types of faucets.
The ceramic disc faucet uses plates instead of a ball valve to control the flow of water. The ceramic plates are more popular with modern faucets.
One advantage is that the disc is durable, making it less vulnerable to faults and repair issues. It is also easier to turn the faucet on and off. The biggest drawback is that replacements parts are relatively expensive.
Cartridge faucets have a mechanism similar to the disc but with a more complicated system. The cartridge is within a valve that controls the flow of water. It also includes compression washers and O-rings, which are prone to deterioration.
You can replace the O-rings if they get worn out. But it often makes more sense in the long term to replace the cartridge. If your faucet is leaking in Indianapolis, Peterman Brothers provides top-notch plumbing repairs you can rely on in Indianapolis.
Here are some common causes of leaky faucets.
Loose Faucet Components
The assembly of your faucet may consist of many intricate parts. All the components have to work seamlessly to facilitate the flow of water without leakages. When parts of the fixture start to loosen, you may notice leaking.
You can fix loose parts, especially if the leaking is around the base. For a ball-valve faucet, unscrew the handle and tighten the adjusting spring. Examine the condition of the spring and seal, and replace them if necessary.
Old or Defective Washers
A defective washer is one of the most prevalent issues that cause faucets to drip. Typically, the washer is below the valve seat. It breaks down with time as the handle moves back and forth. One sign of an aging washer is the water coming from the bottom of the spout.
Another problem with washers is substandard installations. If the replacement is the wrong size, it will not allow for a proper fit inside the faucet mechanism. Therefore, the washer breaks down, creating space for leaking.
Sometimes, the leaking is from other parts of the plumbing. When there is a crack on the pipe, the faucet nearest to it is likely to leak. When that happens, you may notice the water is flowing steadily. You might want to organize a plumbing inspection to address the issue conclusively.
Corrosion and Mineral Deposits
The water hardness levels in Marion County are estimated to be as high as 275 mg/L. That is much higher than the moderate level, which is considered to be between 61 and 120 mg/L.
How does the water hardness level affect your plumbing? Minerals can deposit on components of the faucet and pipes. Hot water can increase the rate at which calcium and magnesium accumulate on parts of your plumbing.
The minerals can make it harder to control the faucet. The assembly becomes fraught with clogs and rigid parts. The washer and the rubber rings will deteriorate faster, forcing you to make premature replacements. Softening the water supply in your home can reduce the frequency of repairs and maintenance tasks.
High Water Pressure Levels
Excessive water pressure can damage the faucet and lead to the failure of critical parts of your plumbing. In Indiana, the levels must not exceed 80 psi. Your plumbing may have a regulator valve to manage the high water pressure coming into your home.
If the issue with your faucet is water pressure, you’ll notice it leaks when no one is using other fixtures. Your faucet’s internal construction is usually the first culprit. The high pressure could also rapture parts of your plumbing, starting with pinhole leaks.
With time, multiple fixtures and other parts of your plumbing may start to leak. Peterman Brothers recommend seeking timely repairs as soon as you notice leakages in your Indianapolis home. Installing a regulator valve will protect your water appliances and prevent massive losses in your home.
Why Should You Care About Leaky Faucets?
While everyone recognizes a dripping faucet as an irritant, we tend to overlook the wastage. A fixture may be dripping at one drop per second. By the end of the day, it will waste 5 gallons of water. By the end of the year, it can amount to 3000 liters of water.
Other than wastage, a dripping faucet can cause damage to your bathroom and kitchen aesthetics. Hard water continuously trickling can leave stain marks on your sink. The staining can have such an impact that you’ll have to replace the affected parts of your kitchen.
You ought to also address pipe leaks as they can point to other underlying issues with your plumbing. For example, high water pressure can damage your water heater or dishwasher. Leakages can encourage the spread of microbial infestations. Pools of water can damage your property and cause widespread damage to valuable items in your home.
Consider Calling a Professional Service
Even though a leaky faucet is problematic, it is much more cost-effective to fix than other plumbing leaks. A timely replacement can keep your home safe and save you from costly plumbing repairs.
However, some repair tasks require some experience with different components and faucet mechanisms. Replacing a defective part with an ill-fitting one could worsen the problem.
Additionally, some issues with the faucet could be an indication of developing plumbing problems. Issues such as leaking pipes, sediment buildup, and high water pressure should be addressed on time.
Therefore, it is advisable to schedule an inspection of your plumbing every two years. If you suspect there are issues, call a professional without delay.
A sudden rise in water bills is one sign of extensive plumbing issues. Pay attention to odors from under the sink, as they could also be signs of leaking and microbial infestation.
If you spot a faucet leak in your home, you can call Peterman Brothers’ acclaimed plumbing team in Indianapolis. As a family-owned and -operated company, our staff has been working to uphold our values of integrity and professionalism. Over the years we have been in business, we have received customer service awards, including a BBB A+ rating. We also offer a wide range of HVAC services. Contact us today for to learn more.