How to Fix a Dripping Faucet
If you have a leaky faucet, the constant dripping can be extremely annoying. However, that’s far from the only consequence of a water leak. Even if it doesn’t seem like it’s losing much water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the leaks of an average household can add up to more than 10,000 gallons of water each year. That’s bad for the environment, especially in a drought-prone region like San Diego, CA, but it’s also bad for your water bill. In fact, it’s estimated that the average homeowner’s water bill can go down as much as 10 percent once a dripping faucet is repaired. If that’s not enough reason to promptly fix your faucet, consider this: a leaky faucet can stress your plumbing, cause clogs and overflows, deteriorate caulk and grout, and cause water to leak through and damage your floorboards and ceilings. Mold can start to grow because of a water leak, and your sink may rust or develop mineral stains, so that you will have to replace it. Ready to fix your leaky faucet now? Here’s how.
- First, make sure you have the right tools. You will need screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, replacement washers and O-rings, and a penetrating oil. These are not expensive items, and it’s not a bad idea to keep some on hand for the next time you have a leak.
- Don’t start the job without shutting off the water. If there are valves under the sink to turn off its water supply, twist them to shut off the water. If not, you may need to shut off the main water supply to the house. Once you’ve done this, turn on the faucet and let the rest of the water in the line go down the drain.
- Determine the problem. This could be as simple as a dirty aerator. Take the aerator out and examine it to see if there are any particles around it. Once you’ve cleaned the aerator, replace it, firmly tighten the nozzle, and see if the leak is repaired. If this isn’t the problem, you will need to disassemble the faucet to find the issue. If there is a screw behind the handle of the faucet, remove it and pull the handle free. Now look for the washer that is meant to sit against the faucet seat once you turn off the water, sealing off the flow of water. You may be able to reposition it to fix the problem, or you may need to replace it. The problem could also be with the O-ring installed in the handle to make a waterproof seal, or, if you have a cartridge faucet with one or two handles, you may need to replace your cartridge.
- Make the repair. Once you determine that the problem is a cartridge, washer, or O-ring, try replacing the faulty part with exactly the same sized part. If you get the wrong size, you won’t fix the problem. If you’ve tried these fixes and your faucet still leaks, you may need to replace your entire faucet.
- Call for help with water damage. Inspect the area around the sink to determine if the leak has caused water damage or mold growth. If possible, look along the pipe to make sure there’s nothing more extensive to manage. Then call for professional help dealing with whatever you find.
If your leaky faucet has caused water damage and you need help with the clean-up, call the experts at Pacific Flood Restoration. We offer full-service, 24-hour, on-call emergency services, and we’ve earned a reputation for being dependable, on time, courteous, and ethical. No matter the extent of the flood damage in your San Diego, CA home, our trained technicians have the experience, proven techniques, and state-of-the-art equipment to restore your home, fixing whatever damage it may have sustained. We serve the following cities: San Diego, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos, Chula Vista, Poway, El Cajon, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, San Clemente, and Solana Beach. Call 760.516.8549, or contact us through our website.