The tips presented here by our guest poster today are very helpful and ones that can save you loads of money! We hope these tips help you too!
DIY Faucet Fixes for Faulty Fixtures
One of the most frustrating things ever is a leaky faucet. Not only does that constant dripping get under your skin but it also leaks into other areas of your life that you might not have anticipated.
For one thing, it can become a drain on your bank account. A single leaky faucet can end up wasting hundreds of gallons of water each year. And if the leak is tied into the hot water line, that’s wasted energy to heat up water that’s just running down the drain. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science School, a faucet with 10 drips per minute (drips every 6 seconds) wastes close to a gallon a day and approximately 347 gallons per year!
Finally, if left unattended, leaks can contribute to more serious issues like mold, wood rot and damage to floors or cabinets, just to name a few.
Stop the insanity and the unnecessary spending by addressing those leaks immediately. Fortunately, doing the repair yourself isn’t as difficult as you might think and can save you even more money on the back end by keeping costly repair fees to a plumber in your pocket where they belong.
Here’s a bit more on the different types of faucets and details on repairing the most common failure in one of the most popular types, the cartridge faucet.
There are four basic types of faucets:
- Ball Faucet: Easily identified by a rotating handle on a ball at the base; older design; prone to leaks
- Compression Faucet: Functions by a handle that turns one way to release the water and the other to tighten and stop the flow; older design; prone to a variety of problems
- Disc Faucet: Similar to ball faucet in appearance but the one handle connects to a cylindrical shaped body (instead of a ball) at the base that allows side to side rotation only; two internal discs rotate past each other and regulate the flow of hot and cold water; more modern design; less problematic
- Cartridge Faucet: Comes in one or two-handle varieties; one handle types adjust temperature by moving side to side and adjust water flow by moving up and down; two handle types look like compression but move smoothly and do not tighten or release as they are turned; modern design; very reliable
Of these four types, the cartridge faucet is probably the most popular and is therefore the subject of our DIY repair tutorial below!
The most common issues on a cartridge faucet arise from a worn-out cartridge valve or worn rubber O-ring seal. Most often, these are easy enough to replace on your own without calling in the pros. Just make sure to purchase the replacement parts that match the faucet’s brand/manufacturer and model number.
*Prep Tips: Before disassembling the faucet, take a picture of your existing faucet setup (on your phone or camera) so you have a reference as you go or once you’re finished to make sure you put everything back where it goes.
Also, line up the parts on your countertop in the order that they are removed and work backwards when you put them all back to make reassembly that much easier.
1. Turn off the water supply by turning the shut off valves (most typically under the sink) clockwise until the handle stops. Open the faucet to release pressure and allow remaining water to drain out.
2. Remove the faucet handle by prying off the handle cap, unscrewing the handle screw and lifting up the handle to remove it from the assembly.
3. Remove the retaining clip by using slip joint pliers to remove the plastic retaining nut, lifting the faucet spout straight up and using needle-nose pliers to pull out the retaining clip, if any.
4. Remove the O-ring from the housing – you may need to cut it with a utility knife or pry it off with a screwdriver.
5. Remove the existing cartridge by gripping the top with pliers and pulling it straight up before installing the replacement from the kit.
6. Coat the new O-ring with silicone grease and install it on the faucet cylinder. Continue working backward by reattaching the spout, replacing the retaining clip and plastic retaining nut, and replacing the handle on the assembly.
7. Turn on the water, check for leaks, and congratulate yourself for a DIY repair job well done!
What other DIY repairs have you undertaken around the house that have saved you in more ways than one?
Chris Long is a store associate at a Home Depot in the Chicago suburbs. Chris has been helping customers since 2000, and writes on plumbing DIY for the Home Depot website. He focuses on faucets and other fixtures for both bath and kitchen.