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The incessant dripping of a leaky tap is famously annoying. Thanks to the unmistakable sound, you can recognize a leak quickly. However, you may be less aware of the hidden costs.
Because a leaking tap can increase consumption by about 10%, you could be adding hundreds of dollars to annual water rates by putting off repairs. The crazy part is that you may be able to fix a leaking tap on your own!
Even when you do need the help of a trusted professional, fixing a dripping tap right away will limit the damage and associated costs.
What Causes a Leaking Tap?
There are many potential problems that can manifest as a leaky tap. As simple as your faucets may seem, there are many working parts that will need to be maintained. Here are the most common culprits when you’ve sprung a leak.
As the most common cause of a tap leaking, the washer should be the first item up for investigation. This small rubber ring, designed to restrict water flow, becomes corroded over time. Poor installation or incorrect sizing may mean this is happening faster than usual, or it could just be time for a replacement.
The O-ring is installed in cartridge faucets, attached to the handle stem screw, for creating a waterproof seal. When compromised, you’ll experience leaking tap handles. If you’re leak is isolated around the handle, this is most likely the issue.
The cartridge is the tap component responsible for water flow and temperature, making it one of the most important elements. While smaller parts are often replaced with ease, we’d recommend some plumbing experience before replacing a cartridge. It’s not overly complicated, but you may cause excess damage if the work isn’t perfect.
Worn Valve Seat
The valve seat connects spout and faucet, so if a leak occurs only here, it’s time to replace this crucial piece. Through regular usage, water sediment buildup can make trouble for the valve seat. The problem is avoided through periodic cleaning, though you may require professional assistance to do so.
Aside from tap parts getting worn out, there are other factors that can cause leaking taps, as well as related problems. Firstly, you may need only tighten parts, rather than go out and replace them. At the same time, excessive water pressure can be adjusted to instantly stop a leak, providing no other damage has been done.
How do I Fix a Leaking Tap Myself?If you feel up to it, there’s no reason why you can’t repair a leaking tap yourself. If it’s a simple fix, there’s usually no issue with rolling up your sleeves. When you aren’t sure of the problem, however, it’s best to get in touch with the professionals.
Step 1: Identity ProblemBy first knowing the type of faucet you have (ball, cartridge, ceramic disk), you can better assess the problem. Once you’ve determined a cause, you can get to work on the leaking tap repairs.
Step 2: Shut off WaterYou don’t need to shut off your complete water supply, but you will need to shut off the faucet in question. Locate the shut-off valves and turn clockwise until closed. This would also be the time to plug the drain to prevent small parts dropping down.
Step 3: DisassembleStart first by removing the handle, which you’ll do by removing the stem screw. This may be hidden under decorative covers, so remove these prior. You’ll then need to loosen the packing nut and check the stem. Afterwards, pry out both O-ring and washer from the valve seat to check for any physical damage.
Step 4: Reassemble and TestCarefully put everything back together. Take your time as incorrect assembly will cause a bigger headache. Once all reassembled, bring the water back and test for leaks. If the problem persists, give us a call. Some issues do require more extensive knowledge of how taps work. In such cases, seeking out expert help ensures you’re not doing more harm than good.
Professional Repair for Leaking TapsDepending on the precise problem, leaking tap repair costs will vary. It’s best to get in touch with us for an honest quote, especially if you aren’t confident to fix the leaking tap on your own. If there’s any other plumbing services you need help with, including installation, renovation and emergency care, we’re ready to help.
How much does it cost to fix a leaking tap?Our company offers services for the repair of taps, guaranteeing the promptness of the order and the quality of work. The cost of repairing a faucet depends on the situation, materials and extent of repair. If you are interested in the cost of work, you can clarify this issue with our operator by phone.
What should you do if you find a leaking tap?Drips or streams of water cause stubborn rust stains and lime deposits on the surface of the equipment. In addition, you have to pay for water that you do not actually consume. If you find a leak, the first thing to do is to turn off the water supply. Next, you need to find the cause of the leak: wear of parts (the most common), improper operation, improper installation of the mixer, manufacturing defects. If you do not have the skills and appropriate tools for do-it-yourself repairs, it is better to entrust it to a professional – an experienced plumber.
Who repairs the leaking taps and pipes?If a faucet leaks in the kitchen or bathroom, it is sometimes simply unrealistic to wait for qualified help from the management company, so it is important to turn to professionals. Despite the apparent simplicity of this device, even with the most careful use, it can fail and cause many problems for residents in the house. Faucet repair can be entrusted to specialists or performed independently. In the second case, you will not only save money, but can also be sure that the breakdown will not happen again.
Why do taps start leaking?There are many reasons why a faucet needs to be repaired. These are: cracks on the body, wear of gaskets, clogging of the cartridge, etc. However, the main causes of failure include:
- low quality – a faucet whose faucet / shower needs to be repaired too often is made of soft and fragile material that cannot withstand daily stress;
- outdated components – for example, rubber gaskets become unusable much faster than silicone or paronite ones;
- too dirty and hard water – the first leads to blockages, the second accelerates the wear of seals.