The first step in faucet repair is to shut off the water supply. Next, remove each handle. You’ll usually find a screw that holds the handle; use a standard screwdriver or an Allen wrench. If the handle seems seized, try using penetrating oil.
Once the handles are off, you can inspect and replace O-rings, washers, and gaskets. It’s also a good time to clean the valve seat, which can collect mineral buildup. For more tips, visit https://myjoeplumber.com.
Having the right tools and cleaning products on hand will help you maintain the like-new look of your faucets. If you’re not careful, abrasive cleaning tools or powerful chemical cleaners can strip the finish off of your faucet, resulting in a dull or pitted appearance.
Faucet finishes come in a wide range of colors and designs, from simple classics to sleek modern styles. The color and finish of your faucet will affect how easy it is to clean, as well as how easily the metal will tarnish and wear over time.
The most common finish for faucets is chrome, which offers a bright silver shine and is fairly resistant to corrosion. However, the downside to chrome is that it shows smudges and watermarks very readily. If you have chrome finishes in your kitchen, make sure to use a soft cloth when wiping the faucet and avoid using harsh chemicals.
Another popular finish is stainless steel, which is also durable and inexpensive. The downside is that it tends to show smudges and watermarks more readily than other finishes and can be susceptible to scratches.
Other faucet finishes include polished brass, oil-rubbed bronze, and burnished nickel. Polished brass will naturally tarnish and patina over time, enhancing the rustic beauty of this natural metal. This process is accelerated by frequent and repeated exposure to water with minerals in it.
Oil-rubbed bronze and burnished nickel are both non-metallic finishes that are a bit more expensive than chrome or stainless steel. They are a bit more durable than polished brass but not as hard-wearing as the newer PVD finishes.
PVD is a coating technique that’s gaining popularity for its durability and ease of application. The base material for the coating is usually a metal nitride, and it’s applied to the faucet with a low-velocity spray gun. In addition to being much faster than electroplating, PVD is environmentally friendly as there are no corrosive acid solutions involved.
Unlike electroplating, PVD doesn’t require any undercoating since the base metal is coated directly. However, undercoating is sometimes necessary for certain finishes. For example, some bronzes, including oil-rubbed and dark-burnished bronze, may need an undercoat of nickel or zinc-nickel alloy to be highly corrosion-resistant.
Cartridge faucets, such as those found in single-handle shower faucets, use a small cartridge to control water flow and temperature. Over time, these can develop mineral buildup or begin to leak. Replacing these can often fix a number of problems, including insufficient hot or cold water and low water pressure.
Several factors affect how long a cartridge lasts, such as the quality of the water and the design of the faucet. In general, these will wear out and need to be replaced after 15 or 20 years of service. However, proper maintenance can prolong this lifespan significantly.
The type of cartridge you need depends on the style and construction of your faucet, but most cartridges work in similar ways. One of the most common types is a quarter-turn ceramic disk cartridge. These have a series of splines or grooves that run around the outer edge. You will need to match the number of splines on your cartridge to the number of splines or ridges in your faucet handle in order to ensure a tight fit.
Another type of cartridge used in some faucets is a rotary valve with a single hole that rotates to control the flow of water. These are often used in tub and shower faucets with a diverter valve that allows you to switch between the showerhead and the bathtub spout. This type of cartridge requires more maintenance, as the single hole can become blocked with debris or clogged with hard water minerals.
A more recent technology for cartridges is diamond seals, which are a permanent coating on the rotating disc. These are much more durable than traditional ceramic discs, and Delta is testing a model that can withstand five million on/off cycles without failing.
Leakage from a faucet is usually a sign that it’s time to replace the cartridge or stem. A plumber can diagnose the problem and recommend the correct part for your faucet. In some cases, the leaking could be caused by a loose or broken handle, or it may be a deeper issue that involves the valve seat or a cracked cartridge. You can often correct these issues on your own, though, as many of the parts involved are easily obtainable at your local hardware store.
A ball-type faucet uses a lever-controlled cam to raise or lower the water pressure in the spout. This type of mechanism is very easy to disassemble and repair. Leaks from this type of faucet are typically caused by worn rubber seals or springs. These parts need to be replaced to stop the leaks. Most faucet repair kits contain the parts needed for this task. These parts include the cam, cartridge, and seat, or washers.
Start by locating and turning off the water at the faucet. Then remove the handle and spout assembly by unscrewing or unclipping them. You will need to remove the screw on the handle set screw and loosen the nut. You will also need to remove the cam retaining clip, which is usually located under the handle. If you are having trouble removing the cam retaining clip, use needle-nose pliers to grab it and pull it up.
If you see water leaking from the base of the faucet, it is probably because the valve seat is corroded or worn. In this case, the replacement kit will contain a new valve seat. The kit will also contain replacement washers and springs. If you are not able to fix the pitting on the valve seat, it might be necessary to replace the entire cartridge.
Similarly, if you have low water pressure, it may be due to a broken internal faucet part or a clog in the plumbing pipes. Replacing the O-rings may fix this issue, but if you cannot find the culprit, it is time to call a professional plumber.
Leaking from the spout can be caused by the valve seat, the O-rings, or the spout cap. You can fix this by reseating the stem or replacing the O-rings. It is a good idea to replace the spout cap as well, because it can become brittle and crack over time. If the spout cap is cracked, it can also cause the O-ring to wear out faster. Replacing the O-rings or spout cap should fix this issue, but if the leaking continues, it is best to replace the faucet.
A ceramic-disc faucet has a single handle that lifts or lowers to control hot or cold water flow. It differs from a ball faucet in that it uses a disc instead of a plastic or metal ball that shifts to direct water flow.
The disc assembly is made of long-lasting ceramic and usually doesn’t need replacing. However, mineral deposits can clog the inlet ports and need to be cleaned. In addition, the O-rings need to be inspected and replaced if they are cracked or showing signs of wear.
As a ceramic-disk faucet ages, the discs may become more fragile and break down. This can cause the valve to leak, so it is important to replace these parts when needed. The cartridge also has a ceramic spindle, which allows the faucet to be shut off by rotating it 90 degrees. This lessens the amount of friction on the disks, reducing wear and tear.
While you can fix a ceramic-disk faucet with a little effort, it is recommended to call a plumber when the problems become more serious. They have the tools and skills necessary to ensure a long-term solution that will prevent the faucet from leaking again in the future.
When you notice a drip, it’s important to act quickly. Even a small leak can cost you around $20 in water each year. In addition, a leaky faucet can damage your pipes and result in costly repairs in the future. Leaky faucets can also contribute to water erosion and cause flooding in your home.
Before you begin a repair, turn off the water supply valve under the sink. Then, remove the handle by loosening the screw that holds it. You may need to use a screwdriver or pliers. Underneath the handle, you will find a decorative cap that covers the cartridge. Loosen the screw that holds this cap with a monkey wrench or large automobile wrench. Then, lift off or unscrew the decorative cap and the handle. You will see a set of seals on the underside of the cartridge; these need to be removed with your fingers or a tool that won’t scratch the cartridge.