5 Essential Tips for Diagnosing Water Faucet Problems
A home with one faucet that leaks one drip per minute already wastes 34 gallons of water every year. Make that a leak rate of one drip per second, and in one year, it would’ve wasted almost 2,100 gallons of water!
Now, consider that an average shower uses 17.2 gallons of water. That means you could have taken more than 120 showers with all that wasted water!
That’s said, you should never delay fixing water faucet problems. The earlier you detect these issues, the sooner you can fix them and keep them from turning into giant leaks.
Leaks aren’t your only faucet enemy though, as there is a multitude of issues that can affect them. Don’t worry though, as that’s exactly what we’re here to help you prevent. Keep reading to learn how to detect, diagnose, and possibly correct these problems!
1. Determining Water Faucet Leaks
One of the surefire signs you have a leak is an unexplainable increase in your water bills. Granted, Gilbert, AZ has had an increase in water rates back in 2018. But if your latest water bill is too high and there wasn’t any change in your water use, that’s a sign of water leaks.
The thing is, a leaky faucet isn’t always obvious, as the leak may be at the fixture’s base and not the spout. This is harder to notice since such leaks usually occur only when the faucet is running. It’s even more difficult to detect if the leak is at the faucet’s supply line, which is usually under the sink.
To check for a potential leak, have everyone at home stop using the water first. No faucets or toilet flush tanks should be running. Then, check your water meter — the pin or dial should be steady and not moving.
Most meters are outside of homes, near the curb by the front of a property. If you can’t find it there, it may be in the basement or near the water heater tank, somewhere close to the main water valve.
If the water meter is still running, take that as a sign you have a water leak. The next step is to determine which exact faucet is leaking.
2. Faucet Leaks You May Be Able to Repair on Your Own
Start by drying each faucet and the surrounding area and then running each of them, one at a time, for about a minute. Stop the flow and check the very base of the fixture — where the faucet body attaches to the sink. Water pooling there means that the leak is at the base of the faucet.
In this case, you may only have to replace the faucet’s damaged or dried-up O-ring. This part serves as a seal, so if it’s old or worn out, it lets water seep out of it.
If the sink is dry after the leak test, check and feel the supply line under it — if possible. If it’s damp or wet, or if the floor right under it has drops of water, then the leak is at the supply line. If you can easily access the supply line, tighten the fittings with a wrench.
Be careful though, as the supply tube is quite soft that you may end up puncturing it. If you’re not keen on doing this DIY task, consider hiring a local plumbing expert to carry out the faucet repair.
3. Dealing with Weak Water Flow or Low Water Pressure
Lack of water pressure or weak flow is a common side effect of hard water, the kind of water supplied to 90% of U.S. homes. The minerals in hard water can settle in and around faucet bodies and spouts. The sediments can harden inside the faucets and partially block the water’s path.
One of the easiest water faucet tips for weak flows is to soak the spout in a bag filled with water and vinegar. Let it sit overnight so that the vinegar’s acid can disintegrate the mineral buildup. You should also consider installing a water softener to prevent future sediment build-up.
4. Getting Rid of Noises from Faulty Faucets
Is one of your faucets making a screeching sound every time you run it? If so, then that’s a sign of a worn, hardened, or frayed rubber washer. The sound occurs as the water passes over the washer and tries to escape the seal.
Luckily, replacement washers are inexpensive and available in most hardware stores. You do have to disassemble the faucet though, so it requires a bit of faucet knowledge and DIY skills.
If what you’re hearing is more of a clicking or clanking sound, that may signal a broken-off faucet piece. Especially if you only hear the sound when running the water. In this case, a piece of metal may have chipped off and is banging against the sides of the faucet due to the flow of water.
While the noise itself may be a minor issue, the fact that the faucet broke means it won’t last that much longer. It would be best to get a replacement ASAP.
5. Faucet Handle is Super Hard to Turn or Operate
In many cases, this is again due to sediment build-up that may have caked the faucet’s cartridge. Old age may have also damaged its internal parts, preventing you from turning the handle.
If the fixture doesn’t appear to have cracks, use the vinegar and water faucet repair trick first. If this doesn’t work, try putting some silicone-based lubricant around the handle. If neither solves the problem, you may already need a faucet replacement.
Don’t Let Faucet Problems Stress You Out
As you can see, some water faucet problems are easy to solve, while others need professional help. What’s important is to ensure you get these issues fixed ASAP, otherwise, you may end up with huge water leaks. From there, they can get big enough to cause indoor flooding and water damage.
If you’re dealing with multiple faucet issues, please don’t hesitate to connect with us now. We can determine which exact faucets are giving you headaches, and from there, fix them right on the spot.