Faucet repairs are something every homeowner will face. Over time, faucets drip, handles break, or the bases leak. Sometimes faucet repairs are simple, and other times they’re not. We asked one of our experienced plumbers, Shannon, to answer the five most frequently asked questions about faucet repairs.
1. Why is my faucet dripping?
The most common cause of a dripping faucet is a broken cartridge. The cartridge is found inside the handles. It’s the device responsible for stopping and starting the water. In New Mexico, cartridge usually break due to hard water build up. If the cartridge isn’t the issue, the valve itself may be the problem.
A great way to prolong the life of your faucet (and all your water-using appliances) is to install a water softer. This removes the minerals from the water as it comes into your home which is easier on faucets, tubs, dishwashers, clothing, and even your hair and skin. TLC offers Kinetico Water Softeners.
2. Can a dripping faucet increase my water bill?
Yes, a dripping faucet can cause an increase in your water utility bill. A little drip every few minutes might not seem like much, but it adds up over time.
Shannon suggests putting a bucket under your dripping faucet overnight. You will be surprised at how much water can build up one little drip at a time. If this goes on for days, weeks, or months, you can imagine the gallons lost can affect your water bill.
3. Why is my kitchen faucet leaking at the base?
There are a few reasons that your kitchen faucet is leaking from the base. The first is that the cartridge assembly is damaged or old and is letting water bypass the faucet itself. The water will usually be leaking from the handles if this is the case. Having our plumbers replace the cartridge will fix it if this is the problem.
It’s also possible that your pull-out sprayer is the problem. The hose can get pinhole leaks. This will cause water to leak out of the faucet base as well.
If the water leak’s not coming from the handles or the sprayer, but from underneath the faucet base itself, it’s time to replace the faucet. This isn’t repairable because the small copper tubes inside are damaged.
4. Do I need to hire a plumber to replace a faucet?
It is possible to replace a faucet yourself, but Shannon doesn’t suggest it unless you’re a very handy person. The problem isn’t that it’s hard to replace a faucet, the problem is knowing which new faucets are compatible with your countertop. He finds most customers who try to do it themselves get in trouble because they picked up the wrong faucet.
Not all faucets are created equal. If you buy a store brand or a contractor grade-faucet, you’ll spend less, but it can cause problems in the long run. Shannon suggests getting a more prominent brand so you don’t have any quality issues. It’s also difficult to find parts for store or off-brand faucets. Go with Moan, Delta, American Standard, or Kohler faucets. There are high quality and replacement parts are usually easy to find.
5. How long does it take to replace a bathroom faucet?
A standard faucet replacement by a professional plumber takes about 45 minutes. Kitchen faucets take about 45 minutes to replace as well. That’s with no complications or issues. If leaks have gone on for a long time, there may be calcium buildup. Your plumber might have to cut the faucet out. Just like with any home project, the more complex the problem, the longer it will take to fix.
The bottom line is…
Every homeowner will one day deal with a dripping or leaking faucet. This is especially true for homes with hard water, which in New Mexico is almost every home. TLC’s expert plumbers are here to help you repair and replace your kitchen and bathroom faucets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Schedule service today.