A dripping tap or leaky faucet is not only bothersome when noticed, but it’s a waste of clean water and money. In fact, according to the EPA, one household may waste up to 10,000 gallons of water a year if they experience leaks in their plumbing or dripping taps. A homeowner can save up to 10% on their water bill by correcting any leaks within their water supply.
Luckily, you probably won’t need the assistance of a professional plumber to fix a dripping tap. It is a relatively quick fix that won’t cost much money or cause a lot of headaches. Just take the time to follow the steps below and you should have a drip-free faucet again in no time.
Check to see what type of faucet you have. There are four main types of residential faucets. These include:
- Ball - a single handle faucet with a ball inside the body of the spout. This allows the handle to move more freely. The body also includes metal springs and rubber components. These sinks are most likely to leak due to all the components, yet are the most common faucet to be found throughout a home.
- Disc - this modern faucet type features a single handle over a wide tubular body. A pressure balance cartridge inside the body of the faucet combines hot and cold water. Ceramic disks control the volume of water flow while side to side rotation of the faucet handle controls the water temperature.
- Cartridge - this faucet type may come single handled or double handled. The main difference between this type of faucet and a compression faucet is the feel you get when you use the handles to get water flow. These faucets operate in an up and down manner to adjust the flow while side to side movement controls the water temperature.
- Compression - this is the oldest type of faucet. They feature separate hot and cold handles and are more prone to leaks than other faucet types. Luckily, when there is a leak, all you have to do is change out the washer inside the compression stem.
Decipher whether your faucet type needs a rubber washer or a ceramic one. Newer types often require ceramic whereas compression faucets feature rubber ones. Once you know what type of washer is needed and what type of faucet you have, go to your local DIY store to grab the proper tools and gear.
Put on your gloves, grab the correct screwdriver and wrench, and make sure you have the right washer. To avoid any mishaps, turn off the water supply as you attempt to fix the leaky faucet.
Unscrew the cover off your faucet according to its design. Once you have removed this cap, the valve fitting should be exposed. Loosen the nut holding the fitting in place so that you can remove it from the tap. Remove the rubber or ceramic washer from the valve fitting and carefully put on the new one. Once completed, screw the valve fitting back into place and replace the cover to the tap. Turn the water back on to your home and check to see if your faucet is still leaking. You shouldn’t experience any dripping or leaking.