You probably don’t think about your faucets much, but they are some of the most important fixtures in any home because they provide direct access to clean, potable water. Unfortunately, you may find that the faucets in your home don’t always flow as smoothly as they should.
Despite their apparent simplicity, your average household faucets have several small components inside where issues may arise, and not all faucets are made the same. This guide will explain three common faucet problems and their solutions.
1. Slow or Stopped-Up Faucets
Do you feel dismayed when you turn a faucet to full blast and what comes out is hardly more than a trickle? A slow or stopped-up faucet is a problem that usually happens because of a clog in the faucet itself.
The water that goes to your home will naturally contain small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. Water with a high concentration of these minerals is known as hard water. Even if your home doesn’t have hard water, minerals can gradually build up inside your faucets and clog them over time.
The aerator is the most likely location for a clog to form inside of a faucet. The aerator is a thin metal mesh that covers the opening at the tip of a faucet spout. The aerator adds air to the water from the faucet to limit splashing, preserve water, and provide a comfortable stream of water.
Unfortunately, the aerator mesh is also small enough to trap mineral particles until a layer of sediment forms and clogs the faucet. Some faucets allow you to remove the aerator quickly to clean it by simply unscrewing the tip of the faucet. Homeowners who don’t want to try disassembling their faucet at all can leave this repair task to a plumber.
2. Dripping Faucets
A dripping faucet is more than a nuisance: according to the EPA, a single faucet that drips one time per second can waste over 3,000 gallons of water each year. Most faucets start to drip when the parts inside them that stop the flow of water wear down.
The two main types of faucets are compression faucets and washerless faucets. Compression faucets stop water by pressing a rubber washer against the valve seat in the base of the faucet. When these rubber washers tear, water can start to leak around the valve and drip out of the faucet.
Washerless faucets include several subtypes of faucets that don’t use washers. Two-handle faucets are a common type that fall into this category, and they are usually cartridge-style faucets. In these faucets, the cartridge turns when the handle is turned to open or close a valve that controls the flow of water. Replacing the cartridge is usually all that’s necessary to repair leaks in these faucets.
3. Noisy Faucets
Your faucet can make many unusual noises depending on what’s wrong. For example, a clogged aerator as mentioned above may cause your faucet to sputter until the aerator is clean. The good news is, you may be able to diagnose your faucet by learning to recognize a few distinct sounds.
Whistling or screeching noises from your faucet can be alarming, but they are often the result of scale buildup in the faucet. Disassembling and cleaning the faucet can resolve the noise and prevent a clog from forming.
If you hear a booming sound when you turn your faucet off, you may have water hammer. Water hammer occurs when highly pressurized water slams into the faucet valve and suddenly comes to a stop.
Faucet valves have rubber washers or an air chamber to mitigate water hammer, but these can wear and become ineffective with time. Your plumber can solve water hammer issues by replacing the faucet valve or installing a water pressure regulator.
Whether you have slow, leaky, or noisy faucets, the pros at First Class Plumbing, LLC, can help. Get in touch today so we can help you get the most out of your home’s plumbing.