After some period of time, usually after service life has ended, a faucet can start leaking. While this is not a sign of improper operation of the faucet, it ca really extend a faucet’s usable lifespan by taking good care of it. Proper usage does not guarantee that the faucet will serve for long. Wear and tear act on some parts of the faucet and it’s just a matter of time before you start hearing some annoying drip! drip! sounds in your kitchen.
A wise man once said, a stitch in time saves nine. Repairing a faucet as soon as you notice a leak is the best action to avert a possibility of having to overhaul the entire system. Just do not let the problem continue- repair it promptly.
The best thing is, fixing it doesn’t necessarily require a professional. You can save up the cash that would otherwise be used to pay for plumbing services by learning to tighten the loose bolts.
In this article, I will share with you what causes your faucet to loosen, how to tighten a loose faucet by yourself and, how to properly care for your faucet. To solve a problem in the best way, understanding and addressing the root cause is the best solution. Let us begin with what causes the loosening,
What Causes A Loose Faucet?
A faucet can become loose as a result of one or more reasons. Below are the common things that can cause your faucet to leak.
A Corroded Valve:
Valves connect faucet with the spout. Water sediments can collect there. If there is too much sediment, the valves start wearing away.
An O-ring is the small disc that sits on the faucet stem. It holds the faucet handle in place. If your cartridge is leaking, the problem could be a loose or a damaged O-ring that does affect the stability of the faucet handle.
Damaged Washers, Seals:
Continued rubbing of washers over valve seats can cause friction. With time, they wear out, losing their functionality. Minerals also tend to wear out the seals.
Improper Installation of Parts:
If the faucet parts were fixed in a hurry, there’s a possibility that some parts might be fitted wrongly, they could be of the wrong sizes too. This is a potential cause of leakages if it isn’t noticed early.
You will know if there is a broken pipe if you notice leaking at the base of your sink. Problem with the water pressure. You might have noticed it is not all the days that your water pressure is the same. At times it will be high and others low. If your faucet leaks water at a specific time of the day, then it could be a problem with the pressure.
Tightening a Loose Faucet
The two parts that are prone to loosening are the faucet handle and the faucet base. It will be quite easy to repair the mess when you have identified where your water is leaking through. Let’s see how to tighten the faucet handle and the base.
1. Tightening the Faucet Handle
A loose handle can affect the turning on and off of the water. You might find yourself having the hardest of time trying to turn off running water. Below is a step by step guide on how to tighten your handle.
What you’ll Need:
- Adjustable wrench
- Masking tape
Step-1: Remove any objects that might be placed on the sink because they might prevent you from reaching the valves at the back of the sink.
Step-2: Turn off the water supply.
Step-3: Examine the faucet handle. You will either find a setscrew with a head hex at the base or decorated caps.
Step-4: Slide the head hex with a screwdriver into the set screw and turn till it tightens and ensure you can access the setscrew without straining.
Step-5: Carefully surround a masking tape on the decorated caps without overlapping them until they fit well in the handle.
Step-6: Lift the cap with a screwdriver to allow access of the inside part where the setscrew is located. Move the setscrew with a wrench until it tightens and then fit another cap if there is a need to.
Step-Final: Lastly, connect back the water by removing the masking tape.
2. Tightening the faucet base
This is by far the simplest step.All you need to do is tighten the loose nuts at the faucet base.
How to Troubleshoot?
Here, you have to determine whether your faucet is leaking continuously or when water is running.
If the water is leaking continuously, it means that a lot of dirt has collected in the valve area blocking the flow.
If it only leaks when water is on, then it means there is some trapped dirt on the O-rings which are near the base area of a faucet.
What you will need to get the job done is: –
This is how you tighten the faucet base:
Step-1: Remove any item that you might be stored under the sink to create enough space for you to reach the valves that are at the base.
Step-2: Turn off the water.
Step-3: With your flashlight, slide under the sink facing up and locate the loose nuts and tighten it with a wrench.
Step-Final: Rise from under the sink and check that the faucet base is tight you can then go ahead and try to turn on the water to ensure its no longer leaking. Lastly, place back the items you had removed from under the sink.
Care and Maintenance of a Kitchen Faucet
Properly maintained faucet can serve you longer than one might think. Usually, we only think about prolonging the usage of a faucet until a problem arises. Follow these tips to avoid premature failure of your faucet. You’ll also save a few bucks in the long run.
Hard water has high levels of mineral deposits that usually settle on your faucets. The deposits can be tough to clean with plain water. Use half a glass of vinegar and thank me later. If you are in places with hard water, you can install a faucet that is good with the water.
Day to day Maintenance:
A simple daily activity of wiping the faucet with a cloth is all it requires.
Maintain Your Aerator:
Aerators house the rubber washer and screen insert. It is responsible for maintaining a smooth flow of water and does so by mixing water and air. Cleaning it at least once a year can improve its performance.
If you are up for some cleaning, all you will need to do is remove the aerator from the faucet, arranging the parts according to how they are fitted. Clean those parts and then fix them back.
Following Manufacturer’s Instructions
A manufacturer provides some instructions that prevent damage to your faucet. Faucet springs and seats are an example of some parts that should be replaced at some point in the faucets’ useful life. Check the manual for information on usage, care tips and replacements.
Some faucets come with warranties, some even for a lifetime. Understanding the faucets’ warranties can help you save on cash.
How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet
Tightening those loose nuts can never be that hard, after all, all you need is some knowledge on what should be done. Also, note that the material fitted around the screw is mostly plastic. Tightening screws too much can cause too much pressure on the surrounding materials that would split it apart. That would another whole budget- careful! Be your own plumber!
Jennifer D. Simon has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Read More