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There is nothing more annoying than having a leaky kitchen faucet in your home. There is a reason they used water torture in ancient times for interrogation and that is because the steady drip of water that was used during this process would make someone so crazy they would confess everything. Well, you don’t have to be a victim of that kind of torture yourself anymore if your kitchen faucet is dripping because they are really not that hard to fix. This article will give you some great insight on how to go about fixing those nuisance kitchens faucet leaks yourself.
Many people put off fixing their faucets for a long period of time and that is not a good idea. Why may you ask? For one kitchen faucet leaks will never just go away on their own and a majority of the time they will only get worse. Another major reason for getting a kitchen faucet leak fixed is it can do damage to the surrounding wood support structure which can be very costly to repair. Let’s not forget too that even just a steady drip of water can add up to a lot of money on your water bill over time.
So don’t put that leaking kitchen faucet repair off.
Identifying The Problem
Where do you start on a kitchen faucet repair? Well before you can proceed with the repair you first have to identify the problem. Below is a set of schematics from two of the most popular types of kitchen faucets; they are a single valve faucet and a dual valve faucet. You can see with all the parts identified on the schematic why fixing a faucet may seem difficult to some but in reality, there are only a few spots that are prone to leaking on them.
The places that are the most prone to leaking are the end of the faucet itself (#7 on both drawings), where the valve handle seats (#5,6 & 10 on the left drawing and #9 &10 on the right) and where the plumbing supply lines come into the bottom of the faucet fixture.
Once you have identified which area of your faucet is leaking you will then know how to proceed with getting supplies and getting that annoying faucet leak fixed once and for all. For leaks on top of the faucet it is usually just a matter of replacing O-rings or gaskets and for leaks on the incoming supply lines underneath you may need plumbers putty, silicone or even have to totally redo a connection.
When you go to your local plumbing supplier to pick up the parts make sure you bring the make and model of your faucet with you and also get any other identifying information about the faucet from underneath of it. The more information you have when buying parts the more likely you will not have to make a second trip back to your plumbing supplier. It also never hurts to bring any worn O-rings, rubber washers or other parts with you to your plumbing supplier to help you get the right replacement parts too.
Before You Attempt The Repair and Buy Parts
In all honesty, here the best we can do in this article is give you a general guideline and some advice for facilitating your leaky faucet repair. Why is that? Because there are literally thousands of different style faucets in the marketplace and while they may function similarly no two are ever built the same by different manufacturers (some of this is done intentionally to make money on aftermarket parts).
So then is it impossible to get information to help you with your leaky faucet repair? The answer to that question is absolutely not. Over 97% of all the major kitchen faucet manufacturers will have that information right online for you. Most of those will have parts schematics with part numbers, troubleshooting tips, and even replacement information. Thanks to the internet you don’t have to go into a faucet repair blind by any means. So make sure you take advantage of this tremendous asset.
Look at this information before you go to buy supplies because it may suggest additional parts to help make a lasting leak repair and you may get clued into some specialty plumbing tools that you will need to buy, borrow or rent to accomplish taken the apart the area of the faucet that needs to be repaired.
Making The Repair Itself
When it comes to making the repair yourself you should be well prepared if you have taken the advice listed in the previous steps. Keep in mind that it never hurts to have someone standing by to lend an extra hand during the repair. You will also want to keep in mind that you will be working with many small parts during your faucet repair. It’s best to lay these out on a light colored towel so they are easily visible and do not get lost.
Shut off the water supply to the faucet that is being repaired BEFORE you start the repair.
Don’t force parts to come apart if you are having trouble with the disassembly of the faucet. Be patient here or you might end up breaking apart and needing a whole new expensive replacement faucet.
Safety Is Always The Most Important Thing
Keep safety in mind at all times too. Wear rubber gloves when handling sealants, adhesives, putties or glues. Also, make sure if you are doing such things as replacing the incoming PVC plumbing lines in the cabinet underneath the sink that you put a small fan in there to keep the solvent cement fumes from building up to harmful levels. The general rule here is if something seems like it might be unsafe to do or handle then it probably is.
If All Else Fails
If the repair seems like too much for you or is not going well don’t despair. Just call your local plumber to come help you. Most of them can do faucet repairs in their sleep and carry all the necessary parts right on their truck. Since these repairs are usually fairly easy for them the price should not be too expensive in most cases.
So don’t put off that leaky kitchen faucet repair any longer and get it taken care of so it is no longer a nuisance and does not cause you to need a much more expensive repair in the long run. You will find that not having that dripping water torture or another leak any longer is a very comforting feeling.