This article gives a detailed account of plumbing basics. It helps the homeowner fix a dripping faucet or pipe. |
One of the basic plumbing projects that often face homeowners is a dripping faucet or tap. This project is probably one of the easier repairs that a homeowner can do by himself. Not only is the repair easy but it is usually necessary to know how to do it because this is one of the recurrent problems that plague homeowners. It is important to keep taps and faucets in good working condition because they are the dispensers of water in and out of the home. Dripping faucets will eventually lead to a full blown spray of water if left unattended and can cause some serious water damage in the home. It is not advisable to try to force the faucet tighter if it shows some signs of a leak because the force can damage the faucet itself and make it more difficult to repair.
Tools and Materials
The homeowner who is venturing into plumbing will need a pipe wrench that is congruent in size to the pipes found in the house. Other tools and materials that may be needed is a screwdriver, replacement washers and some PTFE tape.
How to Do It
The first thing to do is to turn off the water shut off valve for this section of the house or the entire water main (if there are no shut off valves) to prevent water damage if the faucet or tap bursts as the homeowner is unscrewing the faucet or disassembling the tap. There are four basic types of faucets and each has a different mechanism for releasing and stopping the water. Compression faucets are the most likely to leak just after a few years of use because the washers are pressed down against the metal to open and close the tap. A plumbing kit may be useful for this kind of faucet. Some compression faucets drip from the handle and a different kind of repair is needed for this. If the drip is from the spout, it is necessary to disassemble the entire faucet and replace the washers. The handle of the compression faucet will come off easily just by removing the cap from the top and unscrewing the screw found there. There should be a retaining nut on the threaded spindle which will be followed by an o0ring and then the washer. Either the o-ring or the washer may need to be replaced if these show signs of wear. It also helps to put some PTFE tape around the threads of the spindle to ensure a tighter fit. One round of PTFE tape should do the trick for a not so worn out thread. Reassemble the faucet and then turn on the water valve to check if the leak is still there.
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