We offer outside plumbing help. There are several issues that can plague your faucet, but a leaky faucet is the most common. Typically, a worn washer or cartridge is to blame for your faucet, though a worn valve seat in the body of the faucet may also be the culprit.
Reseating a Faucet
If you’re reseating a faucet, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove the valve. If possible, you should also remove the seat with a valve-seat wrench. Replace the seat with a new one. If needed, screw a reseating tool into the thread of the faucet body. Next, you’ll slowly turn the handle of the resealing tool to grind until you have a smooth surface. Once you’ve put everything back together, your faucet should work fine!
Types of Valves
Working with valves can be tricky, but we’ll go through basic operation and repair to get you familiar with the setup. The valves found in domestic pipe runs control water movement throughout your home, but you can isolate the sections that require maintenance instead of replacing the whole system. When necessary, you can stop the water flow altogether via the stop valve. If these troubleshooting techniques don’t work, you’ll need to contact a company that deals with faucet repair in Kansas City.
This switch controls the main water supply flowing into your home, and it can normally be found between the fixture and the piping which come out from the walls or flooring. If the home is larger, multiple stop valves can be utilized in various areas of the system.
Isolating valves act as shutoff valves for the smaller areas of the plumbing system. In the instance that you have an issue with only one faucet, you can turn off its respective isolating valve.
A gate valve should only be utilized in low-pressure pipe runs, but they can be used to isolate areas. You’ll be able to tell if it’s a gate valve if it has a wheel handle. They should not be used as control or regulating valves, but rather when minimum pressure is needed.
The drain valves are situated along the pipe run and can be used to attach a hose when draining is required. You’ll need a drain valve key to use this valve.
Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve removes pressure when too much builds up within the water boiler. Without this valve, your heater could explode. For residential homes, these valves relieve pressure at 150 psig and at 120 degrees F. When the T&P valve discharges, it’s a sign that something is wrong. The issue might be excess system pressure, low temperature relief, something in the water heater or too high of a setting on the water heater.
Pressure Reduction Valve
The pressure reduction valve is typically installed when your municipality’s water source is close to where you live. High water pressure is a great perk, but it can also increase your utility bill.
A stop-and-waste valve is great for outdoor faucets, since it lets you drain water after the water has been turned off. It’s ideal for irrigation fitting, as it it keeps sprinkler lines from freezing in the winter.
Check valves are also called ‘non-return’ valves, and they make it possible for water to flow in just one direction. Typically, these valves are used outside faucets and are built into the design. They prevent the siphoning of water down the supply pipe, keeping the water supply clean.
Dealing with Drips
Drips are caused when there’s seepage from the water supply. A watertight seal holds back incoming water when the faucet is off, fighting the pressure that’s used to move water through the pipes in your home. The seal is made up of a washer pressed against the faucet seat. Drips normally occur when one of these two parts isn’t functioning properly.
Replacing the Washer/Repairing Seat
Fixing the drip is usually a matter of replacing the washer or repairing the seat. First though, you’ll have to turn off the water supply at a nearby shutoff. If there isn’t a valve for individual fixtures, you’ll have to turn off the main shutoff. This cuts off all water to your entire home, so you’ll want to complete the fix quickly.
To disassemble the faucet, shut off the water supply, remove the faucet handle by unscrewing the screw on the stop or back of the handle, and loosen the top-mounted handle screw. Once the handle has been removed, remove the packing nut from the faucet assembly. You can use slip-joint pliers or an adjustable wrench to get the job done. Turn the pliers in the direction you would turn on the faucet to loosen the packing nut. Remove the screws anchoring the washer to release the stem, then replace if damaged. You’ll need an exact replacement (whether beveled or flat) to ensure the drip is completely stopped. Exact matches are necessary, because washers that are designed exclusively for cold water expand when they get hot. Once the new washer is connected to the stem, reinstall the assembly in the faucet. Put the stem back in place by turning it clockwise. Finally, reinstall the handle and put the buttons or discs back. Turn on the water and check to make sure the leak has been stopped.
If you’re repairing other faucet types, there are different steps you’ll need to take. If your faucet uses a rubber diaphragm instead of a washer, for example, you’ll need to remove the entire faucet stem from the body of the faucet. This can be done with pliers. If you don’t wrap the top of the stem with tape, your pliers can damage the faucet parts. Sometimes a screwdriver is necessary to pry the rubber diaphragm from the bottom of the stem. You’ll want the replacement diaphragm to fit tightly around the base of the stem prior to reassembly.
Rubber Seat Ring
You might also come across a faucet with a rubber seat ring in lieu of a washer. You’ll need to hold the end of the faucet stem with pliers and unscrew the threaded center pieces at the same time. You’ll next need to remove the sleeve so you can put in a new seat ring. Double check to make sure the lettering faces the threaded part of the stem.
Spring and Rubber Washer
Some faucets have a cartridge-type stem faucet with a spring and rubber washer. You’ll be able to replace these by removing the cartridge from the body of the faucet then taking out the washer and spring. Besides inserting the new spring and washer, you’ll want to make sure that it lines up with the cartridge and fits snugly in the slots of the faucet body during reassembly.
Faucets that have the seat integrated into the stem require that you unscrew the stem nut from the base of the stem and take off the washer retainer and metal washer. The retainer has a rubber washer which you will replace with the new washer (bevel side up).
In some cases, your faucet may not have a washer. In this instance, the hole alignment of two metal discs lets water flow through the faucet when turned on. With these types of faucets, it isn’t an easy fix. You’ll have to replace the entire valve assembly, which is where professional faucet repair in Kansas City comes in.
Single Lever Faucet
If you have a single lever faucet, you will need a specialized repair kit for the faucet type. Lucky for you, most faucet companies offer repair kits that come with instructions and pictures of replacement parts. The downside is that these repair kits can sometimes be hard to track down. Shut off the water supply before starting the repair/replace process, and follow the instructions step-by-step.
Dealing with Noises
We all want a quiet home, but noisy faucets can ruin that peaceful silence! Normally these noises sound when you turn the faucet on or off. For those in newer homes, too-small pipes are normally to blame. In older homes, the formation of scale on pipes can cause noises. Unfortunately, new pipes will be necessary to restore peace and quiet to your home, meaning you will need to enlist the help of professional faucet repair in Kansas City.
Oftentimes, this drastic step isn’t necessary—it’s all just a matter of your washer. The washer might be the wrong size, or it may not be held securely to the stem. To remedy the problem, simply replace or tighten the washer. In the case that the washer isn’t to blame, check the washer seat to make sure it hasn’t been clogged with residue. Sometimes, restricted water flow can create whistling and chattering noises. A simple cleaning should do the trick!
If a squealing noise is plaguing your home every time the faucet handles are turned, it’s most likely the metal threads of the stem binding against the faucet’s threads. For troubleshooting, remove the stem and apply petroleum jelly to the sets of threads. The jelly will resolve the noise issue and, as a bonus, make the handle easier to turn. Professional help will be needed if the stem threads or faucet body threads are worn.