The reality is that many end users, and even some plumbers, don't know the true cost of a leaky faucet. According to the EPA, a faucet that leaks at the rate of one drip per second can add an extra 3,000 gallons per year to a water bill. Three-thousand gallons—that's enough to fill three fire trucks!
The good news: leaks are actually simple to diagnose and just as manageable to fix. The first thing to understand is why leaks occur. It's not usually because the metal itself has developed a hole or perforation. Usually, the problem is much simpler than that. Leaks almost always occur due to wear and tear on soft, worn parts such as a gasket, washer, packing, or o-ring. These parts allow the faucet or pre-rinse station to function smoothly, and in order to do that, they have to compress or give a little each time the unit is used.
Let's take a look at the most common leaks and what you can do to repair them. On a faucet, you may notice a leak on the spout itself. The solution here: you may need to replace a seal between the outlet tip and nozzle or the leak may be back at the cartridge spindle itself or a worn seat washer is letting water into the spout. Is there a leak around a faucet handle? You'll need to replace the worn packing inside by removing the bonnet nut and replacing the old packing with new packing. Leaking at the base of the bonnet means the top gasket is worn and needs to be replaced. Leaking at the nozzle base while the water is running tells you that the swivel o-ring has worn and your faucet is ready for a new o-ring. Leaks at the coupling flange are due to an old gasket and replacing that will solve your problem.
On a pre-rinse unit, leaks may be even more obvious. A leaking hose is one that is punctured or perforated, and needs to be replaced. A leak around the spray face means you need a new rubber bumper. A leak through the spray face itself means it's time to replace the bonnet assembly, but the other common leaks are nearly identical to those on a faucet. If there is a leak at the base of the handle, you'll need to replace the washer inside the handle to stop the leak. A leak at the top of the handle means it's a hose washer that needs replacing. Leaks around the pre-rinse faucet or riser itself will inevitably be identical to the faucet leaks described previously.
Leaky plumbing, no one likes it, but it's not difficult to investigate and repair. T&S makes it easy to keep your faucet and pre-rinse unit performing at their best.
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