When you see a leaky faucet your first instinct might be to try to tighten in down. Our Pearland plumbers say this is one of the worst things you can do. Most faucet leaks are caused by a crack in the seal or washer in the water inlet. While tightening the faucet might stop the leak for a short time, it will come back, and when it does it will be much worse.
Most faucets are set up with compression valves. In these faucets washers and seals are compressed and released repeatedly to start and stop the flow of water. Most seals are made of rubber and break down after years of repeated use. Sometimes seals dry out and even seals in faucets that aren't usually used can fail. Replacing the washers and seals will usually eliminate the leak.
Not every faucet uses a rubber washer system. There are three other systems that various manufacturers have used on their faucets included disk systems, cartridge systems and ball systems.
Disk systems are comprised of two seals that are compressed around the water pipe threading. Our Pearland plumbing team has replaced these for single seal and dual seal leaks. There is an upper seal at the top of the water inlet and a lower seal at the base of the inlet. The disk shaped seals can be replaced by unscrewing the pipe and removing them with a flathead screwdriver. New seals can then be slipped over the exposed pipe and the pipe retightened.
A cartridge system is much easier to deal with. It is an O-ring system that hooks the cartridge to the base of the faucet. If this cartridge starts to leak, the entire system needs to be replaced. The hardest part about the entire process is finding a cartridge that fits your particular faucet mode. Home improvement stores carry the most common replacements but it may be necessary to order directly from the manufacturer to obtain one.
Ball systems are the least DIY friendly. They are comprised of both inlet seals and O rings. A ball faucet system could leak from the handle or the base. If it leaks from the handle you can try to tighten down the seal by removing the handle and tightening down the base. If this doesn't fix the problem, the inlet seal and springs will need to be replaced. If this still doesn't stop the leak it is a sign that the ball is either warped or cracked and the entire system will need to be replaced.
Of course, if you don't have the time to fix a leaky faucet on your own, you can call in our Pearland plumbing team to get it done for you. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies just like this.