More than 3,000 gallons of water per year are wasted if a leaky faucet is left to drip at a normal rate of one drip per second. That's more than 180 showers per year! Fixing your leaky faucet is therefore not only good for the environment but could also save you money.
In order to fix a dripping faucet, you must first understand what kind of leak you have. A whistling or screaming/squealing sound when you turn your faucet usually means that you need a new washer, which can be found in most home improvement stores. Whereas if you notice that your water is not flowing freely, spits or leaks when you try and turn your faucet on, then you probably have a clogged aerator. These clogs are usually caused by the formation of residual scales.
Whether your aerator is clogged, or you need a new washer, there are some simple steps you can follow to fix a leaky faucet:
- Turn off the water, unscrew, and remove the handle from the faucet by turning it in the same direction that the handle would normally turn.
- The washer is made of a round piece of rubber or plastic and is located at the base of the stem. It is held in place using a brass screw. Check the washer, screw and stem to see if any of them are damaged and need to be replaced.
- Unscrew and replace the washer if it’s damaged and reassemble everything back in place.
- The aerator is the part that fits onto the mouth of the faucet. It can be removed using pliers or sometimes by hand. Unscrew it and separate it into its components. Check if any of the parts are damaged. If your aerator is damaged, replace it, and screw the handle back in place.
- If the aerator is just clogged with sediments, clean it by holding it upside down under the faucet and turning on the water. Most of the sediments will get back-flushed out. Once it is clean, screw it back on to the faucet.
- Turn on the water again and check for leaks.
Now that your faucet is fixed, examine the areas surrounding your kitchen sink and bathroom fixtures. If there is any excess water, then it could be a sign that a leak has already begun in your plumbing system. It may not seem like an issue at first, but these leaks can lead to significant financial loss if left unattended for too long. If you do notice excess water, call a professional plumber near Calgary or My Calgary Plumber to inspect and fix your plumbing system.