You Can Change A Leaking Faucet To Save On Repair Bills
Home maintenance is not a seasonal thing, it requires year around attention. Although, hiring professionals is an option, in some cases, it can become costly. However, there are repairs that you can do yourself to save on costs. One of those repairs is replacing a leaking faucet.
People become so accustomed to seeing dripping faucets that they become invisible. Leaking fixtures waste money and increase your monthly utilities. At 30 drips per minute on average, a faucet or combination of fixtures will waste up to three gallons of water daily. Calculate this over a month or even a year and it is quite easy to see how much money is being wasted not to mention the waste of a natural resource.
Replacing the old worn out fixtures is not as daunting as you may imagine. You will need two adjustable wrenches commonly called crescent wrenches, slip joint pliers, Teflon plumber's tape and several towels.
Find the shut off valves under the cabinet, there is usually one for each supply line, and turn them off, then open the faucet to drain the water from the lines. Sink faucets have a stem or stems that fit through the hole or holes in the sink or vanity. There is a nut on the underside that must be removed from the main stem or stems. Many new faucets come with a special tool that fits the nut and makes removing and installing the fixture easier. If you do not have the tool use the slip joint pliers, or what many refer to as channel locks. This nut is what typically secures the fixture to the sink or vanity. First, uncouple the supply lines. There are two, one is hot and one is cold. Left as you look at the lines is typically the hot water supply and of course, right is the cold. The plumbing usually comes from the floor up but on occasion can be protruding from the wall. The nut will slide over the supply lines.
Use the crescent wrenches to remove the supply lines from the lines attached to the faucet. Use a wrench on each fitting and hold one while turning the other loose. You will turn the coupling that is attached to the faucet side. Once the supply lines are uncoupled, you will reach up and remove the nut or nuts, which hold the fixture tight to the sink. On bathroom sink faucets, usually a stem is connected that operates the sink stopper. The faucet will have the plunger connected typically, behind the control knob. You remove the stem from under the cabinet. You will see where it connects to the fixture, and once undone you can remove the faucet. Use the towels to absorb any water that drips from the lines.
Feed the new lines and stem back through the hole. Most new faucets will come with a rubber ring and or face plate with a gasket to keep water from seeping under the new fixture. If not, you will need to run a bead of waterproof sealant under the faceplate. You do not want water getting under the faceplate and dripping into the cabinet. Wrap the supply line threads with the Teflon tape to ensure a waterproof connection. You can also use plumber's putty. Once connected and the fixture is secured turn the supply lines on and check for leaks.
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