The incessant dripping sound of a kitchen faucet is enough to drive anyone nuts. The dreaded leaky faucet is one of the most common plumbing problems homeowners have to deal with, and while generally it is simple to fix it, we often put off this task and put in ear plugs instead. It is important to repair a leaky faucet to not only maintain your peace of mind, but also to conserve precious water resources, and in the process save money on your water bill. The range of possible causes of a leak is long, and the degree of difficulty of fixing the leak varies depending on which type of faucet you have. This guide is designed to help narrow down the possible sources causing your faucet to leak and to guide you through the repair process.

Leaky Faucet Repair: Identify Your Faucet Type

Leaky faucetThe two most typical faucet types are the “compression” faucet and the “washerless” faucet. A faucet with two knobs is usually a compression faucet, which is an older faucet design, but still found in many homes. There are several types of washerless faucets, including ball faucets, disk faucets and cartridge faucets.

Ball faucets have just one rotating knob that regulates the hot and cold water flow. Consider yourself lucky if you have a disk faucet; they are extremely reliable, but they do leak, it is probably due to worn-out seals. A disk faucet can have one or two knobs, whereas a cartridge faucet usually comes with just one handle. Each faucet type has a unique method of functioning, and the faucet repair may be simple or complicated based on the intricacy of the faucet’s construction.

Leaky Faucet Repair: Find the Cause of the Leak

A number of parts inside a faucet can fail and cause it to leak. Finding the part causing the problem requires some assembly work, and may be best left for a professional to handle. If you choose to tackle the leak yourself, there are some guidelines that make it easier to find the broken faucet part, and ultimately to fix the leak.

A compression faucet is generally the easiest to fix because the leak is most likely cause by one of the washers in the knobs failing. To repair the leak, the washer simply needs to be replaced.

A washerless faucet leak is a bit more complex, since the construction is somewhat more sophisticated and the variety of parts that may break is greater than in simple compression faucets. On the other hand, washerless faucets are much more reliable than compression faucets, and a faucet leak is thus less likely to occur. A leaky faucet with a cartridge assembly is usually caused by worn out o-rings in the faucet construction. Similarly, a leak in a disk faucet with two handles is most likely due to the o-rings or stems. A single-handle disk faucet, on the other hand, needs a faucet repair when the seals fail. A leak in a ball faucet is can be caused by a loose adjusting ring, a failed cam washer, or worn valve seats or springs.

Leaky Faucet Repair: Do it Yourself or Call a Plumber

Once you have identified the type of faucet that is leaking and narrowed down the most probable root cause, it is time to roll up your sleeves and dig into the tool box, or simply pick up the phone and call in a plumber to save the day. While a professional faucet leak repairs technician will cost you some money, after the leak repair water usage will be reduced bringing in savings, and more importantly, hiring a trained plumbing technician ensures that the right repair solution is found and the likelihood that the faucet leak will reoccur is minimized. To find a reliable and efficient leaky faucet repair company in your area, make sure you check local listings online and read what customers have to say on online review sites.