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Plumbers: Fixing Leaky Faucets

Plumbers Doylestown PA install and repair systems that provide water, heat, and sewage to homes and businesses. They must have many skills to work in this physically demanding career.


Plumbers often deal with clients directly, so they must have excellent customer service skills and be able to explain complex problems clearly. They also need to be able to read blueprints and understand building codes.

The sound of a leaky faucet can be enough to keep you awake at night, and it’s not just annoying; it’s also a waste of water. Just one drip per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons per year,1 so it’s important to fix the problem as soon as you notice it.

In some cases, a simple tightening of the component can solve the issue. However, if the leak continues, it may be time to call a plumber.

Leaks are often caused by worn washers and O-rings that seal the valve seat. Regularly inspecting and replacing these small parts can help extend the life of your faucet.

Start by identifying the type of faucet you have. Most faucets use either a cartridge or compression valve to control the flow of water. Cartridge faucets have a movable rubber ball in a socket, while compression faucets have a fixed metal stem that sits on a valve seat. Once you know what kind of faucet you have, it’s easier to disassemble and repair.

To begin, remove the handle by unscrewing it from the faucet body. The screw that holds the handle is usually hidden under a decorative cap, so you’ll need to look for this before starting. You can also find the model number stamped on the faucet body, which will help you identify replacement parts. If the screw is seized, try using penetrating oil to loosen it.

Once the handle is off, you can remove the stem nut that holds the stem in place. Stem nut sizes vary, so you’ll need to either note the size or take the old one with you to the hardware store to ensure you get the right replacement. Before reassembling, coat the new O-ring with plumber’s grease to prevent it from leaking again.

Once you’ve replaced the O-ring, reassemble the faucet and turn on the water to test it. If you’re still experiencing a leak, you may need to replace the valve seat or cartridge.

Repairing a Faucet Handle

The faucet handle is one of the most important parts of your sink, regulating both the flow and temperature of water. It’s also often one of the most used, meaning that it can be subject to a lot of wear and tear over time. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to fix. In most cases, you can simply replace the faucet handle.

First, shut off the water supply to your sink. It’s a good idea to cover the drain, too, so that no screws or other small parts fall down and get lost forever. Next, remove the handle and cover plate by unscrewing them (if necessary). Use a screwdriver to expose the screw that holds the handle in place. Then, remove the screw and gently lift up on the handle. If the handle is still stiff, it may be a sign that there’s mineral build-up inside. Try soaking the handle in a solution of vinegar and water for 30-60 minutes to see if this helps.

Once the handle is off, you can examine the cartridge or valve assembly for signs of wear and tear. You can also replace the cartridge at this point if necessary. Once you’ve done that, simply screw the new handle back into place and test it to make sure it works properly.

Replacing a faucet handle is an easy and inexpensive way to update the look of your kitchen or bathroom. However, whether you should do it yourself or hire a professional depends on your comfort level with plumbing tasks, budget, and schedule.

If you’re comfortable with plumbing tasks, the DIY option is a great way to save money and feel a sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, hiring a professional plumber can give you peace of mind and the confidence that the job will be done correctly.

A professional plumber will have the knowledge and experience to install a new faucet handle quickly and efficiently. Plus, they will likely have access to more options and features than you would at a local hardware store. Additionally, hiring a plumber may come with a warranty that you wouldn’t have if you did it yourself.

Repairing a Faucet Cylinder

Licensed plumbers have extensive knowledge of plumbing systems in both residential and commercial structures. Their duties include inspecting existing pipe work; testing water pressure levels; locating blockages or leaks; fitting replacement parts such as valves and taps; installing new pipes, fixtures, and appliances such as sinks, toilets, and showers; and connecting waste disposal units to drainage systems. They also maintain plumbing systems by performing a variety of tasks, including flushing drains, cleaning out clogged sinks and tubs, and repairing broken sealants around bathtubs or showers. Plumbers are also often responsible for installing and repairing gas lines.

Before beginning a faucet cartridge repair, shut off the water supply by turning off the valve located underneath the handle. Then remove the handle and the cartridge by unscrewing the retaining screw or snapping it off. If the handle has a decorative trim piece, remove it with pliers or a wrench. Once the cartridge is removed, replace the rubber washer at the bottom and the seat washer. These can become worn due to mineral deposits. Make sure to coat the washers with nontoxic, heat-proof plumber’s grease.

If the cylinder is cracked or damaged, it can cause leaks and damage surrounding surfaces. To repair a cracked or damaged cylinder, a plumber may choose to grind the ceramic disk or insert a new one. Once the cylinder is replaced, plumbers must reassemble the faucet, ensuring that all parts are fitted properly and tightened securely.

Plumbing problems can be dangerous for people who are not familiar with the dangers of working with sewage and human waste. Human waste contains microbes that can cause infectious diseases, including cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis, and polio. Plumbers who repair faulty toilets and sewage systems are at risk of exposure to these bacteria and must wear protective clothing when doing so. They should also never flush raw sewage down a toilet, as this can cause the sewage to back up into the house and flood the basement. This can lead to costly repairs and cleanup. Plumbers should also be aware of the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning when working with natural gas.

Repairing a Faucet Seat

The washer that sits on the valve seat, opening and closing to allow water through is subjected to a lot of friction. This can cause it to wear down and create a leak around the faucet handle. But the washer is not the only problem, sometimes the valve seat itself can become damaged. This is particularly common in older faucets or those with hard water, where mineral deposits can build up around the inlet hole and cause it to stop opening or close properly.

The valve seat is a metal fitting located at the base of the tap handle inside the faucet housing that acts as a seal for the stem. The faucet stem has a ridge that goes over the valve seat, and when the handle is turned, this ridge presses against the valve seat to create a tight seal. But over time, the valve seat can wear down or get nicked, which allows water to leak through. The solution is to replace the seat.

You can buy a replacement valve seat at any home improvement store, and it’s usually very inexpensive. But first, you’ll need to remove the old one. Before you do that, make sure the water is off and use a wrench or spanner to loosen the handle set screw (hex end) or the adjusting ring (spanner end). If these parts are stuck, try applying penetrating oil or spray lubricant, then turning them with a wrench.

Once the old valve seat is removed, install the new one and reassemble the faucet. Be sure to use plumber’s putty or pipe joint compound around the threads of the new seat and a bit of teflon tape on the inlet hole to prevent leaks.

Although it may seem like a difficult task, replacing a faucet seat is a job that any competent DIYer can do with a few simple tools and a little knowledge. But if you don’t have the tools, or if you’re not comfortable with this type of work, a licensed professional plumber can save you time, hassle and money.