Faucets are a vital part of any plumbing system, as they provide us with clean water in a useful form. Sadly, they are prone to wear and tear as well as accidental damage. Understanding the different types of faucets and how to address common issues that arise can save time, money, and frustration. In this short article brought to you by Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air, we will look at four common types of faucets and offer tips on how to repair common problems associated with each type.
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Compression faucets are the oldest and most traditional type of faucet, and they feature separate hot and cold handles. You turn each handle, much like unscrewing something, to produce the right temperature.
Compression faucets rely on a rubber washer to control water flow. When the washer is pressed against the valve seat, it forms a watertight seal, stopping the water flow. When the handle is turned on, the washer is lifted, allowing water to flow through the faucet.
Over time, these washers can wear out, leading to leaks. Turn off the water supply and use a screwdriver to remove the cap on the handle, then unscrew the handle to remove it. Replace the old washer, reassemble, and test it.
Cartridge faucets are a more modern type of faucet, and they typically come with a single handle that can be moved in a lateral direction. They offer smoother operation and are more reliable than traditional compression faucets.
As the name implies, these faucets use a cartridge, which is a cylindrical device containing multiple small moving parts, to control water flow and temperature. The cartridge has holes and slots that align when the handle is moved, allowing water to pass through and mix hot and cold water to achieve the desired temperature.
Like compression faucets, these cartridge faucets are prone to leaking or dripping. Turn off the water supply and replace the cartridge by removing the handle. Reassemble and test.
Ball faucets are another type of faucet commonly found in older homes and were once a popular choice due to their innovative design, known for their single handle that controls water flow and temperature through a ball-shaped joint.
The ball has chambers and slots that align with the water inlets, allowing for water flow and temperature control. As the handle is moved, the ball rotates within the faucet body, positioning the chambers and slots to regulate the water.
A common issue with ball faucets is a loose handle. Turn off the water supply and remove the handle. Once you have removed the handle, locate the adjusting ring and tighten it with pliers to eliminate any handle wobble. Then, reassemble and test your faucet.
Disc faucets have a single lever that controls water flow and temperature. They use two ceramic discs to regulate the water, making them more durable and requiring less maintenance. However, mineral buildup can cause reduced water flow over time.
The address mineral buildup, turn off the water supply and remove the faucet handle. Inside the faucet body, you'll find two ceramic discs. Gently clean them with white vinegar to remove any mineral deposits.
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