Water heaters that make use of warm water tanks typically last about ten years. Naturally, this is only an average. If you get fortunate and preserve your hot water tank, it may last you nearly twice as long. On the other hand, it’s not unheard of for a water tank to fail after only two or 3 years. Tankless water heaters last substantially longer. In fact, some tankless water heater companies provide lifetime no-leak service warranties with their systems. If it’s time to replace your water heater and do not have huge water needs, a tankless water heater might be the way to go.

Water Heater Repair
Water heaters can fall under disrepair for any variety of reasons. Sediment deposits can form at the bottom of your tank causing popping noises when the burners fire up. Thermostats can malfunction or fail entirely. A broken dip tube can blend incoming cold water with the outbound hot water. Unrestrained thermal growth can cause harmful pressure levels and burst pipes. These and other less common issues can result in a loss of hot water, excessively warm water, or plumbing damage.

Water heater repair is a job finest delegated the experts, however make certain to take an active function when deciding whether to have your water heating system fixed or replaced. Ask how much the repair work will certainly cost, how much it would cost to replace the water heater, and how much longer your system can be expected to last as soon as the repair service is complete.

Replacing Water Heaters
If you do need to replace your water heater, you have a number of choices making. The most standard decision is whether or not you desire a tankless system. Not just do tankless systems last longer, they are more energy-efficient. They are commonly much cheaper, depending on the size and number of water heating systems you buy. The disadvantages for tankless water supply typically include efficiency.
With warm water tanks, the secret to performance is how much warm water is being kept and how efficiently the tank is being insulated. With tankless systems, circulation rate is the vital element. If your system doesn’t have an appropriate circulation rate, you may have hugely differing water temperatures. It’s tough enough for these systems to offer reliably warm water. If you then start switching on faucets or flushing toilets with somebody in the shower, you might end up hearing them cry out from the rapidly varying water temperature.

When Should I Replace My Water Heater?

When Should I Replace My Water Heater?

Other decisions involve which heat source to use (gas, oil, electrical, or solar), the shapes and size of the tank, what kind of insulation you require, whether to use thermal shops, whether your hot water heater is going to belong to your central heating. Many of these choices may already be made for you, depending upon your house and the climate where you live. Speaking with a local service provider is the very best method to identify what will certainly work best for your specific situation and needs.
Energy-Efficient Water Heaters
Energy-efficiency requirements for water heaters have been around for less than 20 years and minimum standards were increased as just recently as 2004. Energy-efficiency is measured as a portion of heat utilized, based on an average of 64 gallons made use of each day. The measurement is expressed as the energy aspect (EF). An electrical water heater can run as efficiently as.95 or.98 if it’s a tankless system. A brand-new gas-fired water heater may run as low as.63, and older ones might run even lower than that. Naturally, energy-efficiency is only one small element of general performance and doesn’t consider the relative cost of different fuels or the overall result on either your energy costs or the environment.

Plastic vs Metal Pipes

Pros: How plastic pipes outperform metal pipes

Rust resistant– A plastic plumbing system pipeline isn’t quickly corroded by direct exposure to water and common household chemicals. Plastic solutions can be adjusted to permit them to withstand the needs of different domestic plumbing needs, consisting of supply of water and drainage.
Low heat conductivity– Unlike metal, plastic doesn’t perform heat well so it’s better able to maintain the temperature level of the water it carries. While copper pipes require insulation to prevent sweating and leaking, PVC pipelines remain dry even with no insulation. That’s particularly helpful with condensate drains for air conditioning system, boilers and other home appliances.
Non-reactive– Connecting different metals, such as copper and iron, can cause rust. Plastic pipes can be connected with each other or with metal pipes without the threat of destructive chain reaction.
Simpler setup– Because plastic pipelines are light and easy to handle, plumbing jobs done with these pipelines nearly always cost less than those that include metal pipelines.
Less clogs– Some plumbers find plastic drainpipes are less most likely to obstruct than metal ones and are simpler to unblock when they do.

Cons: Why plastics aren’t always ideal

Thermal expansion/contraction– Although plastic pipelines don’t move heat well, they do broaden and contract depending upon the temperature level of the surrounding air and the fluid inside them. Eventually, this shouldn’t cause any problems due to the fact that a skilled plumber will certainly account for this tendency when selecting the pipes
Low melting point– Plastic melts or burns at lower temperatures than the majority of metal, and it can release harmful fumes even prior to melting. That provides an included threat in case of a home fire. Because of this, developing codes put more safety limitations on plastic pipelines than on metal ones.
Sensitivity to sunlight– Certain plastics, such as PVC, might become fragile when exposed to the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays. Latex paint or another safety layer can be applied to pipelines made use of outdoors to assist them last longer.

Kinds of plastic pipelines.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) might be the plumbing system pipeline material most people are familiar with, but it’s far from the only option. Of the products readily available, each has individual buildings that make it better for certain applications than for others. Kinds of plastic pipes consist of:

Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX)– One of the most popular pipe plastics made use of today, PEX is commonly installed in place of copper pipelines or chosen as an alternative to other kinds of plastic. It’s often set up to deliver both hot and cold water, especially consuming water. It’s also a popular choice for devices such as boilers. This material is known for its flexibility, low cost, ease of fitting and capability to keep water pressure. PEX pipeline is offered in red, blue and white. While red is usually utilized for warm water and blue for cold, there’s no difference in the material.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)– Another material popular for the modern-day plumbing system pipeline, PVC is a white or grey pipe used for high-pressure water, a lot of commonly the primary supply line into your house. It isn’t really as versatile as PEX, making it less suitable for smaller interior areas. Its tendency to warp at high temperatures means it shouldn’t be used to bring water hotter than 140 degrees. That makes it inapplicable for kitchen area drains, where warm water from cooking or the dishwater could damage the pipe. Particular variations of PVC, in particular pipelines rated DWV (drainage, waste and vent), might seep chemicals and shouldn’t be used for drinking water.

Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC)– CPVC is PVC that’s been treated with chlorine, a process called chlorination. CPVC is more easily shaped and more versatile than PVC, and it can withstand higher pressures and temperature levels. These buildings make CPVC popular for industrial applications, however this pipe is also used to carry property drinking water. On the drawback, its versatility implies it requires more support than PVC pipelines. Because it will split if frozen, it should not be used underground.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE)– One of the toughest plumbing system pipeline products around, HDPE works well for nearly all plumbing makes use of. It’s durable, versatile and resists corrosion well. These pipes are readily available in long lengths, and any joints essential are used heat blend, which is practically leak-proof. HDPE saves water pressure since it produces minimal “drag” or friction that minimizes water pressure.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)– Drainage, waste and vent pipelines are the typical application for this black pipe product. It’s effect- and heat-resistant, making it ideal for outside use. Since many building codes restrict its use, nevertheless, PVC or HDPE pipelines are often used instead.

Grey polybutylene (PB) is another type of plastic pipe material that might still be found in some homes. Since PB tends to divide and leak, it’s seldom used in new installations. Old PB pipelines can be replaced with a more reliable material, such as PEX or CPVC.

Unfortunately like death and taxes, clogs are pretty much inevitable. Clogs occur for a number of reasons, long hair, greases and lipids in the line and then most commonly of the burbs is roots. Roots can be a real bug bear for the average homeowner and they can be extremely expensive to correct.

How To Avoid Clogged Sink Drains

How To Avoid Clogged Sink Drains

So I’ve made a kind of a basic illustration of a home, okay? To illustrate a point here. The sewer line coming out of this home running through the front yard should angle down and continue always at a constant pitch. Normally the standard pitch is a quarter of an inch per foot. Okay?

What happens a lot of times because of the way the earth above them and the enormous power to tree roots which is just incredible, I’ll go into that in a second, you get a belly or what we call in the trade is sag in the line.

So yes, the water will still go out down the drain and run but instead of running and continuing down this way and out to the sewer we have a belly, this sag in the line and what happens is all of the waste just kind of sits there nasty, and it pools up.

So when that happens the plumber will take a snake and the snake is a big machine. It’s a large, generally a two piece of affair and there’s a half inch cable that comes off of it with a claw. Like a big metal blade, it’s the same width of the pipe.

Let’s say this is a six inch pipe, you have a big double six inch blade and the idea would be to cut through in a constant circular motion to cut through whatever’s blocking here. Well the problem with a sag is you’ll go right through and out into the sewer and then right back out but that junk will still be in the line.

It could be easily be 30 – 40 feet of it so in which case the sad news is that you need a backhoe. Okay? We’re gonna dig up that line, remove the affected pipe and install it at the proper pitch so that the problem is rectified. That’s 10, 15, $20,000 worth of work.

So let’s eliminate the sag from the equation for a second and now we’ve got a properly installed, properly pitched sewer line. You see how I’ve drawn these hubs in here? This hub is where big 10 foot sections of pipe are being joined together.

Inside that hub normally speaking is lead poured in there. Sometimes it’s in elastomeric seal of rubber in new installations but for this purpose we’re gonna talk about an older house. Now what happens is over 100 years the big oak tree, that grandpop planted is now this big fearsome thing and these roots have just unbelievable sheer power to them.

What they do is they’ll go searching for any source of water. Now with a 30 foot tall tree you might have root system the size of a Volkswagen. Okay? And when the root, a little tiny tentacle of a root the width of a pen get’s inside this joint and finds that water in there, over two years it can grow to the width of a mans leg, bust the pipe out from the inside and cause all hell.

So the idea here is, especially when you know that you have a root penetration of the line, you maintain that line. Okay? You do so by accessing any number of clean outs that are code mandated. You have to have clean outs in the drainage system because clogs like death and taxes happen.

So you’ll get a big clump of roots but normally speaking you’d have, this is a close up here of what the clean out would like, a four inch clean out. Let’s say somewhere in the basement you have that four inch clean out right here. So that’s a plug you can remove from the drainage system, bring in a heavy duty snake, a big machine.

This is best left for professionals or you could hurt yourself with the machine if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can run this line again, this double clawed fitting straight down the pipe and it’s gonna run in and maybe at 20 or 30 feet it’s gonna encounter the roots and then a fight is going to ensue.

It’s gonna be chopping and ripping. It’s very violent and you’ll feel the snake kind of torque up and not move through in which case you pull back and you’ll pull back and I guarantee a big, huge knot of roots.

Now to clear this line effectively a lazier drain cleaner will go in there, hit that knot of roots, cause the water to down and call it a day. Well, yeah, we’ve gotten this chunk of roots right here but what we don’t know is that all the way down the line we’ve got root penetration. Okay?

So a good reaming of the pipe is absolutely necessary because not only do we have one joint, we have three of these hubs and we might even have a pipe with holes in it in which case the root is just strangling the pipe.

How high have your water bills been lately? If they are hog; you might have something happening with your water heater. If you have been putting off Cherry Hill water heater repairs, stop and believe. Would you rather continue paying for greater water expenses are repairs where you can lower them?

There are numerous essential aspects to a water heater that will certainly notify you regarding whether you have an issue or not. Electric devices remain in lots of homes as they are inexpensive. But they can stop producing warm water.
Gas water heating units can conserve you up to 50 %. However whenever they are broken down; they conserve you definitely nothing.

How to Save on Your Water Bill Each Month

How to Save on Your Water Bill Each Month

If you begin to hear or see any of the following indication; your local plumber must look out due to the fact that they can avoid you from needing to replace yours. Replacements can be pricey:

Tank is older than 10 years old or more.
Water temperature level modifications.
Loud banging noises.
Takes a lot longer to renew your water.
Cloudy water.
Deterioration at bottom of water tank.
Pools of water gathering under your tank.

Older tanks can be saved. You may get another year or five from them. That’s with the correct amount of care. Care is essential for systems due to the fact that It protects them no matter if they are electrical or gas units.

Among the systems there are brand-new ones called tankless systems. They are safer to have in the home since they are less exposed to breakdowns. Tankless systems can enhance the hot water used in the home.

These tanks are able to supply you with warm water when you need it which is on-demand. Tankless water heating systems bypass electrical & gas ones as they do not require storage. There is less upkeep with these than any other.

Prior to your water tank goes, search for the indication. Getting to the repairs will certainly make it a longer long lasting system. There are lots of indicators that it’s starting to decrease hill. When you discover them does, call for repair works instead of a replacement.

Your water tank is responsible for making your home’s water warm for cooking and cleaning. Simply envision life without it for a 2nd. What would you do if you were required to replace it? Call the Cherry Hill water heater repair specialists today and prevent that from occurring.

Being knowledgeable about water heater repairs can be available in helpful the next time you unexpectedly discover that there’s no warm water or if the temperature is not at your wanted range any longer. Having your water supply professionally serviced is perfect, especially if you’re no handyman, but if time’s of the element, knowing the standard things about your water heater and how it runs may be of great usage. The standard elements of a water heater, apart from the thermostat, are the vent and press relief valve.

If you find water leaking but the temperature level is great then it’s the valve that may require replacement. Other possible reasons for issues may consist of a rusty tank. In some circumstances like if there’s sound, the tank might just have to be drained, flushed and filled up. A typical unfavorable issue would be dirty warm water coming out of your heating device. Smelly warm water is another problem that can be traced to pollutants like bacteria forming, in which case the heater may have to be flushed with chlorine water, or the aluminum anode rod might need to be replaced.

Basic Information About Water Heaters

Basic Information About Water Heaters

The first thing people would need to examine when faced with the possibility of a requirement for water heater repair works is to see if the gadget can be repaired, or if it must be changed. Proper care and regular servicing is actually a must to prevent the heater from conking out or malfunctioning. Make note of exactly what a plumber will usually do at least as soon as in about 3 or six months– drain the tank of water to prevent sediment from building up beneath the tank. Before draining, though, always remember to shut off the heater and close the water intake.

Water heater repair works would likewise depend upon the kind of device you have. There’s the storage tank and there’s the tankless type. Issues with the tankless type may be a rare occurrence. Nonetheless, a routine maintenance is a good idea. It would also be valuable to review fixing tips. If you’re just careful about changing the heating element, much less siphoning the water out of the heater, then there’s actually no alternative however to get professional assistance.

When handling the repairman, it’s still crucial to be in the know. Discover how much it’ll really cost to change your water heater, and how long you’ll be able to use the device when repaired. Water heater repairs will likewise depend on the certain type and design and the total quality and the setup of the device.

Step 1
Prepare the Macerating Unit

With a macerating system, the bowl clears through a discharge line into a tank. The tank houses a pump that macerates, or separate, the contents from the bowl then pushes them out.

Prepare the macerating pump system by pushing the flapper check assembly into the opening. Make sure that the flapper assembly faces in the same direction as the elbow.

Press the elbow onto the connection and secure it with a clamp.

Step 2
Take advantage of the Vent

To tap into the vent, utilize a reciprocating saw to puncture the pipeline. Put down a ground cloth or make use of a bucket to collect anything that comes out.

Eliminate about a 12″ section of pipeline.

Clean both ends of the old pipe then put rubber adaptors onto the old pipe.

Step 3
Link the Adaptors

Prep up a 1″ and 1/2″ ‘Y’ with short pieces of PVC so that they’ll span the gap in the pipe; connect the rubber adaptors.

Put the ‘Y’ into location and slide the adaptors over both ends, then firmly tighten down all clamps to avoid leaks.

Step 4
Screw the Adaptor Into the Cleanout

Next, eliminate the cleanout cover on the drain line.

Keep in mind: Make sure that no one is utilizing the sink throughout this procedure or sewage could come out of the open pipe.

As soon as the cap is off, established a threaded male adaptor with a 3/4″ reducer. Coat the threads on the male adaptor with Teflon paste and screw it into the cleanout. Make use of a plumber’s wrench to make sure the adaptor is tight.
Step 5
Attach the Bowl

Initially, link the accordion seal to the bowl of the macerating system then anchor the bowl to the floor using the anchoring holes.


Step 6
Connect the Unit to the Sewer Line

Note: Before hooking up the toilet to the macerator, it’s a great idea to hook up the macerating system to the sewage system line. To do this, run a discharge line off the flexible 90 on top of the macerator pump. Bear in mind that this line is called a pressure favorable line, meanings that when the pump kicks on, the line will be charged with pressure. Ensure the system is rated to stand up to the pressure.
Step 7
Link the Pipes

Set up lengths of 3/4″ PVC pipeline and a 90 to head out of the wall.

Then, place the pipe into the versatile 90 on the macerator and firmly tighten down the clamp.

Rotate the pipeline parallel to the wall then drill into the wall at the end of the pipeline.

Adjust the length of the discharge line if essential and glue it to the 90. Then put the pipeline through the wall.
Step 8
Run the Discharge Line

Next, continue running the discharge line and link the ball valve as close to the macerator as possible.

Then, continue running the line aiming to decrease the number of 90 degree turns with 45’s where possible.

Also, make certain that the line is on a slightly downhill angle to where it use the drain.

Usage pipeline hangers to protect the line and if the pipe is in a cold location, see to it to insulate.
Step 9
Run a Vent Line

Note: In North America, it is a requirement to run a vent line from the macerator to the outdoors. This will assist avoid what’s called ‘air lock’ and will certainly keep the pump running efficiently for a long time. There might be an existing vent in your house to tap into, or a regional vent that rises through the walls and outside through the roofing might have to be run.

Start by blocking off the breather opening in the macerating system with the two provided caps.

Make use of a reciprocating saw to cut the cover off the dome then slide the supplied accordion connector over the lip. Clamp it down firmly.

Install a 1″ and 1/2″ street 90 into the adapter. Mark where the 90 intersects with the wall, and eliminate the 90.

Utilize a hole saw to cut through the wall. Put the street 90 back in and secure it with a clamp.

Now, continue to run 1-1/2″ PVC to link into the tap made earlier. Usage PVC hangers to secure the line.
Step 10
Run the Cold Water Line to the Toilet

After shutting off the water and alleviating the pressure, use a pipeline cutter to cut into the water line.

Remove about 2″ from the water line and install a ‘T’.

Attach a short piece of pipeline to the ‘T’ then add a ball valve.

Usage standard soldering strategies to extend the line and connect into the pipeline that was executed the wall previously.
Step 11
Protect the Connections

Start by topping off any ports that will certainly not be made use of.

To set up for a sink connection, cap off a piece of 1-1/2″ PVC and connect it into the supplied accordion connection.

Secure all connections with clamps.

Step 12: Set up the Toilet

To set up the toilet, set the clamp onto the toilet’s discharge outlet (Image 1).

Next, place the bowl in front of the macerating system and pull the accordion gasket all the way onto the discharge outlet.

Thoroughly examine the gasket and make sure that it’s even all around which the clamp rests over the edge of the gasket, then tighten down the clamp.

Once the bowl is over the holes in the floor, slip the china protectors over the lag screws.

Then, tighten up the lag screws bewaring not to over-tighten them. Snap the bolt covers into location.
Step 13
Make the Final Connections

Set up the toilet tank by lining up the gasket and tank bolts (Image 1). Once more, beware not to over-tighten.

Set up the seat.

Attach a stainless-steel flex line from the bowl to the valve (Image 2) and switch on the water to check for leakages.

All plumbing connections are completed and it’s time to plug the device in. Switch on the water and test out the system.

Know Where Your Water Shut Off Valve Is – Before A Disaster Happens

There are a few things that every homeowner should always know, no matter what. One of them being, where the shutoff valve is for the water.

I can’t tell you how many times in my career, I’ve gone out to an emergency call in the small hours of the morning, and there’s water, absolutely, blasting out of the ceiling simply, because the customer didn’t know where to shut the water off.

Water, generally speaking, comes into the building in one place, and that’s in your foundation. So, if you’ve got a typical house, like a cape or a ranch or something like that, you’re going to go down to the front of your basement stairs, and you might have to turn right or turn left. It might be right in front of you.

You’re going to see that copper pipe coming straight in. There’s going to be a valve of some sort, and it’s going to run through the water meter. Okay?

Know Where Your Water Shut Off Valve Is - Before Disaster Strikes

Know Where Your Water Shut Off Valve Is – Before Disaster Strikes

You have to know where that is, and you have to know whether the valve is working or not. A lot of the older buildings in New York City, the valve, I wouldn’t touch it if my life depended on it, because it would just snap right off in my hand.

In which case, I’d tell them that we’re going to have to schedule an appointment with the department of Environmental Protection. Shut the water on the street. Replace the valve, and upgrade the services we called.

In the suburbs, in newer homes, you’re going to have a newer valve. That’s going to be usually a ball valve which is that yellow lever handle type valve that you most likely have seen. That just kind of swings off and it’s shut. OK. So, if you have an explosion, a pipe burst, or something like that, with the water lines, you’re going to want to be able to run down to shut that valve off.

That means not storing the kids camping equipment in front of it, tents, wooden pallets, and firewood, I’ve seen it all.

I mean, we’ve got water pouring out of a ceiling on the third floor, and we have to move out the summer equipment to get up the valve. Keep your valve accessible. It’s very important! You might not think it is, but I promise, you will if something happens in the home.

Know Where Your Water Shut Off Valve Is

If you’re not sure where your water shut off valve is, please call us, your local Cape Coral plumber, and we’d be happy to advise you over the phone of where you should look for your water shut off valve!

What You’ll Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Pressure Gauge

If you discover a problem with the water pressure in your house, it might indicate that you have to make a couple of changes to the water pressure regulator. Most houses do not have an actual pressure regulator set up, however if you have one and it is not adjusted effectively, you might have either too much, or insufficient pressure in your faucet or shower. With the right devices, you will be able to adjust the water pressure regulator by yourself instead of employing a licensed plumber.

How To Change Your Water Pressure At Home

Step 1 – Locate the Supply Line
First you need to locate the water system line that provides water to your residence. Once you have actually found the line you will certainly be able to find the water meter. This is typically installed in the basement, if you have one. If you live in an apartment or a home on top of a crawl space in cooler environments, the meter is normally not in the crawl space as it might freeze, it may be under the cooking area sink or in an utility room.

Step 2 – Find the Valve (Regulator)
As soon as you have found the water meter, find the valve. The valve is made of brass and has a bell shaped mid-area with a medium sized screw at the tip of the bell. Make sure that your supply line has adequate pressure before adjusting the pressure valve.

Step 3 – Adjust the Screw
Now that you have located the valve and the screw, you need to loosen the locknut all the way with the wrench. The screw is your adjuster and it can be steered just by loosening the locknut. As you tighten the screw the water pressure ends up being greater and as you loosen the screw the water pressure reduces. Turn the screw clockwise to tighten it and enhance the pressure, or turn it counterclockwise to reduce the pressure.

Do not be too rash. You need to tighten the screw little by little, in slow increments. Examine the result each time you tighten up the screw. If the water pressure is too high, it could result in leakages and forcing the toilets to run all the time.

Step 4 – Check the Pressure
Once you have adjusted the screw the water pressure you need to check that it is now at an acceptable level. Inspect the faucets in your home to see if the pressure is now as you want it. Also be sure to check there is no leaking at the pipes.

If you find that after adjusting the pressure valve there is no significant enhancement, your valve might be defective and will need to be changed.

Changing a valve could be a bit challenging and it is usually best to seek help from an experienced, professional plumber.

If you’ve noticed discolouration on your shower head (chalky white, green or brown) and it runs with very little power, then it probably means you’ve got a lot of calcium or limescale build up which means its time clean your shower head.While this offers no risk to your health, it does mean that you’re not going to get the greatest performance out of your shower that you could be enjoying. So if this is what is happening to you, here’s what you can do about it without necessarily having to call your local plumber.

There are three things you’re going to need:

  • A plastic ziplock type bag (large enough to fully cover your shower head)
  • A heavy duty elastic band or tie wrap
  • Distilled white vinegar (not rice vinegar, balsamic or cider)

Process to clean your shower head

Once you have all of this items, you simply half fill the ziplock bag How To Clean Your Shower Head Using White Vinegarwith your white vinegar (don’t dilute it). Place the half filled back over the shower head (or if your shower head can be taken off the wall mount, you can then immerse the shower head into the bag), and then secure it using the elastic band or tie wrap.

You then leave this in place for between 12 and 24 hours (depending on how much limescale is in place) to soak. It’s important to make sure that the entire shower head is immersed in the vinegar. The vinegar will then power through any limescale during that time period.

OK, so now ‘at least’ 12 hours has past, and now you can carefully remove the bag from the shower head and and can empty the vinegar down the shower drain (If you want to kill two birds with one stone and clean your drain in the process, dump some baking soda down the drain before pouring out the vinegar and your drain will get cleaned as well).

Next run hot water through the shower for a few minutes minutes and let the vinegar rinse off (the vinegar smell will go away once everything has dried). Within minutes your shower will work wonderfully and you’ll be able to start enjoying your showering experience once more.

If you find that your shower pressure (and water pressure throughout the house) isn’t what it should be, please give us a call at (239) 330-6115 and we’d be happy to send a licensed plumber to your home to test the water pressure and correct the problem as required.

How to Fix A Leaking Faucet

How To Fix A Leaking Faucet

How To Fix A Leaking Faucet

How To Fix A Leaking Faucet

Did you know that you can fix a leaking shower faucet and save hundreds of gallons of water a year? Most people just think of a dripping faucet as an annoyance and don’t realize how much precious water is being wasted one drop at a time. The good news is that almost anyone with a few basic hand tools can learn how to fix most dripping faucets.

Let’s start with the basics. Faucets have one primary purpose, to allow the water in your pipes to be used in a controlled manner. This means that they have to open to allow water out of the pipes and close to keep water in the pipes. Not rocket science, right? The closing part is what we want to concentrate on here.

There Are Two Basic Faucet Designs

Faucets drip when they fail to completely trap the water in the pipes. Most faucets use one of two basic methods to stop the water flow. Some, primarily older designs, use rubber or neoprene washers which tighten against a “seat” and block the flow of water. Drips from these faucets are addressed by replacing the washers and/or seats. We’ll talk about how to do that in a minute. Most other faucet designs involve some sort of cartridge. Some people call these “washerless” faucets. Repairing newer style water faucets like these usually involves replacing the cartridge(s).

Washers And Seats

Older faucet designs often use washers to block the water and keep it in the pipes. Tightening the handle compresses the washer against a “seat” and seals the opening, thus stopping the water flow. If you need to do a bathtub faucet repair on a three handle wall faucet you probably have this type. You will also run into this style if you need to fix a leaking shower faucet hat has two handles. Many sink and lavatory faucets also use washers. One way to tell whether or not your faucets use washers is to see if the handle gets harder to turn as you turn it off. If turning it really tight stops the drip, this probably, but not always, means that you have washers. If you do have a dripping faucet that has washers, the basic repair process is very similar whether you need to know how to repair a shower faucet,repair a leaking tub faucet or fix a dripping sink faucet. There is, however, one important difference.

Bathtub Faucet Repair

The one critical thing to remember when fixing a leaky bathtub faucet is that you will have to turn the water off to the entire house before removing any parts other than the outer trim pieces. If you’re not sure which pieces are trim, just turn the water off first just in case. Once you have turned off the main water to the house you can begin taking things apart. There are lots of different brands and designs of faucets out there and they all come apart a little differently, so you will have to sort of feel your way through.

Removing The Trim

The first step is to remove the handles. This is usually done by removing a cap to expose the handle screw and then removing the screw. Next, remove the handle. This may require a little finesse, as the handles sometimes get stuck in place. One trick is to place the handles of a pair of channel lock pliers behind the valve handle, one on each side, and tap evenly on the handle to nudge it loose. If this doesn’t work you can buy a special tool to remove handles but these tools are sometimes hard to find and usually a little patience is all you need to do the trick.

After he handles are off, there is usually some sort of sleeve over the stem itself. This typically has to come off too. Once again, there are many different configurations. One popular design uses threaded plastic tubes to connect the trim sleeve with the valve. Other types have the sleeve threaded directly onto the valve. You will have to figure this step out before you can proceed. If you can determine what brand valve you have there is a good chance of finding instructions on-line.

Now For The Root Of The Problem

OK, so you have removed both the handles and any remaining trim sleeve from the valve.

Now you are ready to get to the root of the problem, your valve stem. The washer is almost always at the other end of the valve stem from the handle. Usually the stem is threaded into the valve body and you will just need to unscrew it to remove it. Here’s a tip. Stick the handle back on for a second and open the valve half way. This relieves pressure on the stem and makes it easier to unscrew. Now you just need to make sure you are loosening the correct nut.

Lots of valves have a packing nut around the stem. It is usually a little smaller and just in front of the actual connection with the valve body. The packing nut’s purpose is to squeeze some special packing material around the stem to prevent water from leaking around the stem when the valve is in use. Loosening the packing nut won’t help you, you need to get your wrench on the actual connection to the valve body. By the way, a deep socket is often the only tool that will work to remove the valve stem.

Removing The Valve Stem

The easiest way to make sure you have the correct nut is to see if there is a gap opening up between the nut and the valve body as you loosen the nut. The valve stem itself will also usually turn when you have the right one. If you have loosened the packing nut by mistake, don’t worry, you will adjust it before you are finished anyway. Go ahead and remove both stems and keep up with which one is which, it matters on many valves.

After you have the stems out you should be able to find the washer on the “inside” end. If it is nicked, torn or brittle it is likely the cause of your drip. Even if it looks brand new, go ahead and replace it. You’ve already come this far. You can get replacement washers at almost any hardware store. Sometimes you may want to replace the whole stem, especially if the handle end is stripped out. It’s best to just take the stem with you to the store and see if you can match it up. Most Do It Yourself stores have replacement stems for many popular brands. If your valve has a center diverter valve to switch the waterfrom the tub spout to the shower head the same process applies. Many times it is easier to replace the diverter stem than to repair it. This really depends on the design of the stem.

How Are Your Seats?

One more thing to check is the seats. These are the part of the valve body that the washer tightens up against to stop the water flow. If you can get your finger inside the valve, feel of the seats and see if they feel rough. If so, it would be best to replace them if you can get them out. The inside of the seats, which is where the water flows through when the valve is open, usually have either a hex or square recess. Special seat wrenches are used to remove the seats. You can usually get these wrenches at the same place you get the other parts and they’re not expensive. You just stick the wrench through the seat and unscrew it. The replacement seats screw back in the same way, just put a little pipe dope on the threads before you install it.

Put It All Back Together

Once you’ve figured out what needs to be replaced and have done that, you just need to put everything back together. If your valve has packing nuts don’t put the trim back on until you have turned the water back on. Once the water is on, go ahead and stick the handle on for a second and open the valve. Make sure no water is leaking around the stem. If it is leaking, with the handle opened half way, snug down the packing nut until the leak stops. Easy does it. If you get it too tight the handle will be hard to turn. Now finish installing the trim pieces and you are done.

Repairing Newer Style Water Faucets

If you have a newer, “washerless” type valve the repair process is similar, but usually easier. Many of these type valves use a self contained cartridge. If the valve starts to drip, just replace the cartridge and you’re done. You still need to turn the water off and remove the handles and trim. The cartridge is usually held in place by a retaining nut on the valve body or, in the case of most Moen valves, by a retaining clip. Simply remove the cartridge and put another one in it’s place. If your hot and cold are backwards when you finish, turn the water back off, pull the cartridge back out, turn it over 180 degrees and re-install it.

Delta Style Valves

One other common design that is considered “washerless” was made famous by Delta and copied by several other makers. It uses little “cup” seals that fit over springs recessed in the back of the valve body. The springs press these “seals” against the cartridge and regulate the flow through little tapered openings in the cartridge. If you have one of these and it’s dripping, changing these springs and seals will usually correct it. Here’s a tip. Once you have the cartridge out of the way, insert a phillips screwdriver into the seal and pop both the seal and spring out. Stick the new ones on the end of the screwdriver to help guide them into place. This is especially helpful if you don’t have long slender fingers.

Delta, and a few imitators, also have a faucet design that uses a ball instead of a cartridge. This is not as common in tub or shower valves but there are plenty of them out there. The springs and seals are the same but there are lots more o-rings an parts to deal with. The good news is that these parts are readily available. While it’s a little more complicated than learning how to repair a Moen kitchen faucet, which is a piece of cake, it is still easier than working with most washer type faucets.

These Techniques Work In The Kitchen Too

Armed with the knowledge you’ve gained in this article you now not only know how to repair a shower faucet and to repair a leaking tub faucet, but you can apply these skills to many other faucets as well. After fixing a leaky bathtub faucet, stopping a dripping outside hose faucet will be a breeze. The techniques that you will use to complete a “washerless” bathtub faucet repair can be used when repairing newer style water faucets of all kinds. Whether you have an old dripping tub faucet or a newer kitchen faucet that just won’t quite shut off you can now fix it. So put these new skills to use, roll up your sleeves and stop that drip!

Copyright 2008 Bryan Stevens

Bryan Stevens is a Licensed Master Plumber with a knack for teaching homeowners how to do their own basic plumbing repairs themselves. He has an amazing mini-course called “How To Unclog A Toilet And Other DIY Plumbing Tips”. To claim your FREE copy visit: How To Unclog A Toilet

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