Plumbing Tips: Faucet & Sink Maintenance Tips
If your faucet in the bathroom sink or tub or the one at the kitchen sink has a slow leak or drip, and this has gone on for a while, you probably don’t even notice anymore. Well, you should take notice because it is wasting many gallons of water and it won’t fix itself.
Check Faucet Aerators
To keep your faucets from leaking, preventive maintenance is essential. Almost all faucets have an aerator at the tip of the faucet spout. An aerator mixes air and water for a smooth flow. You should clean aerators periodically, perhaps once a year, to remove mineral and debris buildup.
Unscrew the aerator, lay aerator parts on the counter in the order in which you removed them, or make a sketch of their order, so that you put them back correctly. Flush the parts with water and clean the screen holes with a toothbrush or toothpick. Hard-water scale can be removed by soaking the parts in vinegar or lime dissolver. Flush all parts with water before putting them back together. If parts are worn, replace the worn parts or the entire aerator. Aerators are inexpensive and can be purchased at any hardware store.
Check Under the Sink
Every so often, take a few minutes to look in your cabinets under your sinks to see if you see any dripping or moisture locations. If so, you could be causing damage to the cabinet and the belongings in your cabinet. Then there are the water lines for your washing machine and your water heater. And many homes have leaks on the outside hose bibs.
Ever hear a slamming or banging noise in your water pipes when someone shuts off a faucet? This sound is called a water hammer and is caused by the sudden change of water flow, and pressure surges, which makes pipes vibrate.
Over time, this can loosen mounting brackets that attach the pipes to the studs and joists in your home, leading to even more movement and risk of leakage in joints and fittings. Eventually, it can even cause a poorly soldered joint or fitting to completely break!
Minimize water hammers by securing pipes to prevent movement and reduce sudden pressure variations. Various devices are available that reduce the abrupt changes in water pressure.