6 Quick Tips on How to Fix a Faucet

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Sink and tub faucets seem to enjoy making our lives difficult. Aside from the common leak, they come with a plethora of issues that can make you miserable. Luckily for you, IdealHomeGarden.com has put together a simple how-to guide on how to fix six faucet dilemmas that you might be experiencing with your faucets.

The problem: Water spits

So the faucet is spitting water rather than streaming it. The most likely culprit is a clogged aerator. This is the screw-on screen that covers your faucet mouth. To fix the problem, simply remove the aerator and flush out any lime or mineral deposits. Once the screen is clear, reattach it. If the aerator is beyond rinse repair, then you can buy a replacement for a fairly low cost at your local hardware store.

The problem: Squeaky handle

Other than slight irritation, squeaky faucet handles don't tend to cause issues with homeowners. However, the squeaking could be a result of worn faucet stem threads. For an easy fix, remove the faucet handle and coat the threads with plumber's grease. Reassemble the faucet. This usually makes the handle both easier to use and quieter. If not, call your plumber.

The problem: Screeching faucet

The rubber washer on your faucet ages and hardens over time, and it can make a distinct screeching sound when water passes over it quickly. Chances are that the screeching sound you hear is due to the older washer. Luckily for you, these can be replaced with an inexpensive kit found at any local hardware store. Another option, particularly if you're looking to upgrade or renovate, is to replace the whole faucet.

The problem: Water safety

Worrying about the cleanliness of your water is a legitimate concern. If you hear any clanking, clicking or mechanical sound signals, then you may have a problem that needs investigating. If the sound is coming from the pipes, the problem may not be too severe, but you can call a plumber just in case. If the sound is coming from the faucet itself, however, then you'll need to take it apart and reassemble it. You can do this yourself, so search for cracks in any of the pieces as you disassemble, replace where necessary, and make sure that everything is reassembled tightly and correctly.

The problem: Hard-to-move spout

Hard-to-remove tub spouts are hardly a recent problem. Professional plumbers even have a special tool for it, called a strap wrench. But because you're probably not a professional plumber, you'll have to make do with slip-joint pliers. Jam the handles into the mouth of the spout until they're securely in place. Then turn the spout counterclockwise as needed.

The problem: Low Water Pressure

Everything seems fine with your faucet except for one little, important detail: you're not getting enough water pressure. In some cases, cleaning out the aerator fixes this issue as well as the water spitting issue. You can also remove the faucet fixture and clean out any debris or calcium deposits. If you've done some home remodeling and added new water fixutres, you may need a larger, main water pipe. A booster pump connected to your main water line can also fix this issue. If you are experiencing this issue with all of your faucets, look for the main cut-off valve to see if it has been lowered. You'll typically find the valve somewhere near your house's water meter. Adjust the valve to see if it helps raise your water pressure.

See? That wasn't so hard. But now the real question arises: Once your faucet problems are solved, what will you do with all your free time? Well, sorry, but that's up to you. We're just the home and garden experts.

Last Updated: January 18, 2012
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About Emelie Battaglia Emelie Battagila is a contributing writer for Idealhomegarden.com

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