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    No Drip Is a Good Drip: Troubleshooting Faucet Problems

    Leaky faucet
    Whether your faucet is dripping after you shut it off or comes out in a small dribble when you turn it on, you have a problem with your plumbing. While you can most likely fix a leaky faucet on your own, low water pressure often requires help from a licensed plumber.

    Here are some tips to use while repairing a leak that can reduce the need for a professional. In addition, here are also some tips for troubleshooting low water pressure so you can tell the plumber what is wrong when you call.

    Leaky Faucet

    Having all the right tools and equipment on hand is important when taking on any plumbing task, even a simple worn faucet gasket. Make sure you have a new gasket, a torque wrench, plumber's tape, and a bucket. 

    Also, know the make and model of your faucet before you go to the hardware store to buy the gasket or any other part you may need. This information will ensure you buy the right parts and do not have to stop mid-repair to go back for something different. 

    Do not assume you can complete the repair properly without a torque wrench. You may have noticed that repeatedly tightening the nut on the faucet has only made the leak worse. This is because too much torque has been applied and is compressing the gasket too much. 

    The bucket is to catch any water that may flow as you start taking things apart. Even though you shut the water off to the fixture (you did do that right?), some water will still be left in the pipes. Also, don't forget to plug the drain so no small parts or tools end up in the plumbing. You do not want to make the job any harder.

    Water Pressure

    The first thing to determine is if the water comes into the house properly. Check that the main shutoff valves are fully open. There should be one on the pipe leading into your home, usually just inside the wall. The other one could be by the meter, near the street, where the water comes off the main pipe from the city.

    Next, open a faucet so only the hot water is flowing. Determine whether the problem is with the hot water or the cold. If the hot water just dribbles out, the problem lies with the water heater or the pipe coming from it. You should call in a professional to fix any problem with the water heater.

    If the cold water does not flow well, check each fixture. This inspection can help to pinpoint where the problem is by following the pipes of any fixture affected. The problem could be a clog or restricted pipes due to a buildup of minerals. Or you could have a leak somewhere causing the pressure to drop beyond it.

    If all the fixtures are affected, the problem could be a pressure regulator. Not all homes have one though, and you may not know where yours is. A professional can find the regulator and determine if it is the cause of the problem and replace it if necessary.

    Know your limits when it comes to any type of plumbing repair. It is easy to try to do something yourself and end up causing more of a problem. Water can damage the drywall, flooring, furniture, and other belongings. What started as a simple drip may end up with you having to replace or repair other parts of your home.

    Call Bryant's Plumbing Service for advice or help to stop the drip without creating a bigger headache.