FAUCET REPAIR 101
Sometimes replacing or repairing or fixing a faucet can seem like an overwhelming experience. However, in many instances homeowners can update the kitchen and bath themselves – all you need are the right tools, good judgment and a little time to devote to the project.
Here are the top five plumbing questions fielded by licensed plumbers.
1. Does it take long to install a faucet?
The toughest part of the job can be removing the old faucet. Before starting the project, make sure you have the essential items to install the new faucet easily. Products to keep in your toolbox include: a crosshead and regular screwdriver; adjustable wrench or basin wrench for hard-to-reach areas; flashlight; pliers; plumber’s putty; thread seal tape; and an Allen wrench. Once you’ve checked your list, it should take about an hour, but that will vary based on your level of previous installation experience.
2. Can I replace a two handle faucet with a single-handle model?
In many cases, mounting hardware and flexible hookups will let you replace your current two-handle model with a single-handle one. Many single-handle faucets are available with deck plates to provide an attractive covering. There are advantages to having a single-handle – many pulldown or pullout faucets are designed with a single-handle, allowing homeowners to easily clean around the kitchen sink. Also, it’s easier to turn off one handle when completing tasks in the kitchen.
3. Is there another option for a kitchen faucet? What are the benefits?
For ultimate convenience in the kitchen, consider a hands-free faucet that senses what you’re trying to accomplish. Imagine having raw chicken on your hands as you’re making dinner; just place your hands under a MotionSense faucet from Moen and the water automatically turns on – as soon as you move your hands away, the water turns off.
Do you need the water left on for a longer period, like when you’re washing dishes? Just wave your hand over the top of the faucet to activate the Wave Sensor. Plus, it’s available in a variety of styles to coordinate with your design preference.
“MotionSense was thoughtfully designed based on consumers’ behaviors and preferences in the kitchen,” says Tom Tylicki, Moen senior wholesale kitchen product manager. “Moen’s technology simply requires a wave of the hand or movement beneath the spout, no need to touch or tap the faucet, to experience the benefits of MotionSense. It intuitively understands exactly what you’re trying to do, and responds immediately to your needs.” This reduces your need for a plumber or any professional help. It prevents problems insted of creating them.
4. What can I use to clean my faucet?
Always dry any water from the faucet surface to avoid mineral deposits. To clean, use mild soap and water and dry with a soft cloth. A natural cleaner using 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent water is great for removing hard water stains but make sure the faucet is rinsed thoroughly. Avoid abrasive cleansers or sponges, such as those used for toilet bowls, to remove tarnish and rust.
Some finishes make cleaning easier. For example, Moen’s exclusive Spot Resist Stainless finish helps resist fingerprints and water spots, maintaining the brilliance of the faucet. Use extra care when cleaning as harsh chemicals can damage the finish and may void any warranty.
5. What causes a faucet to leak or drip?
Having a leaky faucet is annoying but it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored. There are several reasons for drips. Leaks are often caused by internal mechanisms that need to be replaced such as a scratched or torn cartridge, O-ring or grommet. Typically, a cartridge replacement – which is both inexpensive and easy – will correct this type of leak. Try troubleshooting a few options and if there are still problems, it may be time to call a professional plumber.