When you’ve got a bad faucet, you’ve got a host of problems. Annoying little dripping sounds, driving you crazy at all hours of the night. A skyrocketing water bill. A small problem which could, over time, become a great big leaky emergency.
While faucet repair and replacement may seem pretty routine, there’s one very key, very important question your plumber needs to be asking himself before wading in to get the job done.
Is this faucet worth repairing?
Faucets which come from big box stores generally have a very short shelf life. Once they start leaking there’s a high likelihood they will leak again, no matter how good the repair job.
In this case, repairing the faucet again and again costs a lot more money than simply finding a comparable new faucet and replacing it.
By contrast, a high-value faucet brand is absolutely worth repairing. We can usually give you many more years of enjoyment out of these faucets because they’re made with a higher caliber of craftsmanship. Replacing them would usually cost more than repairing them.
Many plumbers won’t make this distinction. They’ll fall back to their favorite position. Some will always repair. Others will always replace. Neither will think critically about what’s best for you, your home, and your pocketbook.
Of course, eventually even the best faucets do come to the end of their natural lifespan. We know the lifespans of each of the major faucet brands on the market, and can advise you when this has happened. At that point, our advice would generally be to replace the faucet even if it is a high-quality faucet.
What the heck is happening to my faucet?
Homeowners are often curious about their faucets and what various faucet problems might mean.
A faucet that won’t stop dripping usually has either a worn cartridge or a worn-out washer. However, rust and sediment build-ups inside the faucet can also cause interior seals to loosen, which means it becomes impossible to close the faucet all the way. This is an especially common problem here in Tucson, given hard water is such a persistent issue for all of us. This is also a common issue in Vail, Sahurita, Green Valley and Oro Valley. We imagine it’s common throughout the state of Arizona, for that matter.
If your faucet is older there may be some pitting in the faucet housing. Again, this pitting prevents the faucet from closing.
A faucet that leaks at the base may have a leaking cartridge or a loose cartridge nut. Often we can fix the problem by the simple expedient of tightening the nut. However, we’ve also seen cases in which the faucet is leaking internally. At that point we can’t get access to the leak—replacing the faucet becomes the only viable option no matter what brand of faucet you have in your home.
Recommended Faucet Brands
Let’s say you need a faucet replacement and you don’t want to make the mistake of going the big box store route again. If that’s the case, we can take this opportunity to upgrade your faucet to a better brand with a much longer lifespan.
If that’s the case we can recommend a Kohler, Delta, or MOEN. Any of these faucet brands can bring years of trouble-free enjoyment to your home. MOEN is particularly good at helping you conserve water, and offers a number of very trendy decorative options. As long as you have to replace your faucets you might as well have a little bit of fun and get something you love.
You will definitely pay a couple hundred dollars more for some styles in some cases. However, many homeowners find this is a worthwhile sacrifice to make to ensure they don’t have to call us out for a very long time.
Obviously if you don’t have extra money to spare you get a good, serviceable faucet onto your sink as fast as you can. You just do so knowing this faucet will wear out faster than its high-quality counterparts. You know your finances best, but we’re here to help you choose a better brand if you’re ready to step up your game a bit.
A Word About DIY Faucet Repair
The team here at OTW Plumbing knows there are a dozen and a half You Tube videos explaining how you can repair a leaking faucet. You might luck out with a fix that’s simple enough to do yourself, and more power to you if you do.
However, some faucet leaks simply are not that straightforward. For example, a worn or corroded valve seat is a lot more involved than a nut that needs tightening or a washer which needs replacing. You might even have a canister tap, the inside of which is basically a jigsaw puzzle of ceramic plates which need professional attention. Some faucet interiors are relatively delicate, which means you could easily cause more breaks and malfunctions while taking them apart or putting them back together again.
In short, attempting to handle faucets yourself could result in water spewing all over your kitchen or bathroom, or a sink or tub which no longer functions because you’ve got a disassembled faucet you no longer understand how to put back together.
We honestly don’t recommend any homeowner go at their faucets with tools unless they are trained plumbers themselves. Getting lucky once or twice doesn’t mean you’re not in for a nasty surprise this time. That nasty surprise could cost you thousands of dollars. It makes good financial sense to call us so we can handle the problem correctly the first time.
Trust us, we’ve kept many an intrepid DIYer out of his or her spouse’s doghouse by repairing problems quickly and efficiently! In addition, our rates are fair. If you’re attempting to repair the faucet yourself because you’re worried about the financial consequences of calling a plumber, rest easy. Most homeowners are very pleased to find our prices are typically far more reasonable than they imagined.
“On The Way Plumbing has done several different jobs for me. My water heater broke down on a Sunday, Sergio from on the way plumbing came out and gave me a very competitive quote, I referenced it with my neighbor who had theirs replaced a while back. It was not only more affordable but came with a better warranty. I was most impressed with their cleanliness and good customer service. I will recommend them to my friends and family.”
“We used this plumber for our home inspection when purchasing our home. We also used the realtors recommended plumber. On The Way Plumbing services were much more thorough than the other plumbers inspection. Sergio took the time to explain everything and give us quotes for work that needed to be done. He responded quickly and efficiently to each question we had. Sergio was on time too!!!! We have never gotten that from other plumbers. We will definately use this plumber for all of our future plumbing needs.”