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Fixing them may or may not be easy. One important thing to remember is that you need to turn off the water supply to work on them with out the possibility of making a big mess. Every home has a main shut off, (I have not run into one without one) In fact you need to label it and test it before an emergency happens, (Sames goes for electricity and gas). You just need to know where to look. Some have gate valves, other ball valves. I prefer ball valves hands down.
Gate valves are prone to failure and cause a restriction even when they are wide open. Many faucets in the home have angle stop valves that can shut the water off locally to the device, they have also been improved and usually only take a quarter turn to shut off. The oldies leaked frequently form the packing nut.
Faucets Are Pretty Cool
Faucets are a pretty cool part of plumbing. They allow homes to be fully pressurized at roughly 50 PSI and stop the water from flooding our homes, there is a fine line between working perfectly and failing miserably, yet we continue to live dangerously with indoor plumbing.
We have water meters on our homes that if you look will spin to indicate flow. Finding out if you have a problem is dicey because the water company does not want you to look behind the steel plate.
Water flows all around the city below the frost line. In serious cold times we ave seen frozen meters. This is the only time when a little water leak can mean that your meter keeps working.
Turn off everything and look at the little triangle. It should not move for a few moments. IF it is leaking then a problem exists. if you are good at deducing things you could identify a main line issue by turning toff the water to your home and see if a leak still occurs. It should be known that the water folks will come out and do this work for you for free.
Water Guard Insurance
There is a crazy insurance that is offered called Water Guard that protects you if your man line breaches between your meter and your home. I suppose if you have galvanized line it is worth it but they have been using plastic for the last 3 decades so you could be pissing money down the drain worrying about an unlikely scenario. I am considering selling lightning insurance.
Water is cheap but why waste it? We waste water every day running cold to get hot to the spigot, we waste water while shaving and while brushing. Here is a link to some recirculation pump article I wrote. In a recent article on a green behavior site they suggest that since you rarely get even warm water during washing your hands, use cold only and leave the hot in your water heater not to mention that the energy saved in heating water that never gets to your faucet. Here is a drip calculator for explaining the effect on water wastage.
I Had a Huge Leak, Now What?
If you get a big leak, submit you bill to the water folks and they will forgive some of the bill for you.
You sewage bill is based upon your water usage, so you get a double whammy.
The two handle faucets use a twisting motion to allow water to flow they screw back down and a rubber washer snugs up against a “faucet seat” In the old days they were fixed until they figured out how to make them replaceable. Ive got all sorts of repairing faucet stories but a cool one just happened. It involved a seat that became obvious after the washer would not travel deep enough to make a good seal. This one was warn down.
Single handle faucets that have hot and cold use a cartridge, Most are easily replaceable, One client called in a panic as he removed one screw after another in a shower valve until it blew. Talk about a mess. You’ve got to turn off the water to your home first.
Trick of the trade
On most cartridges there is a retainer circlip of sorts that is easily lost in the wall. tape a piece of fishing line to the wall then tie it to the hole in the clip. this way if you lose it you can retrieve it from the wall.
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about fixing stuff, click here to email me directly, or call 208-639-1808
I do these things during non-Levco time to be sure it doesn’t interfere with the Remodeling business. Repairing things and understanding homes is just another passion of mine.
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