New faucets have internal stop valves and usually have a removable cartridge device that slides in. Manufacturers do not always put their logo on a faucet, and you need this to identify the manufacturer and the specific replacement cartridge. A faucet leak that does not get properly addressed can cause substantial damage to structures below or water loss, which is money down the drain. It is a good idea to periodically look under your sink to determine if there is any leakage. In the event a leak is found, it should be isolated and addressed immediately.
Older faucets are relatively easy to repair, as long as they are not broken completely and you know what you are doing. Repairing an old faucet can also be one of the hardest repairs for the most skilled plumbers. The seats that the washers compress on, create a seal, which can be jagged and not easy to remove. Faucet “seats” are usually frozen in place, and are impossible to remove. A skilled plumber will use a fine grit-head and re-grind the seats in place allowing for the washers to make a seal, avoiding premature replacement of the washer. Broken parts from older faucets are not easy to find and are specific to the original manufacturer only. The water supply pipes for tub/ showers are inside the wall (except a claw foot tub) and can be supplied by original galvanized piping. Internal stops are unlikely to exist when trying to isolate the water shut down on the older fixtures. These types of repairs may go beyond that of a novice plumber or handyman.
If your tub or shower is dripping in the off position, the water pressure should be checked right away. Most cartridges are not designed to handle higher pressures and will prematurely leak when high pressure exists. If you change out a shower/tub cartridge and do not get the pressure back within normal limits, right away, you will probably shorten the lifespan of the new cartridge and will experience premature failure again. If you hear a slamming sound when turning off the faucet or when other valves turn off, it is likely you have high pressure/loose pipes. If the faucet spout rises hard when you turn the water on, go to Water Pressure Problems. These are usually indicators of high-pressure problems.
Sink leaks can be due to caulking around it. A leak can also be caused from a faulty waste pipe, or water running down the faucet supply tubing in a hard to see spot. These leaks are of equal concern to a homeowner because of the damage caused to structures below. When looking to change a sink, you may have options that are feasible, and in other instances you may not. An older under mount sink, or a drop-in may not have a retrofit to make it in the exact same space as before, offering potentially costly obstacles to consider before pulling anything out.
O’Grady Plumbing (OGP) is San Francisco’s multi-generational residential and commercial plumbing company. By maintaining a high ratio of Master plumbers and a complete line of plumbing services equipment, OGP is able to succeed at building, repairing, maintaining and retrofitting plumbing systems and equipment throughout San Francisco and San Mateo. We can easily can identify and find difficult faucet repair parts for both foreign and domestic fixtures. We have the technical experience to handle these difficult repairs.