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Three Mistakes That Damage Faucets

Issues with your bathroom or kitchen faucet can be frustrating, whether it's an interrupted flow or an irritating leak. What can be even more frustrating is the fact that faucet issues are often completely avoidable. By knowing the following mistakes, you can take the necessary steps to avoid many faucet issues.

#1: Ignoring hard water issues

Poor water flow that comes on gradually isn't always due to a loss of water pressure. Often hard water is the culprit. If you have hard water, mineral deposits will build up in your faucet, which will constrict water flow. Water may come out in a thin stream, or it may spray out in random directions. Installing a water softener can handle all future issues, but in the interim you will need to remove the deposits from the faucet. Begin with unscrewing the tip of the spigot so you can remove the aerator screen. Soak the screen in vinegar or a limescale remover, or replace the screen entirely. You may also need to remove the faucet head and soak it, depending on the severity of the buildup.

#2: Not minding the seals

There are several seals inside a faucet, which are also referred to as rubber washers. When it comes to faucet leaks, the location of the leak can guide you to which seal is broken. If the faucet handles are leaking, the seal at the base of the problem handle (if there are more than one) needs to be replaced. When the leak stems from the base of the entire faucet assembly, the plastic or rubber ring that sits between the assembly and the sink likely needs replacement. A drip from the spigot usually indicates that the o-ring seal needs replaced. Replacing a seal as soon as you notice a leak can help prevent more extreme troubles, such as mold and mildew.

#3: Improper cleaning

Rust and corrosion are another concern with faucets. Most faucet assemblies are plated, such as with chrome or nickel, which makes them attractive and prevents rust. Problems occur when this plating becomes scratched and damaged, since this reveals the metal to oxygen and the rust process can begin. Avoid highly abrasive cleansers and tools, like steel wool, when cleaning a faucet. Instead, use mild abrasives, such as cleaning sponges or scouring creams. If hard water spots are an issue, a mild acid, like vinegar, can remove them without etching the plating on your faucet.

For more help with faucet issues or faucet installation in your home, contact a plumber in your area.