Screechy faucets can be disturbing and unpleasant. Knowing what you can do to fix your problem may save you money in plumbing and faucet repair fees.
What causes a faucet to screech?
Screechy faucets typically make noise for one of three reasons:
- The washer has gone bad.
- The pipes used to plumb your sink are too narrow.
- The pipes leading to your sink have narrowed over time because of a buildup of scale caused by hard water.
How can you determine which type of problem is causing the noise in your faucet?
Often faucets develop a screech because of a bad washer. Luckily, bad washers are easy to fix. The best way to find out which type of problem is causing the noise in your faucet is to replace the washer in your faucet and see if this repairs the problem. If replacing the washer doesn't help, then you'll know the problem has a different cause.
How can you fix a washer that has gone bad?
To fix a bad washer, you'll need to pull apart the faucet handle. Start by turning off the water at the shutoff valve beneath the sink, then plug the sink drain to prevent pieces dropped in the sink from going down the pipe.
Use a screwdriver to remove any screws holding the faucet handle in place. Use a pair of pliers (wrapped in duct tape to prevent them from scratching the metal) to start pulling apart the pieces beneath the faucet handle. Beneath the handle, you'll see a packing nut and a faucet stem. Unscrew the packing nut, then the stem. At the base of the stem, you'll see a type of washer called an O-ring.
To replace the O-ring, remove it from the stem and take it to a hardware store to buy an identical piece. Once a new O-ring has been purchased and put in place, put the stem and faucet handle back together, turn the water back on beneath the sink, then try the faucet. If the faucet still screeches, then your problems is likely due to narrow pipes.
If your pipes are too narrow, what can you do to fix the problem?
If your house is older and the faucet has recently begun to screech, then your pipes may have narrowed due to scale buildup inside the pipes. To fix the problem, you'll need to have the problem pipes replaced, then you'll need to install a water softener (to prevent the problem from happening again in the future). If your home is new, then it's more likely that the builders who constructed your home used pipes that were too narrow when they plumbed your sink. Either way, you'll need to call a reputable professional plumber in your area, such as Tonka Plumbing Heating & Cooling Inc. He or she can repair your pipes and install a water softener, if need be.