Water faucets are among the most active devices in a household. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average family uses home faucets more than 50 times a day, and each person in a household can draw between 80-100 gallons of water in that time. From washing hands and rinsing food to filling tubs for baths, faucets are essential for everyday household needs.

Because they are staple plumbing accessories, faucets are also prone to unique problems. Regular maintenance, annual tune-ups, and fixture repairs can all help correct these issues. A look at the most common water faucet problems can provide troubleshooting guidance as you reach out to a professional to correct underlying plumbing concerns.

Leaky Faucet

The constant drip or dribbling from a faucet is annoying and can cost you money. According to the EPA, a faucet that leaks water at a rate of just one drip per second can lose more than 3,000 gallons of water each year. This is the equivalent of 200 extra showers in that period. The wasted water can cause an unwelcome spike in your utility bill and have a negative impact on the environment and local ecology.

A leaky faucet can result from worn-out or defective washers as well as faulty O-rings. The leakage can even result from sediment deposits, high water pressure, or improper initial installation. A plumber can inspect your leaky faucet and determine whether the problem derives from broken components or an underlying issue.

Rust or Mineral Buildup

Rust and limescale are often the result of sediment content in water. The two main minerals that cause rust or limescale buildup are iron and calcium. By the time you notice rust on the faucet exterior, it has also formed on the inside.

Excessive rust or calcium can cause water flow problems, and rust buildup can accelerate the aging process of your pipes. A plumber has the equipment needed to clean an encrusted faucet or pipe. If the fixture is completely corroded or damaged beyond repair, the plumber may need to replace the faucet.

Low Water Pressure

A sudden drop in water pressure can feel alarming. The standard measurement of water pressure is in pounds per square inch (PSI). Residential water pressure ranges between 40 and 80 PSI. Water pressure that is too high can cause pipe damage or personal injury. But when water pressure is too low, it can impede the ability to complete basic tasks like showering, laundering, or washing dishes.

Causes of low water pressure include clogged aerators, blocked cartridges, or pipe leakage. A plumber can inspect your faucet and determine whether it is time to replace the aerator or cartridge. If the cause is pipe leakage, a plumber can repair holes in the affected areas or decide whether the best course is to replace this section of your plumbing.

No Water Flow

In addition to water pressure issues, some faucets can lack water output altogether. This is often the result of a defective valve that restricts water flow. If your faucet is an older model, water flow problems can also result from a broken inner chamber. A trained plumber can disassemble the faucet and correct the source of the water flow issue.

Noisy Faucet

Unwanted faucet noises can range from squeaking and whistling to humming or banging. Common causes of unusual faucet noises include misaligned supply valves, faulty washers or seals, or air within pipes. Even problems with the water pressure regulator can cause output issues and result in a noisy faucet operation. Loud faucet noises require help from a plumber who can identify the source of the sound. The plumber also may need to install a water hammer arrestor to alleviate the excess noise.

Stiff Faucet Handle

A jammed or stiff faucet handle can slow down even the most routine household tasks. The most common causes of stiff faucet handles include damaged gaskets, hardened mineral buildup, or debris within the cartridge. A trained plumber can remove or disassemble the affected parts and correct the issue. Depending on the extent of buildup or damage, the plumber may need to replace the valve stem or faucet cartridge with a new one.

Faulty Faucet Sprayer

Some homeowners experience problems with faucet sprayers. This issue is common among kitchen faucets. Sprayer problems can arise from holes in the hose or mineral clogging within the nozzle. Other causes include air pressure blockage or loose connections and valve nuts. If you cannot see the cause of the issue on your sprayer exterior, a plumber can fix or replace sprayers within your household.

During the plumbing visit, a professional can also upgrade sprayers for more convenience in other parts of the household. Examples include bathrooms frequently used to bathe pets or guest restrooms and basement lavatories.

Inconsistent Water Temperatures

No one wants to experience sudden changes in water temperature while showering or washing hands. Fluctuating water temperatures can result from a faulty mixing valve, malfunctioning water heater, or incorrect water heater settings. Preventing problems with water temperature requires regular maintenance of your water heating system.

This routine maintenance can entail inspecting or adjusting thermostat settings and replacing the mixing valve if it shows signs of extensive damage. During a maintenance session, a plumber can also examine or clean your water heater to ensure optimal performance and prevent any household temperature issues.

Sputtering or Misting Faucet

Sometimes instead of low flow or absent flow, a faucet may start sputtering or misting water instead. While some temporary sputters are harmless, ongoing sputtering is usually a sign of dysfunction within your plumbing. For example, a problem with the water mainline can cause faucets to sputter as household pipes attempt to retrieve water. If your city or municipality is doing maintenance, home faucets may sputter as air bubbles work their way through various pipes.

Otherwise, clogged aerators and faulty cartridges can also cause misting or sputtering. A cracked pipe is another culprit for sputtering, and the telltale indicator is if you hear running water even when you are no longer attempting to use the faucet. Trained plumbers can examine your pipe system and stop the annoying sound of sputtering pipes. Since the excess mist or moisture from pipes can cause mold or water damage, it is important to contact a professional sooner rather than later.

Discolored Water Flow

Discolored water is another problem associated with bathroom or kitchen faucets. This issue may result from dissolved minerals like iron and manganese. However, it can also result from a broken mainline or local pollution. If the water from your faucet has suddenly changed color, a professional can test the fluid and determine if you need a water purifier or if fixing the pipes instead can correct the issue.

Your Local Experts

Problems with water faucets can disrupt daily activities. Fortunately, plumbers have the training and equipment necessary to fix faucet issues efficiently. Our professionals at Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing provide faucet plumbing services for homes in the Vineland, Pennsville, and South Jersey areas. Besides providing expert diagnoses on faucets, we perform drain cleaning, pipe repair, and full-service plumbing.

In addition to pipe systems, our plumbers also work with water heaters and sump pumps. If you have toilet problems or sewer line issues, we can resolve these quickly as well. Contact Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing today for any of your plumbing needs.

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