There are alot of TV shows and magazines around today that give the idea that fixing a leaking tap is just a quick 2 minute job and the drip will stop, yes this may be the case in a very rare situation, but in most circumstances this is not the case at all and after trying to fix the leaking tap or taps many people find themselves in a worst situation than when they first started out and all of sudden have a plumbing emergency on the hands.
In this week’s blog I would like to talk to you about leaking taps and what the problems can actually be and what we can do to fix the drip.
Probably the most common type of tap in houses throughout Adelaide is the standard spindle which has a normal everyday washer on the end of it which seals the water when you turn the tap off. Over time the rubber on the tap washer can start to break down. This can be for a number of reasons either excessive use or the housing which the rubber washer sits against has started to deteriorate. The housing which the tap washer seals off against is brass.
Now brass is a very soft metal and is susceptible to pitting and grazing over time, especially in Adelaide where we have very hard water quality. When the brass seating does start to break down you will notice that the tap washer no longer seals off no matter how hard you turn your tap off and the harder you try the more damage you are doing to the tap washer as the soft rubber is getting forced against a rough surface and breaking it down.
In order to now fix this problem the brass housing now needs to be re seated or shaved flat again to give a nice new flat surface for the washer to seal off against. Tools which perform this task are quite often sold at hardware stores and the task is manually performed, this is not a good solution and is not what a qualified master plumber would use to perform this task. A properly kitted out plumber will use a hydro tap re-seating tool which has tungsten teeth and is used by inserting it into a cordless drill and it then slowly grinds away the brass seat until a new flat surface can be achieved.
It is very important to remember that this task cannot be endlessly performed has there is only certain amount of brass seating which can be removed before a new breaching piece must be installed. The average life of a breaching piece in a wall is approx 15 years and this is all dependent on a lot of different variables.
Another point also to note when repairing a leaking tap is that it is a good idea to always re-grease the spindle shaft of the tap with approved silicone grease and to replace the o rings, there can be either one or in some cases two of these which need replacing, they can be hard to remove but the idea is that they are a tight fit and provide a water tight seal.
The second type of tap leak which can occur is from faucets which have ceramic discs inside of them, these can be your flick mixer style taps or your quarter turn style tapware, in most circumstances this type of tapware is a bit more expensive and not as prone to leaks as the ceramic disks have a longer life span, so the initial out lay can be worth in the long run if you can justify the cost of this type of tapware.
When it comes to prolonging the life of ceramic disk tapware water pressure is always a good thing to consider because a ceramic disk spindle operates on the basis of two ceramic disks rotating across each other. Now if the water pressure is to high this will cause the ceramic disk spindles to continually leak as the water pressure will always force these apart and cause a dripping tap. In order to rectify such a situation a water pressure limiting device should be installed and the water pressure adjusted back to 500 kpa,once again a job for a master plumber.
Another good point to remember is that ceramic disk tapware only turns a quarter of the way, so unlike conventional tapware with a washer inside which you can turn in and out numerous times ceramic disk tapware only needs a slight turn and the same to get the tap off, don’t force these beyond a reasonable point of resistance, you will more than likely damage the tap and as previously mentioned these are more expensive so just take care.
If you have a quick look at my video attached with this blog it shows some of the bits and pieces I have referenced in this article and some other tools and materials which are used during the repair to a leaking tap, so please have a look and if you do like it be sure to give it the thumbs up.
I hope this weeks blog installment has given you all a bit of an insight as to what is actually involved with repairing leaking taps and what the different types of taps and fittings there are on the market today in Adelaide. I hope you all had a very nice Christmas/my birthday and have a safe new years eve celebrating the year 2014 and welcoming in the new year, I will talk with you all again in 2015, cheers Aaron.
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Aaron Stewart owns and works in the business of Mayfair Plumbing & Gas Fitting from there offices now based in Adelaide, South Australia. Aaron and his team of licensed plumbers and design consultants are passionate about there work. In this blog they will bring you plumbing and gas tips gathered from around the globe over 20 plus years of experiences in the many different fields of plumbing. If you are looking for a plumbing firm who can do everything from design, construct, project management and scheduled on site maintenance contact the Mayfair Plumbing Group.