Faucets & Sinks

There are sink faucets in kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms and more. Since they’re so common, they don’t get the kind of recognition that they deserve. Although sink faucets get minimal attention until they start failing, they’re an important and fundamentally necessary part of homes, restaurants, businesses, and the hotel industry. But when things inevitably do go wrong, the most important thing to understand is the wide variety of sink faucets types that are available. Without being able to identify the faucet type, fixing sink faucets is impossible.

Types of Sink Faucets

Compression Faucets – These are always doubled handled – this is a great starting point for identifying the faucet type. Simple, yet functional; the internal washer rises to let the water flow. This is the reason these are also called “washer” style faucets.

  • MoneySaving Tip – If the spout drips, you may only need to change the stem washer.  Don’t let yourself be sold a new faucet when it’s only the washer that needs replacing.
  • MoneySaving Tip – If the handle leaks, change the O-ring or packing in the stem.  Again, beware of attempts to up-sell to a new faucet when it’s unnecessary.

Diaphragm Faucets – These are also double handled.

  • MoneySaving Tip – If the handle leaks, you may only need to replace the O-ring.
  • MoneySaving Tip – If both the handle and spout leak, replace the diaphragm.  Faucets can be very expensive.  O-rings and diaphragms are much less expensive.

Disc Faucet – These types of faucets can be either single or double handled. It usually is controlled by a pair of plastic or ceramic discs, that regulate the temperature and volume of water that reaches the user.

  • MoneySaving Tip – If the faucet malfunctions, either replace the seals or unclog the inlet ports. The discs are rarely a problem.

Rotating Ball Faucet – Always a single handle faucet, rotating ball faucets gets their name due to the presence of a slotted brass or a plastic ball that sits on top of spring loaded plastic seats. The handle rotates the ball, which adjusts the flow volume & temperature.

  • MoneySaving Tip – Leaks from the spout usually indicate that you probably should replace the springs and seats at the same time.  If you replace only one, the other is likely to follow soon.
  • MoneySaving Tip – Leaks from the handle usually means that you should replace O-rings and adjust the adjusting ring.

Cartridge Faucet – A single lever faucet, it employs a cartridge to control the water flow.

  • MoneySaving Tip – This one is a simple diagnosis. Since a cartridge faucet is a  simple assembly, first try changing the O-rings. If this does not remedy the problem, simply  change out the cartridge itself.

Sometimes it IS more economical in the long run to replace the hardware rather than fixing it.  But when it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace sinks and/or faucets, don’t let yourself rely strictly on the recommendations of the repairman, who may be more interested in increasing the amount of the invoice for commission or bonus purposes.