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A constantly leaking tap may seem like an easy DIY fix, but underneath worn-out washers, there could be a whole lot more going on. Getting a professional opinion could well be the difference between a small drip and a mega disaster, so the first rule of thumb is to always play it safe. However, there are a few ways to tell if it’s time to replace or upgrade your kitchen tap.
- Disturbing Drips
A constantly dripping or slow leaking tap can waste thousands of litres of water every month. Who hasn’t been driven crazy at some point by that drip, drip, dripping? If you find you’re turning your tap tighter and tighter to try and stop the drip, it’s time to replace your tap, perhaps with an efficient Franke mirror tap.
- Water flow is inconsistent
When it comes to the flow of water, your tap needs to be consistent. If the water flow seems to struggle, there may be a blockage and the tap may need flushing out. Mineral deposits from hard water build up over time and rust begins to form that can affect your water flow as well as the water pressure.
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- Washers are worn out
Plumbers fix thousands upon thousands of taps every year, and often the culprit behind a leaking tap is an eroded or damaged washer. In the older taps, the rubber washers usually wear out quicker than today’s ceramic washers. What’s more, when the washer goes, it’s a sign that other parts probably are on their way out, too.
- Cracked handles
Modern kitchen taps are well made and can last as long as 10 years. Once the finish starts to wear off, the handles start to become cracked and discoloured. That’s a warning sign that your washers, clips, screws, and O-rings have seen better days and it’s time to upgrade your tap.
- A screeching tap
If your tap whistles or screams when you turn it on, this is definitely a sign that something more serious is going on in the pipes and it may be time to call in a plumber. As the rubber washers start to wear out, they start to make screeching noises when water passes through them. In some instances, residue build-up damages washers and restricts water flow.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Kitchen Tap?
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Replacement part might still be available for the more popular mixer taps, but lesser-known brands and mixers may not be as easy to repair.
Use the below checklist as signs it is time to replace your kitchen tap:
- Scale build-up
- Surface corrosion and dust
- Missing covers or buttons
- Low pressure
- Difficulty selecting and keeping a constant temperature
- Leaking swivel
- Cracked spout that leaks when you’re using the tap
- Missing handles
- Broken parts
- Leaking or rusted hoses under the sink
- Constant drip when the tap is turned off
- Damaged, rubbing or kinked hoses under the sink
Fortunately, today’s taps come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to suit all kinds of budgets.