Do kitchen faucets go bad?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Patrick Sun, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    My kitchen sink faucet has lost all of its gusto, it just pours out a low pressure stream, no matter how wide open I rotate the knob for cold or hot water.

    I checked to see if there were any water leaks, and that doesn't appear to be the case. I have good water pressure in all of the rest of the sinks in the house, and shower heads for the bathrooms.

    I also have a water-gun sprayer that's attached to the same water line and its spray output does vary as I turn the knob, so I suspect my faucet assembly is to blame.

    Does this seem like a valid diagnosis? I just found it strange that a faucet would inhibit water flow after years of normal service. This is a 12 years old house/faucet.
     
  2. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    Like anything else there are quality brands and sub-par brands.
    What you describe could be the result of a couple of things. Your post has me thinking your faucet is single-handled. Repair kits are readily available for brand-name faucets.
    The most common symptoms that come up when the guts start to go are leaks around the base of the handle, and/or water dripping when in the off position.
    Off hand, it sounds to me like the diverter for the handspray might be nfg. If you have water at the handspray but none at the spout I'd look there. (I am assuming the aerator on the spout isn't plugged)

    12 years is childs play for quality faucets if not abused.
    What brand is it?
     
  3. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    The rubber seals and washers in a faucet will deteriorate with time. The more you use it/ the hotter the water, the faster it falls apart...

    Twelve years is an eternity for rubber. Once the rubber breaks down, bits and pieces have a tendency to break off and lodge themselves in places that restrict the flow of water to the head. This is most likely your culprit. Your best bet is to replace the entire faucet. Replacing the washers doesnt usually result in the DISLODGING of whatever is clogging up the works, and getting in there and digging out the gunk is difficult, and can cause the clog to get pushed FURTHER UP the line to where it CANT BE GOTTEN TO easily.
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Is there a screen at the spout that might be full of deposits, (or can you stick your finger up it)?

    Glenn
     
  5. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    Sorry Erik, but can't agree with your post.
    I didn't want to resort to playing my trump card, but I have been involved in the business pretty much all my life.
    Quality faucets from reputable manufacturers can outlive the life of the chrome finish on them. As I stated, if they are not abused, and by that I mean you keep on top of what little care they demand good ones can go well past the 12 year mark. I have seen a number that got to the quarter century mark before needing new guts.
    Water quality is a big factor. Some brands don't survive long in hard water. Some don't give a hoot what's running through them. OTOH, by a wide margin, the main nemesis of faucets is the abuse they take and continued use of them long after they started developing problems.
    I have repaired/rebuilt hundreds of faucets over the years. I have probably seen every problem that could possibly come up. The vast majority of these stem from the morons using them.
    The problem we face in today's world is big box stores staffed by the disinterested and unknowledgable following fiscal policies that won't allow them to stock and maintain an adequate supply of repair parts. They'd rather talk you into shelling out for new stuff.
     
  6. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    That screen would be part of the aerator, Glenn.
     
  7. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Can Faucets go bad? Is it cold at the North Pole? [​IMG]

    We developed a dripping kitchen faucet (single handle) in a 27 year old house we had just bought. One day the cold water flow just disappeared. So we had a new faucet installed, a higher quality Moen brand, cost about $90 Cdn, but of essentially the same design as the previous one. We assumed problems were over for a good long while.

    But in less than 6 months, it too developed a drip, and just a few days ago, the cold water stopped again. Because of bitter cold at that time, my first thought was a frozen pipe, but all the other domestic water taps were operational. We're thinking of calling the same plumber back. In the meantime my wife has stopped the drip, and the cold water is flowing again (we don't know what we did), but we're starting to wonder if the problem could be something else than the faucet.

    BTW, one of the mysteries of life, IMO, is how so many different designs of faucets exist. I used to travel a bit on business, and stay at hotels, and was boggled that a man of such high IQ and understanding, often had to play around with the taps for minutes to figure out how to get water or get the right temperature for a shower. :b

    And I totally agree with your observations about the throwaway economy, Gary.
     
  8. Robert Marc

    Robert Marc Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd first try the easy approach and check for a clogged aerator like Cary said especially if you have hard water. I have to do that every so often in my shack. I'm currently looking into a water softener. Good luck.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I did check the tip of the faucet, unscrewed it and took a look at it and ran water without it on, but the flow is still anemic. Sigh, I guess it's time to head to Home Depot and get a new faucet. Grrr...
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    It doesn't sound to me like the problem is in the faucet, it sounds more like guck in the line. Did you try turning the shutoff valve off and then back on? Before buying another facet, you may want to try disconnecting the supply pies and seeing that they are free of anything.

    The usual mechanical problems with most modern faucets is that the seals fail, which is pretty obvious since they either won't turn off properly, or leak around the base. That is easily repaired. Slow water is more indicative of a blockage somewhere.

    It is also quite possible for one tap to freeze in the winter while the rest work fine. If the supply line runs in an outside wall, that is a likely clue.
     
  11. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    So I can be sure I'm not one of these "morons", what is the correct way of using a faucet?
     
  12. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    Leila...What I meant around the moron comment is how many folks will continue use of faucets with inexpensive, easily repaired minor problems to the point where further damage requires replacement at a higher expense and pain.
    Only when the problem becomes a major inconvenience to them do they bother to deal with it. Kinda like a lot of people do with their cars.

    Patrick....it's your money, but had we been given a bit better idea of the symptoms you're experiencing we might have saved you some hassles and money.
    If there is any significant difference in flow between that at the handsprayer versus the spout it points to the diverter inside. Is the volume of flow from the handspray what you'd consider normal?
    Is the handle still capable of altering the temperature you're seeing at the handspray?
    Once again...what brand?
     
  13. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I'm not sure what I could have done differently because the faucet was working fine one day, and then the next day, its output wilted.

    The handsprayer works normally, i.e., if I turn the knob, it controls the amount of watter that flows through the handsprayer as it normally does. I get a lot of pressure the wider I turn the knob.

    Don't know if I can test the pressure between the spout and the handsprayer without taking it apart.

    The temperature can be altered on the handsprayer by turning the hot water knob.

    Brand? It came with the house, and there's no brand markings on it that are easily visible.

    I think there's something that definitely just clogged up the faucet at the point where both the hot and cold water converge, but I guess I'll just have to take it apart soon and find out.
     
  14. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    sorry to jump on patrick's thread, but since i know cary is listening.

    here's my deal. i have a single level type faucet. i think it's a price-pfeister (red/blue logo?). anyway, here's the deal.

    the handle has a lot of "play" in it. you can move the handle approximately an inch in either direction (even up/down), with no effect on the water. however, if you then move it just a touch more (left or right), the water changes temperature to the extreme. it's kinda like you just nudge it, then it gets really hot.

    someone told me it's a bad cartridge? if so, how easy are they to replace?

    i should mention my shower also has a similar problem (small movement = drastic changes in temperature).

    thx!
     
  15. Claude M

    Claude M Stunt Coordinator

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    replace the feed lines going to the fixture if they are the flexable tube kind. the rubber seals break apart at the ends of the tubes and clog the works.
     
  16. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    So, you are saying there is no real difference in flow with the areator on and off?

    If so, I would try to take out the cartridge and clean it. There should be a plastic or metal trim piece that comes off to reveal a screw to take off the handle.

    If you post a picture of the faucet, maybe someone will recognize it.
     
  17. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    I have a Delta single handle faucet and I had a similar problem. A piece of metal that was holding the ball in place inside the faucet broke off. So moving the handle didn't always rotate the ball that controls how much hot and cold water gets let in. I ended up putting in a new faucet.
     
  18. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, Patrick.

    One or two more (off the wall) thoughts:

    Does your municipality pump ground water? Do they periodically flush the lines?

    I've heard of people (recently on Ask This Old House) actually getting rocks in their lines. The solution is potentially [rant]ugly.[/rant]
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Like I said, all the other faucets/toilets work fine, so I doubt it's rocks in the line, but probably just the faucet itself that's at fault. It just struck me strange that thing phenomena happens, I guess.
     
  20. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I had this exact same problem 3 days ago with my kitchen faucet. It turned out that the aerator was clogged (causing a total loss of water). Simply remove the part (usually screwed onto the end), rinse / clean, and re-attach. Problem solved...
     

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