From bathrooms to kitchens to outside faucets, we have tips on maintaining all of your plumbing hardware.
Things like plumbing hardware — faucets, spouts, and spigots — aren’t generally something we think about until they’re giving us problems. But once those bathroom and kitchen sinks start leaking or they just barely drip, they quickly become a nuisance we want fixed fast.
Whether you plan to fix your plumbing hardware problems yourself, or you want to leave it to the professionals, here are some things to know before you start a new project or call for help for some of the most common home plumbing hardware issues:
Bathroom plumbing hardware
A leaky spout may not seem like an emergency, but, according to HomeAdvisor, one drip per second equals nearly 200 gallons a month. If your faucet leak is severe enough to create a stream you’re probably looking at thousands of gallons of water going down your drain every month.
For a leaky bathroom sink spout
To replace a leaking bathroom spout, you’ll want to determine what kind of faucet you need. You'll need to match up the faucet with the number of holes in your sink, which range from one-hole to four-holes. The easiest way to tell which type you have is to take a look under the sink. You'll be able to see the number of holes from the bottom.1
For a showerhead
Shower heads are one of the easier repairs to make. It’s as easy as unscrewing the current showerhead from the pipe coming out of the wall (also called a shower arm), cleaning the threads around the shower arm, wrapping it in Teflon tape, and screwing on the new showerhead. As with any new product, it’s important to read the instructions because there are certain showerheads that advise against using Teflon tape before installation. Another thing to consider is if your shower is a wand-type of showerhead. You’ll probably have to buy a showerhead that fits or buy an extension to the existing arm. 1
PRO TIP: Before doing any work on plumbing your home, make sure to turn off the main water.
Kitchen plumbing hardware
For a leaky kitchen sink spout
The process for repairing and replacing a kitchen spout is very similar to a bathroom sink. Most kitchen spouts are the 4-hole spouts, and it’s important to check under the sink to trace the water lines. Kitchen sinks often contain water lines for purification and disposal, and some can have a few others. Every sink is different, so a quick look under the hood is a good rule of thumb before replacing any plumbing hardware. If you’re a visual person, check out this video on how to replace a kitchen spout. 2
PRO TIP: Before you start replacing a sink, make sure you have the right tools for the job! In addition to a standard screwdriver you’ll probably need a plumber's or pipe wrench, a basin wrench, a seat wrench, a water meter key, a drain snake, plumber's putty, and Teflon tape.
Outdoor plumbing hardware
For outdoor spigots or water bibs
Outdoor spigots experience a lot more wear and tear than your indoor plumbing hardware, so they will most likely need to be repaired or replaced more often. But, again, the process will be very similar to the ones you use for indoor spouts. In order to repair and replace a spigot, examine it for any visible signs of damage to the handle, stem, or supply pipe. Is it leaking from the handle, spout, or where it joins the main supply pipe? If it's leaking from the handle, try tightening the packing nut or replacing the washer(s) first. If it's leaking from the joint to the supply pipe, remove the spigot, inspect the threads for damage, clean the threads, and wrap them with Teflon tape. If it's leaking from the spout, the inner mechanism may be damaged, and it's probably easier and cheaper to just replace the entire thing. 3
If you have any questions about replacing plumbing hardware or repairs, call Commercial Service at 812-339-9114 to get the best experts to help direct you to the best new hardware for your home.