Taps are the unsung heroes of our homes. They provide functional utility and make a big impression on the look at feel of many rooms.
Unfortunately, faulty, leaking or damaged taps not only erode your bathroom, laundry and kitchen fixtures, but may also result in a hefty water bill without you even realising. While a dripping tap may seem small, the ripple effect is extraordinary, wasting up to 24,000 litres of water a year*.
So, to help you out, our O’Brien Plumbing experts have put together a list of common signs that indicate when your taps may need replacing.
1. Constant dripping
Have you tried to turn off the tap and, despite how hard you twist, there’s still a tiny trickle of water? We’ve all experienced that annoying drip or persistent leak from a tap which leaves your sink or vanity constantly wet. Using excessive force to turn off the water is only a temporary fix and is clearly a sign that something is wrong. Plus, you can hurt your hands and your wallet when the water bill arrives. Every time you close the tap like this, it also further wears down the washer ring inside which acts as the seal. Depending on the age and general wear and tear of your tap, it could be easier to replace it altogether to avoid recurring temporary fixes.
Speak to one of your local O’Brien Plumbing experts about the best solution for your home.
2. Low water pressure
Have you got into the shower, turned on the water and noticed that it’s just not the same as it used to be? This is another sign. A change in pressure or an inconsistent flow from your tap could be caused by mineral build-up, limescale or rust in your pipes. It could also be due to a blockage. Unfortunately, ignoring this over the longer term won’t make it go away. It’s best to seek professional advice from your local O’Brien Plumber to ensure there’s always a good flow of water coming from every tap.
3. Internal washers are worn
As we discussed in the earlier point, faulty or worn-through washers are the most common cause of leaking taps. Unfortunately, simply changing the washer tends to only be a short-term fix, as aged taps and low-grade tap products often have poorer quality washers. For a more lasting solution, we suggest switching to a ceramic washer or choosing a reliable tap alternative.
4. Cracked handles and stains
If your taps have become faded, discoloured, corroded or cracked, it’s a clear indication your taps need replacing – and not just because of the looks alone! Contemporary taps tend to last up to 10 years, however, if your tapware is past its expiration date, they’re at risk of causing damage to your home, your family and increasing your water bill due to leaks. Mould and mildew can develop in the foundations of your home long before it’s visible which can lead to harmful illnesses and structural damages. While stagnant water can attract insects and bacteria around your home.
5. Loud noises
Listen next time when you turn your taps on and off. Do you hear any unusual sounds? Screeches, whistles, shudders or echoes in your pipes are a sign of serious problems behind the scenes. The water pressure could be too high, the tap body could be fractured, the rubber washer could be worn through or there could be blockages. It’s pretty hard to tell, because it’s all happening behind your walls – but it’s safe to say that any strange noises definitely need the attention of a professional plumber.
Is it time to change your home’s taps?
If you’ve seen any of the signs listed above, then it’s time to act. Because the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to prevent further damage from occurring. That’s where your local licensed O’Brien Plumber can help.
If you’re still unsure whether your taps need replacing, you would like some general advice or you require emergency repairs, simply get in touch with one of our O’Brien Plumbing experts. We can offer skilled guidance, answer any questions you may have and help you with any of your tapware or plumbing needs.