You probably don't spend much time thinking about your home's faucets, even though you most likely use them several times a day. Despite their ubiquity, faucets are fairly interesting and complex devices. Every faucet has numerous parts that allow you to easily and smoothly control water flow into your sink. Any one of these parts can cause your faucet to turn into a messy disaster.
Unfortunately, faucet problems don't always manifest as slow leaks. Sometimes, you may find that your faucet drips an unreasonable amount of water or might not turn off at all. Knowing what to do in these situations can help you protect your plumbing, save money, and avoid potentially costly water damage.
How Can You Address a Stuck Faucet?
Faucets use a few different designs, so there are several reasons why your faucet won't turn off. For older faucets, the problem can often be a physical issue with the handle. The handle can become stripped, preventing it from adjusting the valve that controls the water flow. You may be able to turn it one way to get the water on, but it won't "grip" in the other direction to shut it off.
You won't be able to determine why your faucet is leaking unless you disassemble the faucet and take a look inside. If you haven't done any plumbing before, you might have trouble discerning the underlying cause since you'll need to examine the o-rings, seats, cartridges, or other components for signs of wear or damage.
If you don't have experience with this kind of repair, start by turning off the water to prevent a possible overflow. You should be able to find a valve under your sink. If not, you can shut off the main water supply for your home. You can also try removing the handle and using a wrench to adjust the valve, which may allow you to stop the water if a stripped handle is the source of trouble.
When Should You Call an Emergency Plumber?
A stuck faucet isn't as urgent as a burst pipe, but it's also more than a minor annoyance. A constantly running faucet will waste water and may even cause your drains to overflow. At a minimum, you won't be able to easily or conveniently use the affected sink. Removing the handle to make manual adjustments can be a quick fix, but it won't allow you to return to using your sink normally.
Generally speaking, you should consider contacting an emergency plumber if you can't get the water to stop running and aren't comfortable disassembling your faucet. While you'll spend a little more to rush a plumber out to your home, you'll be able to avoid the more costly consequences of dumping huge amounts of water down your sink's drain.
Contact a local plumbing service, such as 100% Plumbing, to learn more.