Whether your faucet is dripping through the night or water spurts from around the base each time you use it, a leaking faucet is a problem that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. Not only is a leak a nuisance, but it can be expensive. Wasted water from a faucet really adds up over time. Even worse, a faucet that leaks around the base may be causing water damage to the wallboard behind the sink or to the area below the sink. The following guide can help you decide whether it's a better idea to replace or repair your leaking faucet.
Generally, it only makes sense to fix a faucet if the repair is relatively simple and low cost. Most faucet leaks are the result of a worn-out o-ring or washer, which is a quick fix that takes just a few minutes of labor and negligible cost in parts. In some cases, the seal around the base of the faucet may also need to be replaced. More extensive repairs occur primarily on older faucets, where corrosion may be destroying the inside of the faucet, necessitating the replacement of much of the internal workings. Broken handles, worn-out cartridges, and stripped taps are all more extensive problems where the expense of repair may be similar to the cost of replacement.
An older faucet has other issues that may impact your decision on whether to replace or repair the faucet. Many older models aren't very good at water conservation. While a modern faucet is equipped with special aerators that provide a satisfying stream of pressurized water, older models often had less pressure and delivered more water instead — which leads to water waste. If the faucet is in otherwise excellent condition and only needs a simple repair, such as a new washer, then it may be a better option to have an upgraded aerator installed to help conserve water. If the faucet requires more extensive repairs or is otherwise dated, then save the money from an aerator upgrade and use it to replace the entire faucet assembly.
Your old faucet may work well, except for a small, easily repaired issue, but it may look quite dated. If aesthetics are important to you, then a replacement may be the better use of your budget. Even if you are fine with a dated faucet, there are some appearance issues that may still make replacement the better option. Cracks, peeling, and extensive scratching aren't just ugly — they also increase the chances of rust and corrosion on the faucet.
Contact a faucet repair service for more assistance.