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Leaking or broken faucets can be very annoying, not to mention the wasted water dripping down your drains. Faucet repairs can be as simple as tightening a few fittings, or as complex as rebuilding the entire faucet assembly. Many times it is best to replace an old faucet and just install a new one. Beware of the urge to do-it-yourself when it comes to faucets. They may look simple but the confide space under and behind most sinks requires special tools. The same goes for in wall assemblies in most showers and tubs.
The most common type of faucet found in kitchens and bathrooms is the cartridge faucet, which operates with a movable stem cartridge that moves up and down to regulate flow. As opposed to a ball faucet that you push back to turn on, a single handle cartridge faucet operates in an “up/down” motion to adjust water volume and a “left/right” motion for temperature. As opposed to a ball faucet that you push back to turn on, a single handle cartridge faucets operate in an “up/down” motion to adjust water volume and a “left/right” motion for temperature.
Modern faucets also include an aerator for water conservation and efficiency. The aerator breaks up the stream of water into small droplets. A faucet aerator helps to meet U.S. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications by limiting the total flow of water.
Some faucets also have detachable heads to make washing dishes more effective and almost all taps today are mixer taps (except for those found feeding the washing machine). This means that they provide both hot and cold water through one outlet. This allows the user to mix both hot and cold to find a suitable temperature.
When it comes to manufacturers of faucets, North America has a few major players. They are: Delta, Moen, American Standard, and Pfister. All of these major producers have their advantages and disadvantages. So if you are looking to upgrade or remodel, make sure that you consider your options before making a decision.
Faucet problems and repair: Faucet problems are generally created by simple parts and the cartridges are also subject to the normal wear-and-tear. Rainforest Plumbing & Air has cartridges and parts in stock for all major brands.