Have you ever gone to the hardware store and had to fumble through words to ask for something you need?… You know… You need a thingy? Well, today we will begin a journey into vocabulary and “How to” blog posting. I want you to feel comfortable with homeownership. Whether you are a first time buyer in the Austin Area, or a veteran homeowner looking to so some repairs before listing your ”soon to be” home for sale, I hope that these series of posts will help you feel confident in tackling some of the responsibilities after buying a home, without having to drop a whole lot of cash on a professional. (That is, if you have time to do the repairs around the house. But if you don’t, these posts should help you chat with the professionals and understand what needs to be done and how. Plus you can sound smart.) The Hardware Store So there you are…. at the hardware store… “I need a thingy for the faucet, it is like a small rubber ring. Like a washer for the facet? “A rubber grommet?” The floor staff asks? “No, it is like a faucet washer, made of rubber and goes in the handle?” “Hmm. Like the rubber ring that goes in the end of the hose?” “No, it is more like a faucet washer, for a the sink spigot, almost all sink valves have them.” “Yeah, I think I know where those are” In this case it was called a faucet washer. I would say that the staff should have been just as embarrassed, you did use the term a faucet washer. But this isn’t about an embarrassing moment… .
This post is about FAUCET WASHERS
Virtually every home has some form of faucet that takes a washer. Usually, at least nowadays, the kitchen sink is not one. Single handle swing-type faucets use a ball handle and have a series of o-rings in them. Those will get discussed at a later date. The faucet washers we will cover today fit in the type of valve that is usually used for exterior hoses, water heater, heat pump tank valves, and two turning handle sink valves. Faucet washers come in a variety of sizes and either flat or beveled. All facets that take washers, come manufactured for flat ones, but if they get worn or aged, a beveled one can help keep the seal. As a homeowner, you will probably need to replace one of these bad boys. Buying a new or older home comes with great responsibility. If one of these washers goes out, it can cost you money on a high water bill, and/or could damage your home with excessive water release. How To: So this is how you take care of it. Super easy. You will need a crescent wrench and a Philips screw driver…. get a flat just in case. Make sure the water is off to the faucet. For a bathroom sink, you can usually find shut off valves right under the sink. Might be a bit tricky for the exterior hose faucet. You might have to find the shut-off valve to the entire house, sometimes out by the street, and shut it down. If you are a new homeowner, it is good to know where this main valve is located well before you need to do this change out. So after you read this, go out and find it. If you have a broken pipe or some other plumbing issue, you will want to know where that valve is and shut it off. If you are repairing a water heater or heat pump, make sure all the water has been drained. You can take the handle off by removing the center screw. Some faucets have a little cover on the screw. Some have a hex set screw in the side, and some have a small nut, but whatever it is, remove it and this will get the handle out of the way for the crescent wrench.
Use the crescent wrench to remove the stem. Attached to the bottom of the stem is the washer… that is, if it has not disintegrated. There you will find a little screw holding the washer in place, or some just have a mushroom post. If the washer is still kinda there, you can take it into the store to make sure you find a match, if it isn’t you might take the stem into the hardware store to make sure you get the correct one. If you are like me, you forget all of these things and just buy one of each and bring them all home. They don’t cost that much…usually around 20 cents each. Most stores sell them in 10 packs online, some hardware stores have a little drawer where you can buy them individually. Buying a small part is much cheaper than paying for a plumber! Well now that you have it, put it all back together and viola! That just saved you a chunk of cash! Please look forward to more of these homeowner helper tidbits – I love to help. Is there a topic you’d like to see addressed? Drop me a note! If you are in the market to buy a home, if you just bought one, or if you have owned a home for a while, I hope this little tidbit of information will help you out. I sell homes in Central Texas. If you are looking at homes for sale in the Mueller Neighborhood, Austin, TX, or the surrounding area, please reach out to me. If you already own and have penchant to move, reach out. And please recommend me to your friends and family. Thanks.
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