HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
The Ultimate Faucet Repair Quiz
by Staff
There are few things as annoying as the monotonous drip of water from a faucet, especially in the quiet of the night when you are trying to fall asleep. Let's see what you can do about it. Take this quiz and check what your options are.

What is a faucet?

  • measures the flow of water
  • dispenses water
  • filters the water

What happens when the faucet is closed?

  • A washer presses tightly on the faucet seat, blocking the water.
  • A vacuum is caused preventing water flow.
  • A small pump draws the water away form the faucet.

If you have a leaking faucet, what is the first thing to do?

  • Change the faucet.
  • Clean the aerator.
  • Check the washer and faucet seat assembly.

Before beginning a repair or replacement of a faucet what precaution should you take?

  • Touch a metal pipe to prevent static electricity.
  • Turn off the main water supply.
  • Place a bucket under the faucet if possible.

If, after opening the faucet, you see the washer is cracked, what is the best course of action?

  • Use sealing compound for an approximate fit.
  • Any similar sized washer should do the job.
  • An exact replacement needs to be used for an exact fit.

Are there different washers for hot and cold faucets?

  • Yes, hot washers should be installed in hot faucets and cold ones in cold faucets.
  • The cold washer serves for both as long as it is identical to the old one.
  • It does not matter if you raise the faucet seat a little.

You replaced the washer but the leak continues. What now?

  • That's it -- throw out the old faucet.
  • Check the valve seat. Maybe you can repair or replace it.
  • A thick coat of special compound on the valve seat will stop the leak.

You now see that the valve seat is worn. What can you do now to solve the problem?

  • A worn valve seat means you need to replace the faucet.
  • Epoxy compound can be shaped to fit the washer.
  • You can replace the valve seat.

What could have caused the damage to the valve seat?

  • The metal stem ground against the valve seat.
  • Chemicals in the water eroded the metal.
  • Both answers are correct.

Can a grinding tool be used to repair a valve seat?

  • No, the metal is too hard.
  • Yes, if you are careful not to damage the soft metal.
  • Grinders are too expensive to make it worthwhile.

When does a faucet leak usually occur?

  • whenever the seal is faulty
  • when the faucet is turned off
  • when the water pressure increases

What is faucet packing made of?

  • soft wire or tiny ball-bearings
  • rubber O-rings or soft wire
  • plastic chips or rubber O-rings

What does the O-ring do?

  • increases water pressure
  • ensures easy movement of the spout
  • prevents water from leaking

Are washers essential to the working of a faucet?

  • Metal disks with holes can replace washers.
  • Every faucet needs at least one washer.
  • In the absence of washers the faucet needs to be installed horizontally.

What is the most difficult part of repairing a single-lever faucet?

  • removing the assembly sleeve
  • finding the correct repair kit
  • putting together the valve assembly

Is there a simple temporary remedy to avoid the annoyance of a dripping faucet?

  • Place a container of Jell-O in the sink.
  • Turn off the main water supply
  • Attach a length of string around the nozzle to guide the drops into the sink.

How can you avoid damaging a chrome-plated fixture when using a metal wrench?

  • use an old wrench
  • insulation tape wound around the fixture
  • application of petroleum jelly to the teeth of the wrench

In a new home, what is one of the possible causes of noisy faucets?

  • The aerators are not correctly aligned
  • Pipes may be too small.
  • Not enough sediment has built up to dampen noises.

Can a washer cause a faucet to be noisy?

  • Yes, if it is the wrong size or not properly secured.
  • Faucet noise is always connected to problems with the pipes.
  • Yes, but only if the water pressure drops.

Why would you need a special basin wrench to work under a sink?

  • The area is damp.
  • It is quieter.
  • There is not enough access for a regular wrench.