Plumbing fixtures are some of the most important features of your home, but you probably don’t think too much about them in your day-to-day routine. Faucet, shower, tub, and toilet handles all offer easy access to running water, and some provide the ability to change from hot to cold water. When you turn on your water each day, you expect your fixtures to deliver consistent performance, but loose fixtures can lead to uneven water temperature, leaks, and even flooding.
When properly installed, new plumbing fixtures have fairly tight connections to prevent water leakage. A loose connection, even if just slightly loose, can lead to dripping or running water that runs 24 hours a day. Over time, small drips can cause high water bills, uneven water pressure, and even corrosion. To add to this, small leaks can lead to water damage on nearby surfaces, potentially causing structural issues for your property.
This is why it’s important to ensure that plumbing fixture connections are tight and secure. Specialty compounds and tapes are used to secure plumbing fixture connections, but even these can fail given the right circumstances. If you notice a loose plumbing fixture, it’s important to address the situation as soon as possible, as these types of problems usually get worse over time.
Below are some of the most common reasons why plumbing fixtures become loose.
One of the nicest things about modern plumbing is that, regardless of the temperature outside, you can have access to both hot and cold water all year. While this is convenient, it can also lead to loose plumbing fixtures over time.
Just like with most materials, the metal used for plumbing fixtures is prone to expansion when exposed to heat and contraction when exposed to cold. Even though this expansion and contraction is very slight and almost imperceptible to the naked eye, small movements due to changing temperatures over many years can loosen plumbing fixtures.
Wear and Tear
General wear and tear can also cause plumbing fixtures to become loose. Repeated twisting and turning of knobs and handles places pressure or relieves tension at the point of contact between the handle and the water control valves. If you over-tighten plumbing fixtures by really cranking down on a handle, this can also speed up the loosening process.
Below are some of the dangers of wear and tear on plumbing fixtures:
- Rough handling
- Age and time
- Corrosive buildup
Even if you’re gentle with your plumbing fixtures, repeated pressure from turning knobs eventually leads to loose connections over many years. This is simply a matter of physics, as minuscule amounts of material get worn away with each interaction. This is also the reason why older plumbing fixtures that have been used a lot are more prone to loose connections.
Water and Air Pressure
Changes in water pressure can also be the culprit if you’re dealing with loose plumbing fixtures. When you turn water on or off at a faucet, spigot, or washing machine connection, water surges through and fights against the air in the lines. This creates pressure in a water line’s enclosed environment. The pressure created is then pushed along to the connections on your plumbing fixtures. In fact, extreme spikes in pressure can lead to damaged plumbing fixtures in a matter of seconds.
How to Fix Loose Plumbing Fixtures
If you’re experiencing loose plumbing fixtures, there are a few steps you can take to fix them. First, ensure that you apply appropriate pressure when turning knobs and handles. Second, check your fixture connections to see if corrosion has occurred. You can sometimes clean corrosion using specialty products from retailers. You can also inspect your nuts and washers to make sure they haven’t experienced damage or warping due to wear and tear.
Contact Central Air Heating, Cooling and Plumbing
You can always rely on the plumbing pros at Central Air Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for fast help with loose plumbing fixtures or any other plumbing problems. We provide friendly plumbing service on your schedule, including plumbing fixture repair and installation. Central Air also offers total home comfort solutions that include:
- Furnace repair
- AC installation
- Water heater replacement
- Indoor air quality solutions
To learn more about how Central Air Heating, Cooling and Plumbing can help you with loose plumbing fixtures in Clackamas, contact our team today for a free estimate.