Should You Repair or Replace Your Faucets

When I go into a clients house to repair faucet I always educate them on the difference between repairing and replacing.

Many people would rather repair their faucet before replacing. This article will explain the pros and cons of each.
Very old faucets will have a brass seat on both the hot and cold sides. If the faucet is dripping through the spout then the washer and/or the seat is damaged and needs to be replaced. If the faucet is leaking through the handle then the o-ring needs to be replaced. In some cases you will need to replace the brass cartridge.

New faucets use a spring and a rubber seat. These can be fairly easy to repair, but still expensive as labor prices in Edmonton is high for plumbers.

If you have an older faucet in your kitchen or bathroom sink then replacing generally makes the most sense.
The reason replacing makes the most sense is because finding the right parts to repair the faucet can take quite awhile costing you a lot of money on labor charges. Today there are too many different types of washers, o-rings, seats and cartridges for a plumbing company to carry. Unless that company takes care of an apartment building that has a particular type of faucet, but for a homeowner the styles seem to be endless.

Since we and other plumbers do not carry repair kits the labor cost to repair a faucet in the kitchen or bathroom sink is normally around $350. Where as the replacement charge for a faucet is around $200 plus the cost of the new faucet.

Sure, the overall cost will be higher, but now you have a brand new faucet instead of trying to make an old one work. When it comes time to repairing your new faucet these are still pricey but at least most hardware stores carry the replacement parts.

Even a worse case scenario is we come and repair your faucet and because the faucet is so old it still leaks. This happens when the faucet is worn beyond repair, which is impossible to say when this is until a repair is attempted.
The costs begin to increase quite a bit when deciding on repairing or replacing a bathtub or shower faucet.

These faucets are not easily accessible so walls must be cut into to make the change therefore increasing the time to perform the task.

The plumbing pipes that hook up the faucet are either plastic or copper and are hard piped to the faucet. This means shutting down the water and cutting into the pipe to remove the old faucet and joining the pipe to the new faucet.

Another issue is a sink faucet always sits on the sink or countertop while a shower faucet can sit at a different distance into the wall than the new one will sit. This means the new supports have to be added to hold the faucet tight.

For this reason the cost to replace is generally around $400 – $500 instead of around $200 for a sink faucet. Plus on top of that cost is the repair to the wall. This can vary depending on what is required to patch the wall. You might need drywall then mud and then paint, or you might need drywall then tile. Either way there is more work involved.
In some cases the faucet is in a wall that backs onto another bathroom not allowing you to cut from behind. Now you will have to repair damaged tile around the tub. This becomes even more difficult when the tub does not have tile but has an acrylic tub surround. There is no way you are patching this. The best thing to do here is to do a renovation, afterall if the faucet is shot your bathroom is most likely ready to be remodeled.

For jetted tubs or other drop in style tubs you might have deck mounted faucets. This will require the plumber to remove some of the tile and cut into the plywood to access the tub faucets. Once this is done the faucets can be replaced with a similar faucet.

Some deck mount faucets have 2,3,4 or even 5 holes. You will want the right kind of faucet to replace the old one with. Obviously if you currently have a 5 hole faucet which consists of a hot and cold handle, spout, spray and diverter, you will need to replace with a 5 hole new faucet.

If however you only have a two hole faucet now, you could possibly increase the number of holes. We would just drill another hole to make the faucet work. The only difficulty here is if the deck tapers off fast there may not be enough room.

Sending us a quick picture can normally tell us what can or cannot be done.
Once the faucet is installed you will need someone to patch the hole. We have a great tiler that can do that job for you.

The big lesson to take away here is do not think that you are going to save money by repairing your leak faucet over replacing. You can, but often you won’t.

Remember that we live in a disposable world! Luckily faucets can be recycled.