When To Replace Bathroom Faucet? 13 Signs For It

Are you tired of dealing with a leaky or difficult-to-use bathroom faucet? Do you have to jiggle the handle of the faucet to get any water to come out? Whatever the reason, it’s important to know when it’s time to replace your bathroom faucet.

Sometimes a simple repair will work to give a new life to the bathroom faucet. But sometimes you need to replace the bathroom faucet. If you are not sure whether you need to replace the bathroom faucet or repair it, keep reading signs from this guide.

13 Signs You Should Replace Your Bathroom Faucet

A good working faucet is important in the bathroom to complete your daily washing tasks within time. But sometimes people might be confused about when to replace the bathroom faucet and when to repair it. Here are 12 signs that indicate it’s time to replace the bathroom faucet.

1. The Bathroom Faucet Is Dripping

The Bathroom Faucet Is Dripping

A dripping faucet is one of the most common signs that it’s time to replace your bathroom faucet.

The constant dripping sound can also be annoying. The dripping sound makes it hard to relax or bathe in your bathroom.

Even a small, persistent drip from the faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of water over time and lead to much higher water bills.

A dripping bathroom faucet usually happens due to worn-out internal seals or valve mechanisms that are no longer functioning properly.

You may tighten the bathroom faucet handle to stop the dripping, but sometimes this will only cause more wear and tear to the handle. Therefore, if you notice that your bathroom faucet is dripping, it’s a good idea to replace the faucet with a new one.

2. Bathroom Faucet Is Leaking From Handle

A leaky handle on your bathroom faucet can be caused by a variety of reasons such as worn-out O-rings or gaskets, and damaged or corroded handles. When the handle is not properly sealed, water may leak from the handle.

Leaks from the handle can be especially problematic because they can occur even when the faucet is turned off. This means that water can continue to flow through the faucet, leading to wastage and increased water bills.

Moreover, leaks from the handle can also cause damage to surrounding surfaces, such as the countertop or sink, and can create mold and mildew growth.

You may try tightening the packing nut or replacing the O-ring or gasket, but if the leak persists, it’s best to replace the entire faucet.

3. The Finish Is Peeling or Flaking

Finish Is Peeling

The outer finish on a bathroom faucet takes a lot of wear and tear over the years from water exposure and regular use.

Finishes like chrome, stainless steel, bronze, and nickel can start to peel, flake, or become spotted with oxidation and mineral deposits from the water. Because of this faucet looks old.

You can try to scrub off some of the surface grime, any finish that is actually peeling or flaking is typically beyond cleaning. The underlying material is exposed and will just continue to peel more over time.

Not only does this affect the appearance of your faucet, but it can also compromise its functionality.

As the finish wears away, the faucet’s components may become exposed and vulnerable to rust or corrosion, which can lead to leaks or other problems. At this point, the faucet looks too far gone to repair, and replacement is the best option.

4. Rust, Grime, and Mineral Buildup

Rust, Grime, and Mineral Buildup

It’s common for bathroom faucets to get coated in rust, limescale, calcium deposits, and general grime buildup over time. This is due to the minerals present in water supplies combined with the moisture, splashes, and humidity inherent in bathrooms.

While surface-level buildup can be cleaned with vinegar. But rust and mineral deposits indicate a deeper issue.

The rust usually means components inside the faucet are corroding and falling apart. No amount of cleaning can reverse this inner deterioration.

If the faucet is so coated in rust and minerals that it looks beyond cleaning, you need to replace the bathroom sink faucet.

5. Hard To Turn Handle

Hard To Turn Handle

If you find the handles on your bathroom faucet are becoming stiffer and harder to turn, it’s a sign of an underlying problem. A handle that is difficult to turn requires gripping with both hands or gets stuck halfway usually due to failing parts inside the faucet.

Some common internal issues that lead to hard-to-turn handles include:

  • Worn-out rubber washers or plastic valve seats
  • Mineral buildup and corrosion interfering with the inner mechanisms
  • Sediment or debris stuck inside the faucet assembly
  • Stripped valve stems or screw threads

You may be able to temporarily improve the handle movement by disassembling the faucet and cleaning out any debris or buildup. However, damage to the inner plastic, rubber, or metal components will get worse over time. So it would be better to replace the faucet in the bathroom.

6. Faucet Is Making Noises

It’s not normal for a bathroom faucet to make noises like squeaking, clanking, or hammering sounds when turned on or off. Noisy faucets are indicative of worn-out or failing internal parts.

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Some specific noises to listen for include:

  • High-pitched squeaks – These types of noise come when old rubber washers need replacing.
  • Clanking or banging – loose parts or mineral buildup inside the faucet creates a clanking or banging noise.
  • Hammering sounds – Often caused by issues with worn-out valve seats or water pressure.
  • Hissing – When there are problems with the aerator or water pressure in the pipes, you hear a hissing sound from the faucet.

You can try to lubricate and clean parts of the faucet to quiet a noisy faucet. But if still noise comes after this, a full faucet replacement of the bathroom tap is the best solution.

7. Water Is Spitting Out Rather Than Coming Out In a Steady Stream

A properly functioning bathroom faucet should dispense a steady, smooth stream of water. If the water sputters, spurts, or sprays out inconsistently, it indicates an issue with water pressure or the faucet aerator. It might happen due to

  • Built-up mineral deposits or sediment inside the faucet neck and aerator
  • Damaged or missing interior o-rings meant to regulate water flow
  • High water pressure causes the faucet to sputter
  • A loose or improperly installed aerator
  • Corrosion and wear of the faucet supply lines

You can try cleaning the aerator or replacing any worn rubber fittings to improve the water flow. If the inner parts of the faucet are damaged, the aerator cleaning won’t work and you need to replace the faucet.

8. The Bathroom Faucet Is Old

Even if your old bathroom faucet still looks decent and functions properly, its age can be a good reason for replacement. Most faucets have a functional lifespan of about 15-20 years.

Older faucets tend to be less efficient. They often have higher flow rates, using more water than necessary. This wastes water and causes your water bills to be higher.

Old faucets also tend to leak and drip more as their internal parts wear out with use over time. Small drips can add up to hundreds of dollars in wasted water costs over time.

9. Mold on Faucet

Mold on Faucet

The moist, humid environment of bathrooms makes them prone to mold growth, especially on fixtures like faucets. Mold forming on the exterior surface or inside of your faucet is a sign of bigger problems.

Mold indicates moisture is getting trapped somewhere the spores can thrive. This trapped moisture can lead to corrosion and deterioration of the faucet’s internal metal components.

Replacing a moldy faucet is the best solution, as trying to clean away all the mold inside would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Installing a new faucet eliminates the contaminated one and the underlying moisture issue.

10. Bad Water Smell or Taste

An odd or unpleasant smell or taste coming from your bathroom faucet water is a clear sign of problems with the faucet.

While sinks and showers can sometimes have odor or taste issues due to aging pipes, a bad smell or taste localized just to the faucet likely indicates issues with the faucet itself.

Potential causes of bad water smell or taste:

  • Contaminated interior components or stagnant water allow bacteria to grow inside the faucet. This can create rotten eggs or sulfur odors.
  • Chemical leaching from worn down interior materials like rubber washers, brass, or zinc coatings. This can cause metallic or chemical tastes.
  • A faulty or cracked aerator allows debris and dirt to enter the stream.

Replacing the faucet gets rid of the problem components and restores clean, fresh water.

11. Water Pressure of the Bathroom Faucet Is Low

Water Pressure of the Bathroom Faucet Is Low

A bathroom faucet with low water pressure can make bathing and washing up more difficult. Low-pressure symptoms include weak water flow, spluttering or sputtering water stream, or delays in hot water reaching the faucet.

While household plumbing issues can sometimes cause pressure problems, low pressure from just a single faucet is usually due to problems with the faucet itself.

If efforts to clean out the faucet and replace the aerator don’t improve pressure, replacing the entire faucet can restore proper water flow and pressure to your bathroom.

12. The Faucet Is Not Functioning Properly Despite Repairs

Sometimes a bathroom faucet reaches a point where no amount of repairs and maintenance can restore its proper functioning. Issues like leaks, sputtering flow, loose handles, and sticking valves may reappear soon after fixing.

If you find yourself repeatedly repairing the same issues on an aging faucet, it likely needs a full replacement. There comes a point where further repairs are wasting time and money compared to installing new ones.

13. The Faucet Does Not Match Your New Bathroom’s Interior

Your bathroom faucet is working properly but you have recently changed the interior of the bathroom. Now your bathroom faucet doesn’t match the style of your bathroom.

An out-of-place bathroom faucet will ruin the new interior of your bathroom. To enhance the new interior of the bathroom, you should replace your old bathroom faucet.

There are countless styles of bathroom faucets available, ranging from sleek and modern to classic and traditional. Consider the color scheme, materials, and overall design of your bathroom when selecting a new faucet.

Is It Better To Repair or Replace a Bathroom Faucet?

When your faucet starts having problems, you have two options – try to repair it or just replace it. Here are some tips to help decide:

Repairing makes sense if:

  • The faucet is fairly new or do you really like the style
  • Only small parts are broken like washers or O-rings
  • A plumber says the issues are fixable

Replacing is better if:

  • The faucet is very old or damaged beyond repair
  • You want to update the look and style
  • Problems keep happening after repairs
  • The faucet doesn’t work right no matter what you try

In general, minor leaks or issues can be repaired, especially on newer faucets. But once major components are broken or a faucet is outdated, replacement is usually the best choice for the long run.

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