Problems with plumbing fixtures can arise at any time, and frequently, they can become loose due to daily wear and tear. Since pipes transport clean water into your home while moving dirt, debris, and wastewater away, there are times when issues may cause fixtures to become loosened over time. Plumbing fixtures like faucets, bathtub fixtures, sink fixtures, showerheads, toilets, and more can all become loose to your surprise one day. You may spot a problem when you decide to use the kitchen, bathroom, or another area where plumbing fixtures are located in your home. Problems with loose plumbing fixtures should not be left unrepaired because they can lead to more significant issues and cause extensive damage to your home when left unchecked. You do not want to wait until a disaster occurs before you have an emergency or need professional help.
Following are seven reasons why plumbing fixtures often become loose in your home.
1. Water Pressure
The proper water pressure must be maintained for every plumbing fixture in your home. Most people enjoy having high water pressure where you can enjoy singing in the shower under a nice jet of relaxing, hot water. Normal water pressure in your home should fall between 40-60 pounds per square inch (PSI). When there is a high water demand or there is an overuse of water in your home, this high volume of constant water pressure can have an effect on your bathroom fixtures and cause them to loosen. Having either a too low or too high PSI can both cause problems to include loosening plumbing fixtures. High water pressure is often a culprit, and it can cause your faucets to spit, spray, or leak when you turn them on, which results in loosening over time. There can also be a problem with your water pressure regulator. This device is installed to control the water pressure. It is essential to check this device and ensure it is working correctly to help prevent plumbing fixtures from loosening.
Plumbing fixtures can become loose, resulting from common leaks. There are often unexplained reasons why leaks happen, and they can happen suddenly without any reason. When a leak happens, it is easy to suspect something wrong with your pipes or plumbing fixtures. Often, leaks occur just because of simple wear and tear. There are many causes for common leaks, including corrosion, broken seals, or clogs. Corrosion often occurs because of hard water, high water pressure, or rusted pipes. When these problems arise, it is easy for a leak to happen and, when left untreated, result in loosened plumbing fixtures.
3. Loose Caulking
Sinks, tubs, and toilets are standard plumbing fixtures in the bathroom. However, most people ignore the caulking that seals the spaces around plumbing fixtures. Since these fixtures are often used daily, this high frequency of use causes caulking to deteriorate, loosen, crack, or erode over time. Caulk seals your plumbing fixtures to permanent fixtures like the floors and walls in your bathroom. When problems with your caulking occur, water can seep in and create further damage to include loosened plumbing fixtures as well as the buildup of mold and mildew inside the damaged caulking. As mold and mildew colonies grow in size, you can sometimes see the caulking turn black and separate from your plumbing fixture in some situations. Loose caulking will make your plumbing fixtures loose, and the old caulk must be removed and replaced.
4. Poorly Attached, Bad Install
Sometimes, especially when done by a beginner or amateur, a plumbing fixture is installed improperly. This bad install can happen from negligence or sometimes done by people who want to do plumbing DIY but do not quite get it right. DIY is a fantastic endeavor, and learning plumbing skills at any time is great, but you have to be careful when installing plumbing fixtures. Sometimes fixtures are poorly attached, which can result from a variety of reasons, from installing the wrong fixture, an improperly fitting fixture, loose threads on a fixture, stripping threads on screws and bolts, using the wrong tools, among other installation problems. People are human, and so are DIYers and plumbers; sometimes, they make mistakes. If a plumbing fixture is poorly attached or installed improperly, take steps to consult a professional and get it installed properly.
A common plumbing fixture problem is the pipes behind the showerhead and handles becoming loose. When newer homes are built, plumbing is installed first with the tub and shower surrounding. As time goes on, the screws will loosen around the shower pipe and handle. These screws secure these fixtures to the wall, and this is why these fixtures move when you enter some baths and showers, especially older ones. Wherever you have a high traffic area, and people use certain plumbing fixtures constantly like sinks, toilets, showers, faucets, handles, among other plumbing fixtures inside and outside the home, this repetitive movement over time can create loose fixtures that require tightening every once in a while. Loose screws are a significant source of why plumbing fixtures move, and sometimes you can quickly fix the problem with the turn of a screwdriver.
Stripping on plumbing fixtures occurs when overturning the threads when tightening screws and bolts. When threads get stripped, the fixture can no longer hold on to the screw or bolt bracket designed to hold it in place. No matter how much you keep turning, it will be impossible to get the plumbing fixture to create a tight seal. Stripped threads create a massive potential for leaks to start, leading to busted or cracked pipes when there is high water pressure or extreme weather. When stripping occurs, there are ways to fix it, and it usually requires the help of a professional. Leaving it there is a wrong decision and a big reason why plumbing fixtures become loosened over time—because they are not fastened properly. Using the wrong tool can also cause stripping. Vice grips or wrong-sized pipes that are too big for the job can easily strip threads and cause damage to plumbing fixtures. Using the proper tools is essential to preventing stripping and loosening plumbing fixtures.
7. Freezing Temperatures
Plumbing pipes and fittings require waterproof seals and insulation, primarily when used as outdoor plumbing fittings. Outdoor fixtures should be wrapped in magnetic insulation, and there should be no sprays or leaks coming from your plumbing. Any loose plumbing fittings on the exterior of your home can cause extensive damage, especially during cold weather. In freezing temperatures, loose plumbing fixtures that include water leaks or cracks can spell damage inside your house if cracking, freezing, or a busted pipe occurs. It is vital to ensure your outdoor plumbing fixtures are in good condition and maintain the proper temperature. They must also have the correct fixtures attached to them so that they do not become loose due to extreme temperatures.
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Our team at WeCare Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning provides a variety of services to include heating repair, installation, and maintenance, as well as cooling, plumbing, and air quality services. The team at WeCare comes with 20 years of experience serving Southern California. Contact the WeCareTeam at your earliest convenience for more information on your plumbing repair needs!