Is it Time to Repair or Replace Your Leaky Faucet?

Moen Camerist Pullout Kitchen Faucet

The flared-tip spout and simple curves of the Moen Camerist pullout kitchen faucet add up to a lot of transitional style.

When your faucet is leaking, wobbles or just doesn't suit you anymore, you're faced with a common homeowners' dilemma: “repair or replace?"

No one wants to spend good money to repair a terminally ill fixture that's bound to fail soon after. On the other hand, it's crazy to pitch a faucet that needs just a little TLC and still has a few good years left.

What to do?

Moen doesn't want you losing sleep fretting about faucets (that's our job). So here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you decide whether to repair or replace.

How old is your faucet?

You can get more or fewer years out of your faucets depending on your water's mineral content and how diligent you are removing calcium deposits that build up. But when the finish dulls or dents, and you seem to be repairing it all the time, then it's time to thank your old friend for service rendered, and toss it.

How much do repairs cost?

When a faucet leaks, you might be able to repair it yourself with wrench or $1.50 gasket. But if that easy repair doesn't work, you can pay $194-$233 for the labor alone to repair seat washers, packing and cartridges as needed, says Homewyse. Parts range from $4 to $12, or more than four times that if you're repairing a European faucet.

This Old House says if easy fixes don't work, and if the faucet is filled with rust and other gunk from old pipes, spring for a new faucet. Moen has a large collection of kitchen and bathroom options from low-arc faucets to high-arc faucets.

Is your faucet still in fashion?

Fixture styles and finishes go in and out of fashion. That may not mean much if you're still in love with the brass faucet you installed several years ago. If you're a fashion-forward homeowner, though, looking at a dated faucet will bother you each time you wash dinner dishes or splash water on your face before bed. 

Keeping up with fashion will also boost your bottom line when it comes times to move. Sellers recouped more than 60 percent of the money they spent on updating a kitchen or bathroom, according to Remodeling's 2016 Cost Vs Value Report.

Is a remodel in your future?

If you're going to remodel in a year, don't obsess over your old, working faucet, and start thinking about all those beautiful new fixtures you'll buy to make your new kitchen or bathroom sing. And if your retired fixtures still are in good shape, consider donating them to a housing nonprofit that can give them new purpose, or swapping them in a material exchange for something else you need. If you get lucky, your really old fixtures could be considered vintage, and you might be able to sell them online.



International Association of Certified Home Inspectors:


This Old House:

Remodeling Cost vs Value report: