Dear Maintenance Men
By Jerry L’Ecuyer and Frank Alvarez
Q: I have owned an apartment building since the early 1970s and have always performed my own repairs and general maintenance. Lately, I have been struggling with kitchen and bathroom faucet repairs. I am handy, so I am not referring to the actual physical aspect of repair, but the decision to repair or replace a faucet. Over the many years of ownership, I have replaced my older stem and rubber washer (Compression) faucets to the newer washer-less and single handle models. The problem is, I now have a difficult time finding parts or the cost of repair is awfully close to buying a new fixture. What do you suggest I do?
A: Your issue is not unusual. Today, a typical repair of any medium quality faucet can cost 30% versus. replacing the same faucet. The difference and deciding factor will be the quality of the faucet you are repairing. For instance, the cost of repairing extremely “cheap” or off-brand fixtures is not worth the time or effort as they will continue to fail in a short amount of time. Most brand name fixtures will last you 10 years or so, depending on the following factors: use and abuse, maintenance, installation, finish, water quality, and the model of fixture.