Home Maintenance

What Causes A Faucet To Leak?

The reasons behind a faucet leak

Faucets are an integral part of your house’s structure and you need to make sure that they are in proper condition. Having a leaky faucet brings an unpleasant atmosphere to your home, the sound may disturb your sleep and you also might have an increased water bill. Depending on how bad your leaky faucet is, the result could also be a complete breakdown. 

There are several reasons for a leaky faucet such as an excess of mineral deposits, corrosion, an issue with internal parts, problems in washers, gaskets that are faulty, and more. Some of these issues can be fixed by yourself if they are on a smaller scale and you have at least a little bit of knowledge on plumbing. However, if you don’t get it fixed, by yourself or by a professional, the ultimate cost will be a lot more. It also leads to a lot of water wastage. 

In fact, statistics show that annually, over 10,000 gallons of water is wasted, as much as a swimming pool, because of leaky faucets. The most common problems for leaking are dripping faucets, valves that leak, or toilet flapper leaks, and these can be fixed. Out of all of these, the main reason for leaking is caused by a dripping faucet. If you fix the faucet you can save up to 10% of your bill. 

What are the reasons for a faucet drip?

There are several reasons behind a faucet drip, ranging from mild to complex. 

Issues in the O-ring

There is something called a stem screw that keeps the faucet handle in place. It also includes a screw with an attached disc called an O ring. It is an important place that also leads to drips. In some situations, the O ring can become loose or have wear and tear because of using it too often, and this leads to faucets dripping. Once this O ring is replaced, the issue can be solved. It happens primarily in cartridge faucets.

Corroded valve seat

A valve seat is a connection between the compression mechanism’s spout and the faucet. In some situations, water sediments build up and this leads to corrosion on the seat, encouraging the incidence of leakage. It’s important to ensure that this valve seat is regularly cleaned, especially assisted by a professional plumber. They can use the right tools to remove any grime and also ensure that the pipes don’t get damaged. 

Washer that is worn out

A washer that faces a lot of wear and tear can cause drips. Whenever you use the washer, it affects your valve seat, and the friction leads to corrosion. This leads to dripping especially in the spout’s surrounding area. In case the rubber in the washer is worn out, the best solution is to replace the washer as a whole. You will find such leaks in compression faucets.

Not installing the washer properly

If you haven’t installed the washer properly, or if it isn’t the correct size for the area you need to place it in, this can cause leaks in the faucet. You mustn’t take it upon yourself to fix such an issue, as it could make the situation worse. It’s pivotal to hire a professional plumber who installs the washer in the right way and with proper techniques. 

Water pressure 

In case the faucet drips during random times of the day or when you move the handles, it could be caused because of a water pressure problem. It’s important to get your home’s overall water pressure checked by professionals and make sure that there are no pipes on the verge of bursting. 

Loose parts 

In certain situations, parts around your faucet might be loose, such as nuts, adjusting rings, stream screws, and more, leading to your sink handle leaking. It takes a professional’s eye to notice if there are any loose parts around your pipes. To fix this, it’s important to tighten the faucet or fix anything loose. 

Broken parts

The next step after loose parts is checking for broken parts. If the leak happens underneath your sink, the cause is most likely due to a pipe that is broken or a fitting that is out of place. It’s incredibly important, at this stage, to call in a professional. Leaving it be could cause major problems in the long run. 

Steps towards fixing a leaky faucet

Once your professional has realized the reasons behind your leaking faucet, they might do the following:

1) They will check the type of faucet you have, and make an evaluation based on this. Common faucets include ball faucets, ceramic disk faucets, or cartridge faucets. It’s vital to check all these types of faucets before beginning the job.

2) The next step is turning off the main water supply or the water supply for the specific faucet. If your professional doesn’t do this, it could lead to a lot of unnecessary water spillage. Valves are usually under the sink and must be turned clockwise.

3) Next, they will plug the drain with a rag or close it with a blocker to ensure that no parts such as screws, nuts, or bolts, get lost within. They will also remove and keep decorative parts aside such as handle knobs, and more, unscrewing them and keeping them safe.

5) A plumber’s primary tool is a wrench, and depending on the type of pipes you have, professionals will loosen the stems, nuts, and more. They will also check if these parts are damaged, and in case they are, might tell you to replace them.

6) Another important part to check is the O-ring and washer all included inside the valve seat. In case there is a problem it should be replaced. Sometimes they might reassemble your sink and check if everything works. 

Are you ready to tackle a faucet leak? 

In case your faucet leak is too extensive, or you don’t even have the basic knowledge of plumbing, it’s best to get this checked by a professional. A professional plumber is aware of the ins and outs of plumbing, and can not only solve your problems but can also give you tips on what to replace and how to prevent any upcoming issues. A leaking faucet should be tackled immediately. If not, it might cause a flood and ruin your house’s flooring. 

Octopus has an expert team of handymen who are specialized in solving electrical issues, plumbing, repainting, and air conditioner maintenance. Include plumbing checkups as a part of your annual maintenance contract. Remember, the earlier it is caught, the better the chances of a complete repair. 

Call our toll-free number, 800 3993, and our representative will be more than happy to serve you. 

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