If your faucet is leaking, there are a number of reasons you might be bothered by it. A leaky faucet can mean persistent dripping noises. The constant available moisture can lead to pest problems. Plus, a leaking faucet means wasting money on water. No matter which aspect is bothering you the most, if you find your faucet leaking, you probably want it fixed. The first step to repairing your leaking faucet is knowing why it’s leaking to begin with.
Dripping When Off
Valve Seat Corrosion
The valve seat connects the spout and faucet. If the valve seat hasn’t been cleaned of sediment in a while, it’s possible that it’s begun to corrode. A corroded valve seat will present as leaking around the spout.
Leaking Faucet Base
There’s a gasket in the base of many faucet types as well. Just like the others, it will begin to wear out with use and may present as leaking around the base of the faucet.
O Ring Problems
In cartridge faucets, regular use can wear out a piece called the O ring. This ring is located with the stem screw, which is what holds the faucet handle in place. A worn out O ring will cause leaking from the handle. If your handle is leaking water, you likely need to replace the O ring.
A Worn Out Washer
In a compression faucet, every time you turn on the water, there’s friction between your faucet handle’s rubber washer and valve seat. This friction slowly wears away at the washer, making it harder for the washer to do its job. What is its job? Keeping the handle watertight. If the washer is worn through, there’s space for water to escape through the handle and drip down into the sink. This is fixed by replacing the old washer with a new one of the correct size.
A much simpler problem to fix, but equally as common, is that your handles are loose. Sometimes, frequent use of a sink faucet leads to the screws in the handles coming a bit loose. When this happens, the handles might become wiggly. The reason this is a problem is that, when you go to turn the faucet off, turning the handle all the way might not completely close the valve. Even a small gap can lead to – you guessed it – dripping.
This can be easily fixed. If you have knob handles, there will be a round cap on top with a small notch in one side. Use a screwdriver or other narrow object, hook it unto the notch, and pop the cap off. Then, there will be a screw underneath. However, if you have pivoting handles, the screw may be exposed on the back. Regardless, tighten down your screw all the way and see if the problem resolves itself.
If not, it may just be that loose handles were only one of multiple problems. If you want professional assistance getting to the root of your leaking faucet, give us a call at Reliable Drain & Plumbing. We can find the problem in moments and have it fixed right away.