Faucets are an essential part of a home structure and keeping them in a good working condition is very vital. A leaky outlet not only disturbs sleep and adds to the water bill but also causes inconvenience that might range from annoying to catastrophic. The typical reasons of faucet dripping include corrosion, mineral deposit on the internal parts, or defective gaskets, o-rings, or washers. Nonetheless, most faucets that leak can be fixed easily by homeowners if they have the right tools. Ignoring a faulty faucet can turn a simple repair of $200 into a $1,000 plumbing replacement project. Besides, a dripping faucet leads to a wastage of over hundred gallons of water every month. Understanding why a faucet is leaking is crucial to fixing it properly. Fix the drip before you end up losing some more sleep and money over it!
Not only is that bad for the environment, that wasted water will cost you. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reveals, “On an average, leaks can cause almost 10,000 gallons of wastage in a home every year, and this amount is sufficient to fill a swimming pool. The most common issues of leakage are dripping faucets, leakage in toilet flappers, or leaking valves, all of which can be easily fixed. However, among these, the most prominent leakage issue is caused by a dripping faucet; fixing one can save almost 10% of a homeowner’s water bill.”
There may be several reasons behind why your faucet is dripping. Discussed herewith are some major causes of a dripping faucet.
1. Problem in the O ring – A stem screw is used to hold the handle of a faucet in place. This stem screw comprises of a small disc attached to it, known as the O ring. This is an integral point wherein dripping can occur. The O ring can become loose or wear out over regular usage, causing the faucet to drip near the handle. Replacing the damaged O ring can fix the dripping faucet, if this is the issue. This problem occurs specifically in cartridge faucets.
2. Corroded Valve Seat – A valve seat serves as a connection between the faucet and the spout in compression mechanism. Accumulation of water sediments can cause the valve seat to corrode, causing leakage around the spout area. Make sure that you clean the valve seat regularly, with the help of a professional plumber.
3. Worn out Washer – This is one of the most common causes behind a dripping faucet. During each use, the washer is forced against the valve seat, and this constant friction and resistance causes it to wear out. As a result, dripping is noticed around the spout. Dripping caused due to worn out rubber washers in a compression faucet can be mended by replacing the washer as soon as possible.
4. Improper installation of Washer – Often, if the washer is not installed properly or is not of the right size, it can cause leakage. Acquire professional help in installing the washer correctly, and you can say adios to the leakage problem.
5. Loose Parts – Due to continuous usage, the adjusting ring and packing nuts in the steam screw may become loose, causing leakage near the handle of the faucet. If there is leakage from the handle, either you need to tighten the packing nut or completely replace it.
6. Worn out Seals – Inlet and outlet seals are an intrinsic part of disc faucets. Upon constant usage, sediment can accumulate inside the assembly, causing the seals to wear out. This is one of the reasons behind a dripping faucet. Hire a plumber to clean the water sediments regularly from the inlet and outlet seals to make sure that you have your faucet mechanism working properly. You can also replace the seals with duplicates for better functioning.
7. Broken Plumbing –Though rarely, a dripping faucet may also be caused due to a broken pipe or fittings. Broken pipes develop cracks that may interfere with the water pressure and lead to faucet dripping from time to time. In case you have tried all the above mentioned solutions and the issue remains unfixed, you should hire an experienced plumber to check your water pipes.