Did you know that a dripping faucet can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year?
A dripping faucet is more than just a minor inconvenience. If left unattended, it can cause serious damage to your home. From high water bills to structural problems, the effects of leaking faucets can be detrimental.
In this guide, we’ll cover the most common causes of leaky faucets and some suggestions on how to fix them. Read on.
If the leak occurs only during certain times of the day, it may be due to water pressure problems. High water pressure can create a backwater that prevents water from draining at one point and leaks at another. A faucet can start to leak a little bit, but eventually the plumbing will develop a pinhole leak that will get worse over time.
Corroded Valve Seat
The valve seat is an important part between the faucet and the spout. It acts as a sealing mechanism to ensure that water flow is properly regulated. However, constant exposure to water and mineral deposits can corrode and wear the valve seats.
In this case, the packing may be damaged and water may leak from the faucet. Repairing corroded valve seats usually requires a professional plumber as it may require special tools and expertise.
Worn Out O-rings
O-rings are rubber gaskets used to seal gaps between cartridges and other internal parts of cartridge faucets. Worn O-rings can cause water to leak from the bottom of your faucet or make it difficult for hot and cold water to mix.
If water is dripping straight out of your faucet spout, the cause is usually the washer. The washer presses against the valve seat of the faucet when the water is flushed.
Over time, the washer can wear out due to repeated motion and resistance. That’s what causes the spout leakage. Leaks can also occur if the washers are the wrong size or installed incorrectly.
A faucet is made up of several interconnected parts that work together to control the flow of water. Normal use or improper installation can loosen these parts over time. Loose screws, nuts, handles, and other parts can cause your faucet to leak.
Additionally, the constant movement and vibration of these parts can gradually weaken the connection and cause the faucet to leak.
Pipe is Broken
Although rare, a leaky faucet can be caused by a broken pipe. Cracks in pipes restrict the normal flow of water and cause regular drips from the faucet.
The Damage Caused by a Dripping Faucet
A dripping faucet may seem like a minor problem, but it can actually cause a lot of damage over time. Possible effects of a leaky faucet include:
High Water Bills
A leaky faucet can take a toll on your monthly water bill and lead to a significant increase in your expenses. Even seemingly small droplets can build up over time and become a significant waste of water.
Mold and Rot
A persistently leaking faucet create a damp environment that can promote the growth of mold. Not only is mold a health hazard, it can also damage walls, floors, and other surfaces. Additionally, prolonged exposure to moisture can cause wood to rot, compromising the structural integrity of your home.
Overflows and Drain Clogs
A constantly leaking faucet can cause water to overflow from your sink or sink, and onto your countertops and floors. This creates water damage around you, which can lead to slips and falls. Additionally, excess water can clog drains and cause more plumbing problems.
Leaking faucets dripping constantly can leave unsightly stains on sinks, countertops, and surrounding equipment. These stains can be difficult to remove and may require special cleaning agents or professional intervention.
Rust and Corrosion
A leaky faucet allows for water to enter hidden crevices and joints, which can cause rust and corrosion over time. This can damage the faucet’s internal components and affect the faucet’s performance and lifespan. Rust and corrosion can cause water pollution and affect drinking water quality.
Persistent moisture from leaking faucets attracts pests such as cockroaches, ants, and silverfish. These insects are drawn to moist environments and can quickly enter your home in search of water and hiding places.
How To Fix a Leaky Faucet
A leaky faucet is one of the most common household problems that you can easily fix yourself. Even a novice plumber can tackle washer replacement and rubber O-ring repair. Here’s how to fix a leaky faucet:
Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply
One of the most important steps in fixing a leaky faucet is turning off the water. If you don’t turn off the water to the sink, your bathroom can flood.
To turn off the water, find the stopcock on the faucet under the sink and turn the handle clockwise. If the faucet does not have a stopcock, turn off the main water supply in your home. Turn on the faucet and make sure the water has stopped.
Step 2: Disassemble the Faucet
Depending on the type of fixture, there are different ways to remove a faucet’s handles. To uncover the handle screws on common fixtures, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the handle’s top caps. Pull the handles off by loosening these screws.
Step 3: Disconnect the Valve Stem
Removing the faucet handle reveals the inner valve stem or cartridge. This should also be removed. The compression tap has a brass valve stem that can be unscrewed.
The cartridge tap can be pulled out directly. If you run into problems, please refer to your faucet manual or search online for instructions.
Step 4: Check the Faucet’s Components
After removing all the components, carefully examine them to determine what has to be replaced to stop the leaky faucet. O-rings, washers, and seals made of rubber should be visible.
Step 5: Replace the Faulty Components
Replace parts if old or worn/damaged. Go to your local hardware store and find the parts you need. The easiest way to get the correct part for a leaky faucet is to take your old part to a hardware store and ask for an exact replica.
Step 6: Sanitize the Valves
Look at the valve body after removing the stem or cartridge. This is where mineral deposition. To clean, pour white vinegar on the valve seat and let it sit for a few minutes. Then scrape it off and rub the rest of the sink to restore the smoothness and shine.
Step 7: Assemble the Faucet Together
Reassemble the faucet after you’ve cleaned everything and obtained the new replacement parts. Check for leaks after turning on the water supply.
Dripping Faucet FAQs Answered
We understand how annoying and wasteful dripping faucets can be. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about dripping faucets.
Is a Leaky Faucet an Emergency Situation?
A leaky faucet isn’t necessarily an emergency, but it should be fixed as soon as possible. If you have a drainage problem, a leaking faucet can cause minor flooding, which can quickly result in high costs. Additionally, faucet drips waste water and can damage your sink if left on for long periods of time.
Can a Leaky Faucet Fix Itself?
No, the leak will probably worsen over time, particularly if the faucet’s component parts are rusted. To prevent water waste, it is best to address leaks as quickly as possible.
Is a Leaky Faucet Covered by a Home Warranty?
Home warranties typically don’t cover leaky faucets. However, many home warranties include access to handyman services. If your faucet is leaking and you can’t fix the problem yourself, or if you want a professional to look into the problem, you can hire a professional to fix your common plumbing issues.
How Can I Prevent a Faucet from Dripping in the Future?
The key to preventing a leaky faucet is routine maintenance. Keep an eye out for any leaks and fix them right away. Avoid using too much force when shutting off the faucets because this can harm them.
Future drips can also be avoided by making sure that the installation is done correctly and by maintaining a modest water pressure level.
Get Professional Dripping Faucet Repair in St. Louis
If you cannot fix a dripping faucet, are always available to help. Additionally, we act promptly to plumbing emergencies to avoid wasting water.
At Anton in St. Louis, we aim to identify the cause of the problem, so we can let you know which parts and components need to be replaced to fix the dripping faucet. In addition to providing faucet repair solutions, we also offer other types of plumbing services such as repiping, gas line maintenance, and green plumbing.
Schedule a service now.