A constantly dripping faucet is a dreadful nuisance. As each water droplet falls, it reminds you of the wasted resources that reflect on your utility bills. Sometimes, a faucet drips because you haven’t shut off the water tightly enough. However, the issue may also stem from a plumbing problem that requires deeper investigation.
Many homeowners assume a faucet is a simple fixture. You turn on the handle and expect water to flow out smoothly. In actuality, the faucet contains numerous complex parts and interconnected mechanisms. If a specific component becomes faulty, it can cause the faucet to drip. Fixing it can be tricky unless you’re familiar with the different parts. That’s why you should contact a plumber to diagnose the root of the problem.
Are you curious about the culprit behind your leaky sink? Here are the seven common causes of a dripping faucet:
Cause #1: Faucet O-Ring Seal
Is the water in your faucet dripping from the handle? If so, the likely culprit is a damaged O-ring. This rubber ring creates a seal against the inner body of the faucet. Its purpose is to prevent water from leaking out of the handle. Over time, an O-ring may become worn out and cracked. As a result, water leaks can occur due to the weakened seal.
If the O-ring causes the faucet to drip, the best solution is to replace the component. A plumber can help you install a new O-ring, which should stop the leaky sink.
Cause #2: Leaky Faucet Washer
A leaky washer may cause an old faucet to drip all the time. Every time you turn on the water, the washer rubs against the seal. This consistent friction wears out the washer over time. Eventually, it stops creating the necessary seal, leading to leaks.
Likewise, a washer may be the wrong size for your faucet. Water leaks out due to gaps between the washer and the valve seal. In either case, a plumber can help replace the faucet washer. It often involves replacing the washer and O-ring simultaneously to prevent future leaks.
Cause #3: Faucet Cartridge
Does your sink have two separate handles to control the water temperature? If so, you have a cartridge-style faucet. This type of faucet has a cartridge component that can become damaged over time. It leads to problems like the hot water coming out of the cold waterspout, water pressure issues, and even a leaky faucet.
Consider replacing your faulty faucet cartridge. However, the repair process can be tricky. You should contact a residential plumber to install the new cartridge component.
Cause #4: Old Faucet Parts
Does your sink still have all of its original hardware? If it does, this could be the cause of your dripping faucet. As the faucet ages, its components will deteriorate in condition. Parts like the valve seal get old and stop working correctly. As a result, mineral deposits accumulate inside the old faucet. After a while, the faucet components corrode and break down, leading to leaks.
Old faucet parts occur to everyone. Regular maintenance may reduce the deterioration rate and extend the lifespan. Nonetheless, a plumber will let you know when it’s time to update your system. Once you install a new replacement, the faucet should stop dripping all the time.
Cause #5: Loose Faucet
Modern faucets have lots of small moving parts. It’s typical for these pieces to become too loose inside the faucet after frequent use. If this is the case, consider tightening up components like the washer and the O-ring. Alternatively, you may have to replace the entire faucet.
Cause #6: High Water Pressure in Faucet
High water pressure in your home could cause a dripping faucet. When the water pressure is too high, it needs a release. Otherwise, the water remains trapped in the plumbing system as it has nowhere else to go. Eventually, the pressure builds up so powerfully that it disrupts your plumbing system, causing leaks. Water pressure levels can affect many fixtures in your home, so contact a plumber for the best solution.
Cause #7: Corroded Faucet
Does your home have old plumbing, or do you have hard water? These two things in tandem could be the cause of your dripping faucet. Hard water describes water with high mineral content. It can wear away at your pipes, eventually causing holes to form. It is particularly true of older pipes with a galvanized inner zinc coating, which deteriorates over time and leads to corrosion.
Hard water can cause other problems beyond leaks, such as soap scum and strange taste. You can mitigate hard-water issues by using a filter or softener. However, corroded and rusty pipes must be looked at by a professional. Most of the time, a complete replacement may be necessary.