Hello and welcome back for another post in my Home Ownership 101 Series. Today we are discussing one of the most annoying issues…leaky faucets! Each year, our homes need maintenance tasks completed, as well as repairs on appliances, fixtures, fittings, and other components as the need arise. If you’re like most people, you’ve had at least one leaky faucet to deal with in your house at some point. When this situation occurs, it helps to have an understanding of where the problem may be coming from, and what you can do about it. *This post may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content.
Worn Out Washers
If you have a dripping faucet, the cause could be one or more worn out washers. Washers get forced against valve seats each time you use the device, which leads to constant friction. In turn, the washers wear out reasonably quickly, and you start to get drips occurring around the spout of your tap. Made from metal or rubber, washers seal gaps in pipes to prevent leaks. When they wear out, they’re no longer doing their job. They require replacing when they get to this point, or before.
Incorrectly Installed Washers
Another problem regarding washers crops up when they haven’t been correctly installed. Also, if the wrong size washer is used in a faucet, you’ll get leaks occurring. You can quite easily learn how to fix your leaky faucet when the washer is the culprit, but make sure you choose the correct piece size, so you don’t have continuing issues. If you’re not comfortable with doing the work yourself, a plumber can do the job quickly.
Problems with O-Rings
Like washers, O-rings wear out over time. O-rings are the small discs attached to stem screws that hold the handle of your faucet in place. When the disc degrades or becomes loose due to regular use, you’ll notice drips occurring near your faucet handle. To fix the issue, replace the damaged O-ring. Note, though, that this issue is generally confined to specific cartridge faucets.
Corroded Valve Seats
Another common reason behind leaking faucets is a corroded valve seat. The valve seat is the connector between the spout and the faucet in a compression-based product. Over time, water sediments can build up, eroding the valve seat in turn. When this happens, you’ll start to notice leakage around the spout of your tap. Avoid this situation by getting a plumber to clean the valve seat regularly, or learn how to do the task yourself. If the seat is too far gone, though, you’ll have to replace the corroded piece with a new valve seat.
Loose Plumbing Connections
Have you noticed leaks close to the base of your faucet? If so, the culprit behind this may be loose connections. Today’s faucets feature a variety of small parts that all work together to provide consistent water flow. However, after years of using your tap, some or all of these parts can wear out and become loose.
When this happens, the system won’t work optimally, and you’ll get leaks down near the base of the unit. Often, the adjusting ring or the packing nut has become loose. If you have a rotary ball faucet, you can remove the handle and tighten up the pieces from there. If you do this job, yet you still notice water pooling around the base of your faucet, you may also need to replace the seals or springs in the faucet.
Water Pressure Issues
When we think about water pressure, we tend to focus on how strong a force we enjoy from our bathroom showerheads. Yet, when it comes to faucets, water pressure can also be something to investigate. When faucets only drip sometimes, or leak more if you move the handle in certain ways, the problem could be coming from your property’s water pressure.
The pressure might be too high or low or be surging in and out. In this scenario, contact a licensed plumber or another qualified professional who can evaluate your whole plumbing system and see about reducing water pressure if this is the underlying problem.
If you discover a leak coming from pipes under your sink, rather than right around the faucet itself, you may have a broken fitting or a completely busted pipe. These leaks tend to be a big concern as they can suddenly cause gushing water to flow out, and cause more damage to your property from there.
Don’t delay in calling a plumber to fix or replace the pipes. It also pays to ask the tradesperson to check the faucet in general, to ensure there aren’t any other issues at play. A leaking faucet is annoying and can be time-consuming to rectify. Thankfully, though, many of the reasons why taps leak are simple and can be fixed quickly and cost-effectively. Many of them you can even do yourself without too much training.
Best of luck in keeping your faucets leak free! Thanks for visiting today!