3 Common Causes of Leaky Faucets

3 Common Causes of Leaky Faucets

Keeping the faucets in good working condition is vital in any house.

Leaky faucets can inconvenience a whole household. The continuous dripping of water is more than just an annoying sound; it puts a dent in your wallet and poses a safety threat to your home.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, one drip per second wastes three thousand gallons of water each year. A simple leak could cost hundreds of dollars; how much more if the leak was large?

Many have experienced a leaky faucet one way or another. It’s a common plumbing problem that you can sometimes fix on your own, as long as you have the right tools with you. But, before we go deeper on how to fix a leaky faucet, let’s understand what causes it.

Why Do Faucets Leak?

Knowing what causes a leaky faucet will help you determine how to address it correctly.

1. Worn-out Parts

These moving parts are prone to damage and wear out over time:

  • O-Ring: This is the small disc attached to the stem screw holding the faucet in place. It tends to loosen up over regular use.
  • Valve Seats: These connect the faucet to the spout and deteriorate with sediment buildup.
  • Inlet and Outlet Seals: Like with the valve seats, the inlet and outlet seals corrode because of water sediment buildup.
  • Washers: These get damaged due to constant friction with the valve seat, improper installation, or improper size. They often wear out and need replacing.
  • Cartridge: This can cause the leak itself since it controls the flow of water.

2. Water Pressure

High water pressure is a probable culprit if the faucet drips:

  • on specific times of the day;
  • when there are no other plumbing fixtures in use, for instance, during nighttime; or
  • when you move the handle a certain way.

3. Cracks and Loose Fittings

A slow but steady leak suggests two things: your pipes are either loose-fitting or cracked.

The Effects of a Leaky Faucet

Homeowners sometimes underestimate a single, small leaky faucet.

However, they should keep in mind that, if not handled effectively, it has the potential to turn into a disaster and cause these threats:

Wasted Water

The importance of conserving water should never be underestimated. Everyone requires access to water. A single leaking faucet in your home can waste hundreds of gallons of water several families could have used.

Home Deterioration

Continuously dripping water can cause decaying wood structures to deteriorate further, weakening your home’s structure and lowering your property’s value.
Rust can form inside your steel pipes. It can clog faucets and deteriorate pipes, which will need more extensive repairs.

Health Consequences

Mold thrives on wet surfaces. It causes skin irritation and breathing difficulties, not to mention foul odors. Leaks create the perfect opportunity for it to grow if not repaired immediately.

Hefty Cost

Aside from the hassle they bring, leaky faucets cause spikes in your water bill. If left unattended, they can damage your home and will need costly repairs.

Leaky Faucet Repair

With the right tools and knowledge, you can repair the damage on your own:

  1. Find out what type of faucet you have.
  2. Turn the water supply of the leaking faucet off. There are two shut-off valves under the sink; one for hot water, the other for cold. Turn them clockwise until they close.
  3. Plug the drain so you don’t lose small parts in it.
  4. Remove decorative elements from the handle knobs.
  5. Unscrew the handle to remove the faucet.
  6. With a wrench, loosen the packing nut and stem. Replace any damaged parts.
  7. Inspect critical components, such as the O-ring, washer, and valve seats.
  8. Replace these components, reassemble your faucet, and check for leaks.

If none of these works or you don’t know what to do next, it’s better to hire a professional plumber. They have the knowledge, abilities, and tools to identify the source of a leaky faucet quickly, prevent future plumbing problems, and avoid further damage.

Have A Better Plumber Handle Your Leaky Faucet

Do not underestimate the leaks in your house.

For us, there is no such thing as a simple leak. Addressing the problem as soon as possible can save you from stress, high costs, and further damage. At A Better Plumber, we take care of all of your plumbing needs, no matter how big or small they are. As the most trusted plumbers in Littleton, Colorado, we guarantee your satisfaction and a healthy plumbing system.

We are available 24/7. Contact us whenever you require assistance.

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