Common Causes for a Faucet Leak | Leak Science

Have you ever had a moment in your home when everything is quiet, but then you hear a sound from one of your faucets? That irritating drip, drip, drip sound that you know can, over time, cause you issues with your monthly water bill payment increase. You might not realize that even a small faucet leak can send three gallons of water down the drain a day. Can you imagine how much water you are wasting if you let your faucet leaks go for a month or a year? You could fill a pool by then, and that is just with a small leak, as larger leaks tend to waste more than 30 gallons of water a day. No matter if you have a small or big leak, either way, a leak will lead to more issues than you expect.

Common Causes of a Faucet Leak

The typical causes of a leaky faucet include corrosion, mineral deposits on the internal parts, defective gaskets, o-rings, or washers. Some of these causes can be easily repaired by the homeowner, while some will require professional expertise. Here is a list of the common causes of faucet leaks.

Cracked Plumbing

If a plumbing pipe obtains a crack or the fitting is not tight enough, a leak will occur where the pipe is set and at the faucet that is nearest to the leak. Once you recognize that your faucet has a steady but slow dripping leak, check underneath the sink and inspect the piping. Verify to see if the pipping has any types of cracks, loose fittings, or holes where it is connected. There could even be a leak in your pipes behind a wall. This is where you will need to contact a leak detection professional to further inspect the leak and have it repaired.

Cartridge Leaks

If your faucet leak tends to be in the cartridge, it could simply be a worn-out cartridge. This kind of issue will require the cartridge to be replaced. Of course, if you decide to handle these plumbing tasks yourself, make sure you obtain a matching replacement cartridge to change it with.   If you have a disc cartridge faucet, the outlet and inlet seals could also be worn out. You can easily clean out the water sediment from the faucet seals. If you cannot handle this task or replace the cartridge, make sure to schedule a call with a professional who can manage these leak issues.

Corroded Valve Seat

If you find that the leak is coming directly from the spout, there may be a problem with the valve seat. The valve seat connects the faucet to the spout as part of the compression mechanism. Over time the accumulation of water sediment can cause the valve seat to corrode, which will cause a leak around the spout. You can clean the valve seat to avoid leaks. It is recommended to have regular maintenance and inspection from a professional of your faucet valve seat and other functional parts to avoid leaks or other types of issues.

Damage, Loose, or Worn Parts

A leading cause of faucet leaks often comes from damaged, loose, broken, or worn parts in the faucet’s components. If you notice a steady drip coming from your faucet, this may mean that the washer will need to be replaced. Although your faucet is a compression type, the seals often get weakened as it continually holds back the water pressure while the faucet is not in use. If you have a cartridge faucet, the cartilage may need to be replaced, or other parts like the outlet and inlet seals or the O-ring.

Issues with Washer

Another common cause of a dripping or leaky faucet could be a worn, loose, damaged washer. During each faucet use, the washer is forced against the valve seat, and the constant friction will cause the washer to wear out. Dripping that is caused by deteriorating rubber washers can be fixed by replacing the washer. The washer can also be improperly installed or is the wrong size, and this will cause faucet leaks. This type of leak-related issue is found with most compression faucets.

Problem with O-Rings

A typical indication for a faucet leak leads to the O-rings. This part of a faucet is a small rubber ring that is found around the valve stem. The O-ring part is used to hold the faucet in a secure place where leaks can occur. Additionally, O-ring problems commonly occur in cartridge faucets. Over time, an O-ring can become damaged or loose through the daily use of a faucet. If you notice leakage from beneath your faucet handle, the O-ring is the cause of the leak. An easy O-ring replacement is most likely what will fix the faucet leak.

Water Pressure

Have you noticed that your faucet leaks at certain times during the day? Does your faucet leak when you undertake a certain task? These signs may indicate that the water pressure setting in your home is too high. High water pressure becomes an issue when other plumbing fixtures or faucets are being used in the home. High levels of water pressure can prevent water from flowing out and eventually backing up and leaking out of faucets. These tend to be small leaks in a faucet, but over time can worsen. It may seem like a minor issue but should still require a professional investigation of this type of faucet leak problem. If you are unsure where exactly your faucet leak is coming from or what is causing the leak to occur, call Leak Science to help you properly diagnose your faucet leak immediately.

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