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What Causes a Leaky Faucet?

A leaky faucet, if left unrepaired, can become a major problem beyond the money it’s costing you on your water bill. A faucet dripping water can be indicative of a larger problem that could cost you hundreds of dollars. The most common causes for sink faucets leaking include defective parts like o-rings, washers and gaskets. Corrosion and mineral depostis can also lead to sink faucets leaking.

To troubleshoot a faucet dripping water, you will want to find the location of the water leak. This will give you a good idea of what the problem may be.

Issues with O-Rings

One common item to investigate when a sink faucets leaking is the O-rings. An O-ring is a small rubber ring located around the valve stem. These can become loose or damaged over time through the regular use of your faucet. If your O-ring is the problem, you may be seeing leakage from beneath your faucet’s handle. If this is the case, a simple O-ring replacement is all that you need to do.

Sink faucets leaking from around the spout base is a very common problem that requires removing the spout and usually replacing the two O-rings. Often, the faucet spout is pitted too badly from hard water or a neglected leak and the new O-rings won’t be able to seal. If this is the case, it's time to replace the faucet. However, if it is not too badly pitted, new O-ring should resolve your leak. Plumbers grease should be rubbed onto the O-rings before sliding the faucet back over the base. This is also a repair that may require professional assistance to get right.

Corroded Valve Seat

A corroded valve seat may also be the culprit when it comes to a faucet dripping water. The valve seat is the connection in the compression mechanism that the valve / cartridge seats against. The older seats were made of brass and could be resurfaced and made new again. but that’s not the case with the new plastic seats. You have to replace the entire unit.

Loose or Damaged Washer

If your faucet is dripping water after it is shut off, this may be indicative of a loose or damaged seat washer. Issues with washers is common in sink faucets leaking. The seat washer screw can become loose from repeated use, causing the faucet to drip water or chatter. Newer faucets may have plastic valve cartridges that occasionally need to be replaced. The seats for these newer faucets are typically made of plastic and have springs. These may need to be replaced as well.

Leaking Disc Cartridge Faucets

If you have a disc cartridge faucet, the inlet and outlet seals may have become worn out. Cleaning water sediment from the faucet seals is one of many maintenance actions a plumber will take during a scheduled visit.

Still Having Leaks? Call a Professional

If none of these steps fixes your leaky faucet, it’s likely that your faucet will need to be replaced. Hard water and various cleaning products take their toll on faucets. A professional Roto-Rooter plumber can repair or replace your faucet if you would rather not take on the task. You do not have to purchase a new faucet through Roto-Rooter if you want us to install it for you. Feel free to purchase whichever faucet you like from anywhere you please. Just make sure the new faucet you purchase is designed to fit the mounting holes on your sink.