The Most Common Causes Of A Leaky Faucet
If you have a leaky faucet, you may think that tightening the aerator or fiddling with the pipes under the sink will fix the issue. But the truth is, there are multiple reasons as to why your faucet is leaking.
So, let's go over 5 of the most common causes of a leaky faucet to help you get rid of that drip drip!
- Problems with your water pressure regulator
- The washer in the faucet is deteriorated or not properly installed
- The O Ring in the faucet is worn out or not properly installed
- The valve seat has become corroded
- Parts mentioned above and/or other parts in the faucet have become loose or broken
How Do I Stop My Faucet From Dripping?
Now, to fix the problem with your leaky faucet you first need to identify the issue(s) that are causing the problem in the first place. Let's go over each of these 5 issues mentioned above.
Problems With Your Water Pressure Regulator
If your water pressure regulator is set too high or it's malfunctioning, this could be causing your faucets to drip.
What You Should Know About Water Pressure Regulators
1. Water pressure regulators are a safety feature and are required by code.
2. High water pressure can cause leaky pipes, pipes to explode, leaky fixtures and premature failure of faucets and fixtures.
3. Maximum allowable pressure is 80 PSI. Most plumbing fixtures manufacturers void there warranty when the pressure is over 80 PSI
4. High pressure can cause underground water leaks that may require leak detection or water line pipe replacement or repair. Most emergency leaks typically have high water pressure caused by failed regulators or no thermal expansion relief device.
5. Pressure regulators come in all sizes. Common preset pressure is 40-60 PSI. Common incoming pressure max is 200-300 PSI. And adjustable working range is typically 25-75 PSI. Special order regulator can be purchased with set ranges higher or lower, for situations where you may want to lower the pressure in the same line at different location in the system.
Note that here in Georgia, water pressure regulators are now required by code to be installed in homes. These devices control the incoming water pressure and keep it from getting too high or too low.
The Washer In The Faucet Is Deteriorated Or Not Properly Installed
It's certainly a very common issue - washers in faucets wear out after years of use. These rubber washers should be fairly easy to replace although there are several steps involved.
- Turn off the water supply to that sink.
- If your sink has handles with a decorative cap - remove that (using your fingers or a flat head screwdriver) and then unscrew and remove the handle.
- Unscrew the bolt by turning it clockwise (lefty loosy, righty tighty).
- Remove the valve stem from the base of the valve (you should be able to do this with your fingers - just pull it off or twist it off)
- You should see the rubber washer - remove it.
- We recommend that you take a photo of the faucet area where you removed the washer from. Then take the washer and the valve stem to the hardware store to purchase a new washer. Reason is there are many different sizes and shapes of washers for faucets so you want to get the right one.
- Once you have the new washer - replace everything back and turn your water supply back on.
- If this does not fix the leak in your faucet, please call in a plumber to assess and fix the problem.
The O Ring In The Faucet Is Deteriorated Or Not Properly Installed
A leak coming from the base of your faucet is usually the sign that there's a problem with the O Ring. A little FYI, these normally have to be replaced every 10 years.
- Purchase new O Rings at your local hardware store.
- Turn off the water supply to that sink.
- Loosen and remove the nut at the base of the faucet spout with a crescent wrench (wrap a towel or cloth around that first to keep the wrench from marking the finish)
- Remove the spout (faucet) by pulling it off the base.
- You should now see the O Ring at the bottom of that base. Note, you may see more than one O Ring - remove all of them with a flat head screwdriver by simply pullling them up off the base.
- After the rings are removed, apply silicone grease to the base where the new rings will be installed.
- Slip on the new O Ring(s) and apply more silicone grease over them.
- Reinstall everything that you had removed and turn your water supply back on.
- If this does not fix the leaking problem, we recommend you call in a plumber to assess and fix the issue.
The Valve Seat Has Become Corroded
As the years go by sediment can accumulate and cause your valve seat in the faucet to become corroded. This can be a complicated multi-step process and we recommend that you contact a plumber for this task.
Parts In The Faucet Have Become Loose Or Broken
Of course, any part of your faucet (visible or not) can become loose or break and if that is the case then they have to be repaired or replaced. Taking apart the faucet and replacing each component can be done by many who are somewhat handy but if you find yourself unable to replace the faucet as it once was or to find the cause of the leak - give your plumber a call.
If you have any questions about leaky faucets or are having some problems with your faucet, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.