What Causes a Faucet to Drip: 5 Possible Reasons

A leaking faucet may not seem like a severe issue. However, those drops of water that continuously drip can add hundreds of gallons of wasted water per year. On top of this is that you are throwing money down the drain with every water bill – literally!

A tap that drips constantly can be an annoying problem. It can keep you up at night, cost you a fortune in water bills, and harm the environment. Added to this is that a dripping faucet may result from a more severe problem. If left unattended, it could cause permanent damage to your pipes, resulting in flooding in your home.

If your faucet is suffering from an annoying leak, a few things may be causing the problem. Fortunately, most of these issues are inexpensive and easy to fix. If you are dealing with a dripping faucet, you must identify the problem quickly and get it fixed. If you can’t solve the problem yourself, call in a plumber Mississauga and fix your issue.

Here are five reasons on what causes a faucet to drip:

Reason #1: Your faucet has a broken washer.

Depending on the type of faucet you have, numerous washers help hold it together. These washers work to keep your tap in place and keep all connections tight and waterproof. Unfortunately, over time they can wear down and become loose. When this occurs, water can seep through, causing your faucet to leak.

Washers can also be installed incorrectly. When this occurs, there isn’t a tight enough seal, and water can leak through right away. If you have just installed a new faucet or have had plumbing work done, this is likely the cause of your problem.

Fortunately, a worn-out washer is an easy fix. You can find these at your local hardware or plumbing supply store. Simply remove the broken washer and replace it with a new one.

Reason #2: The cartridge in your faucet is damaged.

The cartridge in your faucet helps control water flow through the plumbing and out the spout. The inner and outer flow valves help push the water out of your faucet and manage water flow pressure.

Over time, these cartridges can corrode. Sediment and minerals can deposit in them, and they don’t work as well as they once did. Water can easily leak through and drip.

Fixing a damaged faucet is a relatively straightforward procedure. Once your water supply has been turned off, remove your faucet’s handle. Most faucets have a bonnet nut that secures the cartridge in place. Remove this, and then you can easily remove and replace the cartridge.

If your sink has two handles (one for hot water and one for cold), you will likely need to replace the cartridges in each handle.

Reason #3: Your O-ring is worn out.

Replacing the entire faucet can be expensive. In many cases, a worn-out O-ring is the culprit for your leaks. These small gaskets are usually made of a pliable material like plastic. They are often used in plumbing fixtures to create a robust and waterproof seal that withstands pressure. However, after years of usage, o-rings can dry up and crack. Their seal can deteriorate, allowing water to leak through the cracks.

To determine if a worn-out O-ring is causing your leaky faucet, take your taps apart and inspect the rubber rings inside. If they look degraded, replacing them is a quick and inexpensive fix.

Reason #4: The valve seat is leaking.

The valve seat is the mechanism in your tap that connects the faucet to the spout. One of the most common reasons for a valve seat to leak is incorrect installation. When these parts are not connected properly, they can grind together and break down the seal, allowing water to drip through the gaps.

While replacing the valve seat is a relatively easy process, it does require specialized tools. A specialized valve seat wrench will loosen the valve seat and allow you to remove it. Look for damage and water scale build-up. After cleaning up the valve seat, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly and reattach it. This should fix your problem.

Reason #5: There is an issue with your water pressure.

If the water pressure in your household fluctuates, it can cause your taps to drip. This built-up pressure prevents water from flowing away and instead forces it back up your plumbing and through your faucet.
High water pressure can cause serious problems. It places unnecessary strain on your plumbing and eventually leads to damaged pipes.

Your household should have a water pressure regulating valve located by the main water shut-off. Adjust the pressure so that it consistently sits between 40 and 60 PSI. If you are still having issues with water pressure after this adjustment, it’s time to call in a professional plumber to help deal with this problem.