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Why Is My Faucet Dripping and How to Fix It

A leaking faucet wastes money and precious resources. Most people do not realize that American households waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water yearly due to plumbing leaks. Fixing plumbing issues minimizes this waste. 

However, water damage remains a concern with any plumbing project. Before moving forward with a plumbing repair, consider calling a licensed plumber to handle the faucet replacement or repair. Doing so reduces the risk of damage to the home while ensuring the work complies with all building codes. 

Turning to a professional for help with this task doesn’t mean you should remain uninformed regarding what happens in the home. Every person should know the common causes of a faucet drip and what steps are needed to correct the problem. The following covers the causes of leaky faucets and how they can be fixed.

Damaged Cartridges

Cartridge-style faucets are those faucets with separate handles for hot and cold water. The cartridge or valve on the handle controls the water flow into the faucet. When this cartridge sustains damage, you need to see about fixing a leaky faucet. If replacing the cartridge does not resolve the problem, you may have a broken washer. 

A Broken Washer

A faucet contains washers designed to prevent leaks. Over time, these washers wear out. This problem quickly becomes apparent, as does the need for a faucet repair.  An improperly sized washer or one that is not installed properly will also lead to the faucet leaking. To prevent issues, replace all inner parts of a faucet when making the repair. Doing so helps ensure a good seal.

A Leaky Spout

If the spout is the source of the faucet dripping, the valve seat is probably the culprit. The valve seat connects the faucet and spout. When sediment builds up at this connection, the valve seat corrodes, and the faucet leaks. 

Water Pressure Concerns

Water pressure issues can cause a faucet leak by putting excessive strain on the faucet’s components. When the water pressure is too high, it can cause the internal parts of the faucet to wear out quickly and cause leaks. Conversely, if the water pressure is too low, it can lead to sediment buildup in the faucet and cause it to leak. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the water pressure in your home is within the recommended range to prevent faucet leaks and other plumbing problems.

O-Ring Issues

The faucet of a sink contains an O-ring. This small disc attaches to the stem screw to position the handle. When this O-ring disintegrates or loosens, call for a repair. The repair will stop the faucet from dripping. 

Steps to Fixing a Leaky Faucet

In some cases, a homeowner may complete a faucet repair without calling for a plumber. However, if there is any doubt regarding the leaky faucet repair, leave this work to a licensed professional. Water damage is costly to correct.

Turn the Water Supply Off

Always turn the water supply off before starting a leaky faucet repair. If the fixture lacks a shutoff valve, turn off the main water supply. This step helps prevent water damage to the home. 

Disassemble the Handles

Determine how to remove the faucet handles. Standard fixtures typically require using a flathead screwdriver to remove the handle caps. The caps hide the handle screws that must be removed to disassemble the handles.

Remove the Valve Stem

Compression faucets come with a brass valve stem. Remove the valve stem by unscrewing it. Cartridge faucets, in contrast, come out when pulled. 

Find the Damage and Replace the Parts

Examine all components to see which part is failing. Replace damaged parts. When buying the pieces, take the old parts to the store to match them with the new ones. 

Clean the Valves

Valves often fail because of mineral buildup. Clean the valve body using vinegar. Allow the valve body to soak in this vinegar to remove the minerals and leave the pieces bright and shiny. 

Assemble the Faucet

Install the new parts. Turn the water supply on. Watch the faucet for leaks. 

Leave Faucet Repair and Installation Up to the Pros

If you need help with a dripping faucet, our team at Milestone can help. Our licensed plumbers will handle faucet repairs or replace an existing faucet if you prefer. Our team members undergo extensive training to ensure they can handle any plumbing project in the home. We have been serving residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 2004 and have earned an excellent reputation for providing great service.

We cannot wait to help you resolve your plumbing issues. Call us today at (214) 267-2405 or (817) 267-2405 to set up an appointment. You can also contact us online.