A faucet that won’t stop dripping is not only annoying to listen to, but it can also lead to a higher water bill and wasted water. In fact, a faucet that leaks at the rate of one drop per second would waste 3,000 gallons of water per year according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Fixing a dripping faucet is a job that some homeowners can do on their own if they have the proper tools. Alternatively, an experienced plumber can generally make the needed faucet repair quickly and easily.
What Causes a Dripping Faucet?
A dripping faucet is a faucet that leaks water even when it is turned off. The most common cause of a dripping faucet is a worn-out washer or O-ring. These faucet components are small rubber or plastic rings that help to seal the faucet and prevent leaks. Over time, they can wear out and become damaged, which can lead to leaks.
There are other reasons for a dripping faucet, including a crack in the stem or an issue with the packing nut.
Why Is It Important to Fix a Dripping Faucet?
There are several reasons why it’s important to fix a dripping faucet.
- It can waste a lot of water. A leaky faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day. That can add up to a significant amount of water over time, which can also increase your water bill.
- A dripping faucet can lead to water damage. If the water leaks onto the floor or countertop, it can cause damage to the flooring, cabinets, and other surfaces. It can also create a mold problem.
- A dripping faucet can be a nuisance. The constant sound of dripping water can be annoying and distracting.
- It can also be a health hazard, as it can spread bacteria.
How to Identify the Cause of a Dripping Faucet
The first step to fixing a dripping faucet is to identify the cause of the leak. There are a few different things that can cause a faucet to drip, so it is important to narrow down the possibilities.
Here are a few questions to ask when doing faucet troubleshooting:
- Is the water leaking from the spout? If so, the problem is likely with the washers or O-rings.
- Is the water leaking from the base of the faucet? If so, the problem may be with the packing nut.
- Is the water leaking from behind the handle? If so, the problem may be with the cartridge or stem.
How to Fix a Dripping Faucet
Once you have identified the cause of the leak, you can start working on fixing it. Please note that, when you are buying replacement parts for your faucet, it’s important that you make sure to get the right parts for your specific faucet model, since each one is different.
If you elect to attempt to repair the dripping faucet, here are the steps.
Step 1: Turn off the Water Supply
Before you start any plumbing repair job, always turn off the water supply to the fixture you’re working on. Most homes have a shut-off valve under the sink, but if you can’t find it, turn off the main water supply. Once the water is turned off, turn on the faucet to release any residual water in the pipes.
Step 2: Disassemble the Faucet
Once the water is turned off, it’s time to take apart the faucet. Depending on the type of faucet you have, you may need to remove the handle, cap, or other parts to access the cartridge or valve inside. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions or look up your faucet model online to see how to disassemble it.
Step 3: Examine the Cartridge or Valve
Once you’ve exposed the cartridge or valve, inspect it for damage or wear. If it’s worn down or damaged, you’ll need to replace it. Take note of the make and model of your cartridge or valve, and either bring it to a hardware store to find a replacement or order it online.
Step 4: Replace the Cartridge or Valve
To replace the cartridge or valve, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or use a repair kit that comes with the replacement parts and any necessary tools. You’ll need to remove the old cartridge or valve and replace it with the new one, then reassemble the faucet.
Step 5: Test the Faucet
Once you’ve reassembled the faucet, turn the water supply back on and test the faucet to make sure it’s working properly and there are no leaks. If there are still leaks, try tightening the fixture, replacing any other worn-out parts, or consulting a professional plumber.
Once your faucet is fixed, it’s important to take a few steps to keep it in good condition. Here are some tips for regular faucet maintenance:
- Inspect the faucet regularly for signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn-out parts as soon as they become visible.
- Make sure all connections are tightened properly and there aren’t any drips or leaks.
- Clean the faucet and surrounding area regularly to prevent dirt buildup.
- If you notice any changes in your water pressure or strange sounds coming from the faucet, call a plumbing company immediately.
- It is a good idea to have a few spare washers and O-rings on hand in case you need to replace them in the future.
Stronghold Plumbing In & Near Lakeland
When you need plumbers in and near Lakeland for faucet maintenance or other plumbing service, don’t just search online for plumbers near me. Contact the Florida plumbing company trusted by your friends and neighbors – Stronghold Plumbing.
We offer a variety of plumbing services, including faucet repair and replacement, drain cleaning, water heater installation, and more.
What is the difference between a compression faucet and a cartridge faucet?
Compression faucets are the older type of faucet. They have a washer that is compressed against the stem to create a seal. Cartridge faucets are the newer type of faucet. They have a cartridge that contains all of the moving parts. This makes them more durable and easier to repair.
What are the signs that a faucet needs to be replaced?
In addition to dripping, there are a few other signs that a faucet may need to be replaced. These include:
– The faucet is difficult to turn on or off.
– The faucet leaks even when it is turned off.
– The faucet is making strange noises.
– The faucet is discolored or damaged.
How much does it cost to fix a dripping faucet?
The cost of fixing a dripping faucet will vary depending on the type of faucet and the extent of the damage. In general, it is a relatively inexpensive fix. However, if the faucet needs to be replaced, the cost will be higher.
How long does it take to fix a dripping faucet?
The amount of time it takes to fix a dripping faucet will also vary depending on the type of faucet and the extent of the damage. In general, it is a quick and easy fix. However, if the faucet needs to be replaced, the process may take a bit longer.
What are some common mistakes people make when fixing a dripping faucet?
Here are a few common mistakes people make when fixing a dripping faucet:
– Not turning off the water supply to the faucet before starting work.
– Not using the right tools for the job.
– Damaging the faucet during the repair process.
– Not replacing all of the necessary parts.