A dripping faucet is an annoying reminder that you are literally pouring money down the drain. Fortunately, the cause of most faucet leaks are easy to identify and simple to repair. The following are some of the most common reasons why a faucet could be leaking.
O-rings are a common issue in cartridge faucets -- those faucets with a single lever that controls both hot and cold water. The o-ring forms the seal at the base of the lever handle so that water doesn't leak out when the tap is open. If you have a cartridge faucet that is leaking from the base of the handle, chances are high that all you need is a new o-ring to fix the problem.
2. Valve Seat
The valve seat is the metal part that connects the faucet body to the spout. Occasionally the valve seat can rust and corrode, which will lead to a leak at the valve seat juncture. This is especially common if you have hard water, as trapped sediment at the valve seat leads to the corrosion. You can replace the valve seat or the entire faucet to fix the problem.
3. Water Pressure
A faucet that only drips occasionally may be due to water pressure issues in your home. This is especially true if more than one faucet is affected. Your water lines are equipped with a pressure regulator that is designed to provide consistent water pressure as the water enters your home. If the regulator begins to fail, you may have alternating periods of high and low pressure. Replacing the regulator fixes the problem.
Inside the spout is a washer that sits between the spout and the valve seat. This washer can become worn over time, which will then allow water to leak out of the juncture. If the valve seat isn't corroded, the problem is probably the washer. Fortunately, this is a really simple fix because all you need to do is twist apart the faucet at the valve seat and replace the washer.
Cartridge faucets have a unique problem in that the actual cartridge in the handle can fail. Although you can simply have the cartridge replaced with a new one, it often only costs a small amount more to replace the faucet with a newer model.
If your faucet is leaking, contact a plumber immediately. They can either repair the faucet or repair it with a newer, leak-free model.
To learn more, contact a resource like Tonka Plumbing Heating & Cooling Inc.