What Else Can Ruin the Romance Like an Obnoxious Dripping Faucet?
Nothing says Valentine’s Day like flowers, chocolate, romantic candlelight dinner, and the “drip, drip, drip” of a leaky faucet. Okay, maybe not that last part. On the contrary, a faucet leak may be one of the most decidedly un-romantic things homeowners can encounter. Beyond just being incredibly annoying, a leaky faucet can cause all sorts of unpleasant problems. So keep reading to learn what causes a faucet to leak, why one shouldn’t ignore it, and how to go about fixing it!
Why a Dripping Faucet Is Bad News
The relentless dripping sound of a leaky tap can seem like a form of torture on its own - but that’s only one of the troubles it can bring. For instance, even one leaky faucet can send hundreds of gallons of water down the drain every month. On top of being wasteful, this can significantly impact the home’s water bill.
Another danger of a faucet leak that often gets overlooked is the potential for mold growth. With all those drops of water landing in the sink basin hour after hour, the sink, drain, and drainage pipes will never get the chance to dry out. This will create a consistently moist environment in which mold can take hold and thrive. Not only can this be unsightly, but some types of mold can even cause respiratory harm.
What Makes Faucets Leak?
There are a few possible reasons a faucet might be leaking. One common cause is a worn, loose, or damaged O-ring, which is a small rubber donut that sits around the circumference of the valve stem. A problem with the O-ring most often causes water to leak from the base of the faucet or its handle(s) rather than the spout.
When water is leaking from the spout itself, it’s typically caused by a worn cartridge or valve (internal devices that control water flow), a worn or corroded washer, or valve seat (components that make up the connection between the valve and the faucet spout), or mineral deposits/corrosion inside the pipes or faucet assembly.
How To Fix a Dripping Faucet
In most cases, homeowners will be able to perform a leaky faucet repair themselves. The specifics will vary depending on the type of faucet - i.e., single-handle or two-handle, cartridge valve or compression valve, etc. - but the basics are essentially the same. Homeowners should start by determining the type of faucet they have.
Before starting any work, homeowners will want to turn off the water to the faucet, using the sink’s shut-off valves (typically located under the sink) or the home’s main water shut-off. Next, one should turn on the faucet to empty any remaining water. Next, each handle will need to be removed to access the valve assembly. This is typically done using a hex/Allen wrench or screwdriver (decorative caps or screw covers may need to be pried off to get to the bolt).
Once the handle is off, homeowners can pull out the valve stem or cartridge (this may involve carefully loosening a stem nut with a wrench) and inspect it, as well as any washers or O-rings, for signs of damage. The next step is simply to replace the damaged component (make sure to get the right part!) and then reassemble the faucet. If the leak persists after this, it likely indicates a deeper problem, in which case it’s probably time to call a professional plumber!
About AM PM Plumbing
The award-winning AM PM Plumbing has been a trusted industry leader since 2010. They offer unbeatable warranties, up-front pricing, membership perks, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Their licensed and background-checked experts are available for 24-hour emergency service, so there’s no one better to call for sink repair in Murrieta, CA!