What Causes a Leaky Faucet?

Written on: February 19, 2024

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plumbing services Clinton, ME The incessant dripping of a leaky faucet can be more than just an annoyance; it’s likely the symptom of a larger issue. For homeowners, understanding the root cause of faucet leaks is crucial to prevent the escalation of what may seem like a minor problem into a full-blown, costly repair.

AFC is here to help with all your plumbing needs for your Central Maine home with our professional plumbing services. Our team of licensed, insured, and skilled plumbers can handle fixing your leaky faucet along with other projects.

Common reasons your faucet is leaking

Several issues can lead to a faucet’s drippy demise. Familiarizing yourself with these can help you nip problems in the bud.

Worn-out washers and seals: Rubber washers form a water-tight seal preventing water from pushing its way through when the tap is closed. Over time, these washers can wear out or stiffen, causing small leaks. Replacing worn-out washers is often the first step in troubleshooting a leak.

Corroded or damaged valve seats: A valve seat connects the faucet and the spout in the compression mechanism. Corrosion due to accumulated water sediments can eat away at the valve seat, allowing water to leak out around the spout area.

Loose or damaged o-rings: An o-ring is a small disc attached to the stem screw that holds the faucet handle in place. When this part loosens or deteriorates, it can lead to dripping near the handle.

High water pressure: Sometimes, the water pressure is too high for the system to handle. This is often the culprit when leaks occur at certain times of day or during certain uses.

Improper installation: If a faucet isn’t installed correctly, or if it’s the wrong type of faucet for the sink, it can cause leaking. This might be due to a mismatch in size or a failure to properly seal connections during installation.

Address your leaking faucet before it causes big problems

Ignoring a leaky faucet can lead to unwelcome surprises on your water bill and cause unnecessary water waste. A single drip per second can amount to gallons of water wasted each day, unnecessarily increasing your environmental footprint. Equally worrisome, unchecked leaks create ideal conditions for moisture build-up—a precursor to water damage and mold growth.

How to prevent faucet leaks

Keep your plumbing in check with these preventive measures.

Regular inspection and maintenance: A smart preventive habit is to inspect your faucets regularly for signs of wear and tear. Listen for leaks, look for rust or water puddles, and feel for dampness around sinks and countertops.

Proper installation and use of quality materials: Ensure that installations are done correctly—ideally by the AFC plumbers—and that high-quality materials designed to withstand the test of time are used.

Addressing leaks promptly: When spotting a leak, take immediate action. If you aren’t familiar with doing plumbing projects yourself, don’t hesitate to contact AFC for a service call.

Monitoring water pressure: Keep an eye on your water pressure—it shouldn’t be too high. If needed, contact AFC to install a pressure regulator.

With expert plumbing services from the licensed, insured plumbers at AFC, you can be sure that your home’s plumbing is in good hands! Contact us to request service.