Fully-functional faucets are essential to the integrity of your home, so it’s important to keep them in prime working condition. A constant drip not only annoys but contributes to waste and high water bills, so ignoring a leaky faucet is not an option. Fortunately, there are several reasons a faucet might leak and not all require professional repairs.
A Loose or Worn O Ring
The stem screw–with a small disc known as the O ring attached to it–holds the faucet handle in place. This area is highly susceptible to a leak, as the O ring can loosen with regular use and wear. When this happens, you will see a leak near the handle of the faucet.
A Corroded Valve Seat
The valve seat (found in the compression mechanism) connects the faucet to the spout. Over time, elements in the water can build up and corrode this component, inciting a leak. If you take the time to clean the valve seat regularly, this issue can be avoided.
Faulty Washer Installation
As a vital component of the faucet, a washer must be measured and installed correctly. If mistakes were made during installation or the wrong size washer was used, the faucet could leak.
An Old Washer
If the washer is aged or worn, the faucet won’t function properly. In fact, a worn-out washer is the most common reason for a leaky faucet. Washer wear happens because it’s forced against the valve seat when in use, and this causes the friction that leads to breaking down. When the washer ages beyond workability, you will notice a leak right around the spout. Lucky, this problem can be remedied with washer replacement.
High Water Pressure
If a leak happens only during a certain time of day, it could be that the water pressure is too high. Although healthy water pressure prevents water from flowing away from specific points, it also heightens the chance of a backup and leak. This dripping is less noticeable, but if not dealt with can lead to further problems.
A less common cause of leakage is a broken fitting or pipe that develops cracks, leaking into the area below the sink. If you notice the space under the sink feels damp or wet, you should consider having a professional take a look and repair any broken pipes.