by Tropical Plumbing Heating & Air | Apr 2, 2020

In any home structure, faucets are an indispensable part of the overall system. If you have a leaky faucet, you could be looking at wasting more than a hundred gallons of water each month. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of wastage caused by leaks could be sufficient to fill up a swimming pool during a single year.

Now, there are several common causes of a leaky faucet. These include corrosion, the build-up of mineral deposits on the internal parts, as well as defective O-rings, gaskets, or washers. With the right tools and the basic knowledge of plumbing, you can fix most of these leaks yourself. Otherwise, you can get a professional to handle it at an affordable price.

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to deal with this issue as soon as possible. Ignoring a dripping faucet could turn a simple repair job into a $1,000 plumbing replacement project. Plus, fixing a leaky faucet alone can save up to 10% of your water bill. Here are the 4 main reasons why your faucet may be leaking and what you can do about it.

1. Wear and Tear

Every time you use your faucet, the rubber washer is pressured against the valve seat. Over time, the constant friction will cause the washer to wear out, at which point you’ll start noticing some dripping around the spout. These types of leaks are common in compression faucets. The solution is simple: replace the worn-out washer with a new one.

2. Improper Washer Installation

On a related note, you’ll want to make sure that your washer is installed properly. If that’s not the case — or if the washer is simply the wrong size — your faucet will keep leaking. If you’re struggling with this task, consider hiring a plumber to do it for you.

3. Corroded Valve Seat

A valve seat connects the spout in the compression mechanism and the faucet itself. Due to the accumulation of water sediments, valve seats are prone to corrosion. In most cases, this will result in leakage around the spout area. To avoid these issues, clean your valve seat regularly.

4. O-Ring Issues

Most faucets have a stem screw that holds the handle in place. The screw includes a small disc known as the O-ring. If the O-ring becomes loose or starts to wear out, your faucet will start leaking near the handle. This issue occurs with cartridge faucets. Replacing the damaged O-ring should fix the problem.