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Why is My Faucet Dripping Water?

Over time, the plumbing system in your Weatherford, TX, home will develop plumbing problems occasionally. However, the most common plumbing issue you will likely face is a leaky faucet. It’s also a plumbing problem many homeowners tend to ignore. The trouble is that even a tiny drip from a single faucet in your home can become a massive waste of water and money. The average amount of water wasted from a drip is roughly 72,000 gallons, enough to fill more than four backyard-sized pools. That’s why it’s a good idea to identify the cause of your leaky faucet and address it right away. To help you do that, here are five reasons a faucet in your home might be dripping water.

1. A Damaged Cartridge

If you have a faucet with hot and cold handles that drip water, it may be caused by a damaged cartridge. Each handle has a valve controlling the water flow to the faucet in such faucets. This allows you to mix the water and find the right temperature. The upper part of those valves is referred to as cartridges since they’re self-contained and removable. If one of your faucet’s cartridges cracks or wears out, it might allow water to pass through it even when you turn it off. Single-handle faucets may also depend on a cartridge. However, those faucets use a mixing-style cartridge. The cartridge allows a precise amount of hot and cold water to enter the faucet simultaneously to regulate temperature. Those cartridges are also prone to failures, leading to a dripping faucet. If you believe you have a damaged cartridge, you only have two options to fix it: locate a compatible replacement cartridge and install it or replace the entire faucet. Lightfoot Mechanical can help you with cartridge problems because we can access a wide selection of replacement parts. In some cases, we even have hard-to-find cartridges for older faucets. And, when all else fails, we can help you by installing a new faucet.

2. Failing O-Rings or Washers

No matter what kind of faucet you have, there’s a good chance it has rubber o-rings or washers somewhere inside it. That is how faucets remain watertight in spots where different metallic parts meet. Naturally, when those critical components fail, they may allow water to drip from your faucet. Fortunately, failing o-rings or washers are typically easy to fix. They’re removable, and as long as you have the right tools and an exact-fit replacement, it’s not hard to swap them out. However, you don’t want to choose the wrong replacement part. Otherwise, you could turn a small drip into a serious, persistent leak. So, if you believe your faucet needs a new o-ring or washer, you should consider calling us to have it replaced.

3. A Corroded Valve Seat

Another common reason for a dripping faucet is a corroded valve seat. The valve seat sits at the bottom of your faucet’s handles. It’s part of the mechanism that rotates when you open or close the hot and cold water supplies. Over time, sediment in your water can build up in the valve seat, preventing it from sealing correctly. When that happens, water will continue past the valve seat and leak out of your faucet. The same can happen if the water corrodes the metal in and around the valve seat. A simple cleaning can often resolve a leak from a valve seat. When that’s insufficient, replacing the valve seat is always an option. Doing this requires a specific set of tools and isn’t something the average homeowner should try themselves. Plus, like replacing an o-ring or washer, you must use an exact-match replacement part. Otherwise, your faucet will continue dripping, and you’ll be stuck with a valve seat you can’t use.

4. Loose Parts

Believe it or not, many dripping faucets don’t have anything from with them. Sometimes, simple wear and tear causes parts of a faucet to loosen, leading to dripping water. For example, a loose packing nut inside your faucet’s handles can cause a persistent drip. The same thing goes for loose valve stems. In those cases, tightening the offending part should stop the dripping. The real problem is figuring out what part to tighten. The simplest way to figure this out is to turn off your water supply and remove your faucet’s handles. Often, you’ll see moisture around a loose part. That can make it pretty obvious which part you’ll need to tighten. However, you can use a wrench to see if the packing nut is appropriately tightened. Without using too much force, try turning the packing nut a quarter-turn to the right. If it moves easily, it is likely the culprit. Either way, try reassembling the handle and see if the drip continues when you turn the water back on. Sometimes, a slight tightening is all it takes. If the valve stem is too loose, you’d need to tread more carefully. Overtightening a valve stem can damage your faucet. So, if tightening the packing nut didn’t do the trick, you should call one of our plumbers. They’ll know how to check your faucet for loose parts and solve the problem without damaging your fixture.

5. High Water Pressure

Finally, faucets in your home may start dripping if their incoming water pressure is too high. If you notice more than one faucet dripping, this is likely the problem. The same is true if parts like o-rings and washers constantly wear out in your faucets. Excess water pressure puts pressure on the internal components of your faucets and leads them to premature failure. The good news is that reducing your home’s water pressure will fix your dripping faucet problems. If you suspect your Weatherford home’s water pressure is too high, Lightfoot Mechanical can help. Our plumbers will check your home’s water pressure and, if necessary, install a pressure regulator. A pressure regulator is a spring-loaded valve that automatically closes off in response to excess water pressure. It is installed on your home’s main water supply line. Once there, a pressure regulator ensures that your home’s water fixtures always receive water pressure within their safe operating ranges.

Your Trusted Local Plumber Quick action is necessary when dealing with a dripping faucet in your Weatherford home. The longer you allow a faucet to drip, the more water it will waste, and the more damage to the faucet itself might occur. The expert plumbers at Lightfoot Mechanical can help you fix your dripping faucet and manage your home’s other plumbing needs. Plus, we offer comprehensive HVAC installation, repair, maintenance, and complete electrical services. We’re a member of the Inc. 5000 and are Better Business Bureau accredited with an A+ rating. We’ve served residents for over 41 years and have many five-star reviews from satisfied customers. So, if you need help with a dripping faucet in Weatherford, call our experts at Lightfoot Mechanical immediately!

Meet the Author
Gary Lightfoot

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Gary Lightfoot took over his family business and continues to run it with the values and standards set 35 years ago

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