A leaky faucet can waste more than $100 worth of water if it is not fixed in time. This amount is just for a faucet with a minor leak. A bigger faucet with a more serious leak can waste more than 30 gallons of water in one day. This makes it more likely to empty your bank account if you are not careful. To ensure that you do not waste this valuable resource, along with your hard-earned money, we have put together a list of some causes of a leaky faucet and how you can fix them.
Causes Of A Leaky Faucet
Here are some of the main causes of a leaky faucet that you may not even have considered:
1. Damaged Cartridge
Do you have a faucet with two handles? One for cold water and the other for hot? This means that you have installed a cartridge-style faucet at home. Each handle has a cartridge that ensures that the perfect amount of water flows into the faucet spout. If you find that your faucet is dripping some water, there may be damage to the cartridge.
2. Broken Washers
Broken washers may be a sign of leaky faucets. Washers lie against the seat of the valve, making them vulnerable to friction. With constant use, friction causes wear and tear of the washers. Eventually, this leads to leaking. Moreover, if you have purchased a walker of an incorrect size or the plumber has made a mistake while installing it, a leaky faucet may occur.
3. Water Pressure
If you find that the faucet located in your bathroom only leaks water at random times of the day or if the handles of the faucet move in a different way, you may be dealing with some water pressure issues. It could be possible that the water pressure in your house is responsible for the faucet leaks you have been noticing.
4. Defective O-Ring
You can find the O-ring in the faucet of your sink. The O-ring is a tiny disk you will find attached to the stem screw. The main aim of this ring is to ensure that the faucet’s handle stays put and does not move around. Just like washing machines, O-rings eventually get loose or get worn out with the passage of time. If one of the handles of your faucet is leaking, it could be because of a malfunctioning O-ring.
5. Worn Out Valve Seat
Is the faucet in your bathroom leaking from the sprout? If yes, this could be because of a valve seat that has deteriorated with time. The faucet is connected to the sprout with the help of a valve seat. Over time, sediment found in the water can build up and start corroding the seat. This can lead to a leak in the faucet.
How To Fix A Leaky Faucet
Here is how to fix a leaky faucet at home:
1. Turn Off The Water Supply
One of the first things you need to do when dealing with a leaky faucet is turn the water supply off. If you do not deactivate the water supply to the sink, the entire bathroom could get flooded with water. The water could also find its way into your bedroom and damage the flooring and furniture.
In order to turn off the water supply, search for fixture valves underneath the sink. Once you find them, turn the handles clockwise to turn off the water. If you have faucets without shutoff valves, you will have to shut off the water supply for the entire house until you finish your work. Before you begin work, turn the faucet on and check to see if the water is off. If no water flows, you have succeeded.
2. Disassemble The Handles Of The Faucet
Depending on the kind of fixture you have installed, you will have to disassemble the handles of the leaky faucet in your bathroom. Usually, the caps on standard fixtures can be removed using a flathead screwdriver. This will help reveal the screws. All you have to do is unscrew these so that the handles can be pulled off.
3. Detach The Valve Stem
Once you manage to remove the faucet handle, the inner valve stem or cartridge will be exposed. You will need to detach this for the time being so that you can fix the leaky faucet. Compression faucets come with a brass valve system that you will need to unscrew. On the other hand, you can pull a cartridge faucet out. In case you do not understand what to do, read the manual of your faucet or look up the company and find some online instructions.
4. Look At Parts Of The Sink
Once all the parts of the faucet have been safely removed, you must inspect them carefully. Figure out what needs to be replaced and fixed in order to stop the faucet from leaking. Make sure to look at the seals, O-rings, and rubber washers as well.
5. Get New Parts
If you find that parts of the faucet are worn out or damaged, you must replace them. Take a quick trip to a hardware store in your neighborhood and get the parts you need for your faucet. To avoid confusion, you can take the old parts to the hardware store and ask the manager to replace them for duplicates. This way, you can be sure that you are not making any mistakes.
6. Clean The Valves
When you remove the stem or cartridge, make sure to look closely at the valve body. It may show signs of mineral buildup. Don’t worry; this is completely common. However, it needs to be cleaned. To sanitize the valves, start by pouring white vinegar on the valve seat. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it away. While you are at it, scrub other parts of the sink, too, so that they can look shiny and smooth.
7. Put Back The Faucet
Once you have replaced all the old parts and cleaned the rest of the sink, it is time to reassemble the faucet. As soon as you are done, turn the water supply back on and ensure that the leaky faucets have been fixed.