Local Plumbers Blog

By Cassandra Gillespie 18 Oct, 2017

A leaking, or dripping, faucet may be one of the most annoying sounds in your house. The good news is that can typically be an easy fix, hopefully one that can be taken care of before you lose your mind!

A leaking faucet that is handled as soon as the leak is discovered can be a quick and easy repair. But if a leak is ignored it could potentially lead to further plumbing problems, resulting in a more costly repair. Not only is it harmful for the environment to waste water when you ignore a leaky faucet, it is also harmful for your wallet in the unused and wasted water you would be paying for.

The internal parts of a faucet can become corroded or covered with mineral deposits. Faucets contain gaskets, o-rings, and washers that can become defective and fail, causing a faucet leak.

Most times, a faucet repair is something that most homeowners can handle themselves. But, if you don’t have the time, knowledge and skills, or the tools necessary for a faucet repair the experienced local plumbers at Val Gross Blue Mills Plumbing are quick and courteous and ready to tackle any plumbing issues or leaky faucets you might have.

First we need to briefly discuss the different types of faucets:

  • A compression faucet utilizes rubber seals and washers that stop the water flow when the faucet is tightened when water is turned off. 
  • A ball faucet has a single handle that moves a slotted ball that controls both water temperature with the combination of hot and cold water and water pressure by lifting the ball to allow the water to pass through. 
  • A cartridge faucet contains a hollow metal cartridge that seals the faucet when it is off and controls both water flow and temperature.
  • A ceramic disc faucet is the latest in faucet technology and controls water flow through two fire-hardened ceramic discs. One disc is stationary and the other moves to allow water flow.

Now that we have a basic understanding of how the different faucets work, let’s talk about how to fix a leaky faucet!


Worn Out Or Incorrect Washer

This is one of the most common causes for a leaky faucet. Due to how common it is, it would be wise to start here when you are looking to repair a leaking faucet. Each time a compression faucet is used a rubber washer is pushed against the valve seat. This puts constant pressure and friction on the washer, which causes the washer to wear out. Replacing this rubber washer with a new one can be a quick and easy solution to your dripping faucet.

In addition to a worn out washer, you may find that the washer has been installed incorrectly or the wrong size or type of washer was used. Call Val Gross Blue Mills Plumbing today to ensure you have the correct washer size and that it is installed correctly!

Worn Out O-Ring

A faucet cartridge contains a screw that holds the handle of the faucet in place. This is a stem screw and it is made with a small disc attached to it. This small disc is the o-ring. The o-ring can become loose or wear out simply from regular usage. When the o-ring is compromised it causes the faucet to leak near the handle.

Corroded Valve Seat

In compression faucets the valve seat is located between the faucet and the spout. Water sediments can accumulate and cause corrosion to the valve seat, which would lead to the sprout area leaking. By cleaning the valve seat regularly you can remove the water sediments and prevent corrosion.

Tighten Up Your Faucet Parts

Over time as your faucet is used there are internal faucet parts that could loosen. The adjusting ring and packing nuts in the stem screw could become loose. Any loose parts could cause leaking near the handle of the faucet. You may be able to tighten the packing nut, or it may need to be replaced completely.

Worn Out Seals

Disc faucets have both inlet and outlet seals. As your faucet is used day after day, sediment naturally accumulates inside the assembly, which causes these seals to wear out. By cleaning out the sediments regularly you can prevent the seals from wearing out. If the seals are worn out you will have to replace them. Val Gross Blue Mills Plumbing can clean out this sediment and maybe prevent you from needing to replace the seals on your faucet.


Broken Plumbing

While it isn’t common, a leaking faucet could be the result of a broken pipe or fittings. A broken pipe interferes with proper water pressure, which can lead to a dripping faucet. If you have tried the above tips and the issue is still unresolved it is then time to call in the plumbing professionals.

Call Val Gross Blue Mills Plumbing today to schedule a visit to stop your leaky faucets!

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