Have you ever considered how much water is wasted due to a dripping faucet or faucets? According to a report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, about 10,000 gallons of water is lost due to a leaking or dripping faucet in a single home each year. This water loss can make up about 10% or more of the water bill. To prevent water waste it is recommended you maintain your home’s faucets. There are a number of factors that can cause faucets to drip or leak. In some cases, faucets can be repaired and in other cases it may be better to replace the faucet altogether. Randall’s Plumbing will share why faucets can leak or drip.
O Ring Faucet Failure
The O ring or also called the stem screw, is the part of a faucet that is designed to hold the fixture in place. Over time the O ring will become corroded, it will break, or will become loose which allows small amounts of water to leak. Often the O ring can be replaced. However if the entire faucet is corroded, often it is better to replace the fixture.
Corroded Faucet Valve Seat
The valve seat is the component that connects the faucet to the waterspout. The valve seat helps control the flow of water as it exits the spout. At this connection point it is common for the valve seat to corrode and develop hard water sediments. To prevent water from leaking at the valve seat connection point, often the valve seat washer needs to be replaced. The faucet will often need to be dissembled to reach the valve seat. Therefore in most cases, the faucet is replaced.
Worn Faucet Washers
There are a few rubber washers that are used throughout the faucet to prevent water from leaking. When the faucet is turned on, the water will put pressure on all of the rubber washers which eventually cause the washers to wear down. The washers must be put in place correctly to prevent dripping. Additionally, it can be hard to know where and what is causing the leak and often the wrong washer is replaced. It is recommended to seek help from a professional plumbing service to repair and replace washers to ensure the washers are installed properly.
Loose Faucet Parts
As the faucets are used over and over again, the water puts pressure on the entire faucet which results in various components becoming loose. When a faucet’s part becomes loose, often water will leak and drip. In most cases you will see water dripping from the handles and spout. Common components that become loose are screws, washers, nuts, and seals.
Broken Faucet Plumbing Parts
Places with hard water can cause severe corrosion that can completely dissolve various parts that are within the faucet. As components dissolve it can become difficult to repair the faucet. It is recommended when hard water dissolves components it is time to replace the fixture versus attempting to repair it.