One of the most irritating things you can deal with in the home is a leaky faucet when you are trying to sleep. It seems it is echoing for miles. Research has indicated you could waste up to 27,000 gallons annually of water if the faucet drips at the rate of one drop per second. Leaky pipes have been deemed with 60% of that waste. However, several culprits could be to blame. Here are a few of the demons causing the problem.
Leaky Cause 1: Pipes Have a Leak
Even though this rarely happens, the pipes or the fittings may be damaged. If you have experienced extremely cold weather, the pipes could freeze and crack. If this happens, the pipe will leak under the sink and disrupt the water pressure causing the faucet to drip. If you have checked under the sink and saw nothing, it could take a plumber with tools to diagnose the problem.
Leaky Cause 2: Loose Faucet Parts
It is important first to check for any loose parts in the handle before you search any further. You might be able to tighten the handle with the adjusting ring and packing nuts. If they are worn, it is probably a good sign they need replacement parts.
Leaky Cause 3: Damaged O-Rings
There are three types of faucets that have O-rings: ceramic, compression, and ball/cartridge designs. Two handles are on the compression faucet, and the others have one. You will have to strip down the faucet and turn off the water supply. You will have to take the faucet apart to check the o-rings, so it's a good idea to go ahead and replace them to extend their life since you already opened the faucet up. Simply replace it with a new one. Just be sure you have a snug fit when you put it all back together.
Leaky Cause 4: Worn Out or Improper Installation of the Washer
The washer is at the bottom of the faucet assembly and is held in position by a screw. It is important to replace the washer with the same type, so it fits the same. During the process of removal, use caution so you don't strip the screw. When you replace the washer, also be careful not to over-tighten the screw and damage the washer because it won't fix the leak.
Leaky Cause 5: The Faucet Valve Seat Needs Replacement
If the threads on the stem are in good condition as well as the washer and o-rings, you probably need to replace the faucet valve seat. It is usually attached with a hexagonal hole in the center of the faucet.
These problems are some of the ways your faucet may have after normal wear and tear. If you have a few specific plumbing tools and a bit of extra time to diagnose the problem, you can save some money. If you believe the task might be more than you understand, it might be time to call a professional plumber for the chore. For more information, you could check here.