Indiana: 812-200-0978 Cincinnati: 513-216-0862 Kentucky: 859-429-9169

Why Is My Faucet Dripping? How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

There’s something unsettling about the sound of a dripping faucet. It’s a subtle reminder of a problem in your home that’s not only annoying but potentially wasteful and costly over time.

Understanding why your faucet is dripping and knowing how to address it can save you from frustration and additional expenses down the line. In this blog, we’ll review the common reasons behind these troublesome drips and provide step-by-step tips on how to fix a leaky faucet.

Why Is Your Faucet Dripping?

At the heart of every dripping faucet is a failure in some component of the fixture. This failure can stem from several sources, each affecting the faucet in different ways.

Worn Out Washer

One of the most likely reasons why your faucet is dripping is a worn-out washer. Each time the faucet is used, the washer is pressed against the valve seat, and this constant friction and resistance cause it to wear out. As a result, dripping water from the faucet spout becomes inevitable.

Problematic O-Ring

A significant indicator of why your faucet is dripping could be an issue with the O-ring. This small disc attached to the stem screw that holds your faucet handle in place can become loose or wear out over time, leading to a leak near the handle.

Corroded Valve Seat

The valve seat serves as a connection between the faucet and the spout in the compression mechanism. Water sediments can accumulate over time, causing the valve seat to corrode. This corrosion can lead to leakage around the spout area, which may explain why your faucet is dripping.

Improper Installation of Faucet Parts

Sometimes, the answer to why your faucet is dripping lies in the initial installation. Incorrectly installed faucet parts can lead to leaks. This is often the case with cartridge faucets, where a misalignment or improper fitting can cause dripping.

Understanding the Types of Faucets

Knowing the type of faucet you have can be crucial in diagnosing and fixing the issue. Here are the types you might encounter:

  • Compression Faucets: These faucets control the flow of water with a compressible washer. They are more prone to dripping because of the wear on the washer.
  • Cartridge Faucets: These faucets utilize a cartridge to control water flow and are less likely to drip; however, they can do so if the cartridge wears out or is damaged.
  • Ball Faucets: These use a ball bearing to control the flow and temperature of water. Leaks often stem from worn O-rings or ball bearings.
  • Disc Faucets: Although they’re known for their durability, disc faucets can still leak if their inlet and outlet seals are worn or if sediment has built up in the faucet.

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Even though the faint drip-drip of a leaking faucet may go unnoticed, it can unleash chaos on the plumbing in your kitchen or bathroom. By addressing faucet leaks, you can avoid wasting water and protect both your plumbing and your wallet. Let’s explore the steps to fix a leaking faucet, ensuring the longevity of your kitchen or bathroom fixtures.

Tighten the Packing Nut

Before heading off to the local hardware store, try tightening the packing nut right beneath the faucet handle. Sometimes, a loose packing nut can cause dripping, and a simple tightening with a wrench might just be the fix you need.

Replace the Washer

To fix a leaky faucet, especially if it’s a compression faucet, replacing the worn-out washer can often solve the problem. Shut off the water supply, disassemble the faucet, and replace the washer with a new one from your hardware store.

Inspect and Replace O-Rings

A crucial step in how to fix a leaky faucet involves checking the O-rings. If they’re the source of the leak, carefully remove the old O-ring and replace it with a new one. Make sure it fits snugly and is of the correct size for your faucet.

Clean or Replace the Valve Seat

If you’ve identified the valve seat as the problem, you might need to either clean it to remove sediment buildup or replace it if it’s too corroded. For this, a valve seat wrench will be your tool of choice.

When Are Professional Services Necessary?

While many faucet leaks can be fixed with a bit of DIY spirit, some problems might require the expertise of a professional plumber. If the leak persists after you’ve tried your hand at fixing it, or if the cause of the leak is not clear, it might be time to call an expert.

For residents in Cincinnati and surrounding areas, Arlinghaus Plumbing offers top-notch plumbing solutions, including drain services. Our team of skilled professionals knows how to fix a leaky faucet and is equipped to handle any plumbing issue you’re facing. You can trust us to keep your faucets and plumbing system in perfect working order.

Schedule Services With the Plumbing Experts at Arlinghaus!

Don’t let a dripping faucet disrupt your peace or drain your wallet. Whether it’s a simple washer replacement or a more complex plumbing issue, the expert team at Arlinghaus is here to help. With a commitment to quality service and customer satisfaction, we’re the go-to experts for all your plumbing needs.

Remember, addressing a leaky faucet promptly not only saves water but also prevents potential damage to your home’s plumbing infrastructure. If you need an emergency plumber in Cincinnati, choose the Happy House Guys.

Be assured we can provide fast, reliable, and efficient solutions for all your plumbing concerns. Contact us today to schedule an appointment in Cincinnati, OH, Erlanger, KY, or any of our service areas!

Sharing is caring!