Dripping faucets – probably the #1 plumbing problem in homes today
A dripping faucet – or two or three – is so common that people often don’t notice it. If they do notice it, they tend to just think of it as a nuisance rather than an honest-to-gosh plumbing problem, water-waster, and slow-moving money-melter.
A slow drip can waste 7 to 10 gallons of water per day, and that ends up to 3,600 gallons a year. Several slow drips – or a fast drip – can go through 30 to – well, hundreds of gallons of water a day. $60 to $200 a year buys a fair amount – or a lot of groceries!
The other problem with a leaking faucet is that – if you don’t fix them – they don’t get better on their own. A leaky faucet will not “heal” itself; it’s always going to get worse, and if it gets significantly worse, then it can mean repair problems that can cost upwards of $200 to $1000 or more. Hard to believe that such a minor problem can turn into such a major headache – but we’ve seen it happen, unfortunately.
5 Reasons your faucet might be dripping
The primary culprits when it comes to causing drips are corrosion, mineral deposits, or washers, gaskets, and “O-rings” that have gone bad. If you happen to have the tools and a little DIY experience, most faucet fixes can be done yourself. Here are some of the problems:
- Washers: Washers are one of the first parts to wear out; they’re what sits between the handle and the water source and tighten up to stop the water from flowing. Sometimes, they may be improperly installed, or they might be the wrong size, so check for all of these possibilities.
- Loose parts: These are easy to identify – if you can see water dripping or running from somewhere whenever you turn it on – whether it’s the handles, the spigot, or the entire faucet mounting – something needs to be tightened up, for sure.
- O-ring problems: There’s a small disc at the top of the screw that holds the faucet to the mount or water valve, and this is called the “O-ring.” This disc wears out with constant use, and can become loose. That’s often what causes a drip around the handle.
- Valve seat corrosion: The valve seat is the connection between the faucet piece and it’s spout. An accumulation of sediments can cause this to corrode, and that causes leaking around the spout area. This one often needs a plumber, however, as it’s a little difficult to do on your own.
- Broken plumbing: Occasionally broken fittings – or even a broken pipe – will cause a dripping faucet. Pipes develop cracks that disrupt water pressure and can lead to water dripping – somewhere. If you’ve tried all of the above repairs and nothing has fixed it – then chances are this is what’s going on. If this is the case, you need a plumber, because it’s usually not something you can take care of on your own.
If you don’t know an “O-ring” from a washer – give us a call!
We’re always interested in saving our customers money whenever we can, but if you don’t have a few wrenches handy, or think that duct tape is the world’s answer to home maintenance – then just give us a call. We’re always happy to come out and help fix anything you’ve got going on – as long as its plumbing related. Not only that – but it might even be time to do an inspection of your plumbing in general – because we think that heading off a problem before it becomes one is a great idea, so give us a call!