While a leaky faucet is obvious, sometimes the causes of a leaky faucet are not.
Buffalo, NY homeowners are no strangers to a leaky faucet. Leaky faucets are very common and can happen to anyone. Leaky faucets serve as a continuous reminder that you’re wasting water, your water bill will be higher, and you could be facing water damage. Not to mention, they are irritating due to the constant dripping sound. While a leaky faucet is obvious, sometimes the causes of a leaky faucet are not.
What Are the Causes of a Leaky Faucet?
Finding the actual cause of a leaky faucet may not be clear until you disassemble the whole faucet. It is recommended to contact a plumbing expert for any leaks you have in your Buffalo, NY home, to ensure there are not other plumbing issues causing the leaky faucet.
Leaky faucets can be credited to various causes; however, the most common reasons are:
– Worn Out Faucet Parts: O-rings, washers, cartridges, valves, handles, etc. can all wear out and cause a leak. If plumbing seal was used, that may also deteriorate over time and cause the constant drip.
– Mineral/Scale Buildup: All water has minerals in it and those minerals can build up and cause a leaky faucet. This buildup causes interference with the faucet’s ability to seal the water inlets due to a blockage from the buildup.
– Part Corrosion: Like all things, faucets, their parts, and plumbing corrode over time and with use. This can cause a leak due to parts not functioning as they should be.
Faucets control the flow of water using an inner stem or cartridge with rubber or neoprene washers or seals that open and close against water inlet ports inside the faucet body. When the seals don’t properly fit, it allows a small amount of water to continue up to the faucet, creating a leaky faucet and the constant drip.
Can you Fix Your Leaky Faucet?
If you decide you want to tackle trying to fix your leaky faucet, you should first understand the cause of the leaky faucet to be sure it is something you can handle on your own. Plumbing experts are always our recommended method for repairing a faucet leak, but if trying to take on on your own, you should follow the below steps:
– Step One: Turn off the water. Water left on can lead to a flood of water and could cause water damage. Be sure to turn off the shutoff valves to the water fixture. If there are no shutoff valves for the faucet, turn off the main water supply for your home. Test the faucet before doing any work.
– Step Two: Remove the faucet handles. While all faucets are different, you can typically use a flathead screwdriver to remove decorative caps on top of the handle to get to the handle screws that should be removed.
– Step Three: Detach the valve stem or cartridge. After removing the handles, you will be able to see the inner valve stem or cartridge of the faucet; this part will need removed. Read the manual for your faucet or look online for instructions for your fixture.
– Step Four: Look at all the parts that were removed and still intact to see if you can detect what is causing the leaky faucet.
– Step Five: Once you have identified what part or parts are the cause of the leaky faucet, it is time to replace or repair that part. It may be best to replace the faucet all together. Most faucets have a lifespan of about 15-20 years before they require major repairs or replacement.
– Step Six: Put the faucet back together how you took it apart. You can clean valves and any scale buildup prior to doing so to prevent future issues down the road.
There are many causes of a leaky faucet and it may not be as clear or as easy to stop the drip, as you initially believed. A leaky faucet can be a sign of more complex and serious plumbing issues.
Reimer is your locally trusted plumber in Buffalo and Western New York. Our full-service plumbing team is ready to help with whatever your home needs, from fixing a leaky faucet to cleaning out your shower drain. Our Buffalo plumbers are available Day or Night to help you and your home. We provide upfront estimates and we don’t charge you anything extra for service on nights or weekends.
When you need a plumber, don’t hesitate to call or contact us online.