If you are reading this, it is quite likely that you are being plagued by the constant sound of water dripping, the concern about the impact it will have on your utility bills and the worry over the severity of the damage that is occurring with your water pump and – possibly – even your hot water heater.
You are not alone. Despite the fact that those dripping sounds seemingly echo off of the walls in your home and every single drop is resulting in money lost, a leaky faucet is one of the most common issues that homeowners face. The good news is, it is a problem that can be easily fixed! Continue reading to learn what causes a leaky faucet and how to remedy the issue.
According to research, leaks that occur within households across the United States account for the waste of approximately 1 trillion gallons of water each and every single year. Just one leak in one household could result in a waste of 10,000 gallons of water annually.
A total of 10% of all homes that have a leak waste 90 or MORE gallons of water a DAY! Most leaks are relatively easy to resolve. Once fixed, a homeowner may save up to 20% or MORE on their water bills and other associated utility bills.
If the leak stems from a faucet within the home, it is most likely the result of a washer or a gasket that has aged and become worn. The drips that stem from leaky faucets – at just one per second – could result in the waste of over 3,000 gallons of water each year!
To put that in perspective, that is equivalent to approximately 180 showers! If you have a leaky faucet, it should NOT be ignored. You should take steps immediately to have the issue resolved.
The following outlines the most common causes of leaky faucets within the home:
- Faulty O-Ring – The faucet has a special valve that is designed to control the water flow. This is referred to as a “cartridge”. In this valve, there is an O-ring. This is a small disc that attaches directly to the screw that holds the handle associated with the faucet in place. Over time, the O-ring may become worn down and even crack. In turn, the faucet will start to leak.
- Bad Cartridge – The next most common cause of a leaky faucet is a bad cartridge. If the cartridge is causing the leak, it will need to be completely replaced. If you are not familiar with the anatomy of a faucet or are not comfortable replacing the cartridge, you should contact a plumbing professional for assistance.
- Valve Seat Corrosion – If water is leaking out in the area of the spout, it could be that corrosion has occurred with the valve seat. This piece connects the faucet as well as the spout to the unit. Oftentimes, sediment within the water that passes through the faucet will become seated on this part. Over time, corrosion will occur. If this is the issue, you may replace the part. Every once in a while, you should clean the valve seat once it is in place.
- Washers Becoming Worn – There is a washer that is right against the valve seat in a faucet. It is constantly exposed to friction when the faucet is turned on and off. This could wear down the washer. Leaks may also occur if this washer is installed incorrectly or even if the wrong-sized washer is placed on the unit.
- Worn Seals – The water faucet typically has – at least – two different seals. The inlet and outlet versions. Over time, the sediment within the water will wear these parts down. Once this happens, a leak will occur.
- Loose Parts – Many times, a faucet leak may occur simply because the components have become loosened. Typically, the area that will loosen is that of the packing nut. In most instances, tightening this part will result in the resolution of the leak.
- Water Pressure – If you find that the leak is not constant or only occurs with the turning of the handle in a certain way, the problem could be a result of water pressure complications in your home. Oftentimes, it is best to contact a plumber for this issue. They will be able to determine if water pressure problems are causing the leak that you are experiencing.
- Broken Pipe or Fitting – If you have found that there is a leak coming from underneath the faucet in your home, it could be that a pipe or a fitting is broken. In some cases, the components may need tightening; however, this is not always the case. If you lack expertise in working with pipes, you should contact a plumbing professional immediately for help with the problem.
Do I Need a Plumber to Fix a Leaky Faucet?
Yes, you should enlist the help of a plumber if you experience a leaky faucet. Yes, it is true that most homeowners are capable of resolving the issue on their own, but if the job is complicated, the task may prove to be more difficult.
This is when it is time to contact a plumbing professional. Additionally, if you are not comfortable with taking the faucet apart yourself to resolve the leak, you should be sure to contact a plumber for help.
Why Does My Faucet Leak When it is Off?
If the faucet in your home is leaking when it is completely turned off, it is likely a problem with the seal that is situated inside the head of the faucet. While a relatively simple repair, it could go wrong if you lack the experience in replacing the part. In this case, set up an appointment with your plumber.
What Happens if I Don’t Fix a Leaky Faucet?
There are many complications that may be associated with the failure to repair a leaky faucet. First, it will waste an immense amount of water and result in your utility bills increasing.
If it is hot water, it could burn out your hot water heater.
If it is cold water, it could constantly kick your water pump on, which could damage it.
If it leaks to the degree where it goes over past the sink, it could result in expensive water damage to your home.
How Much Does It Take to Repair a Faucet?
If you choose to repair your faucet, it could cost a couple of dollars. That is, if it is something like a seal and you do it yourself. A plumber will run you anywhere from $35 and up.
If you completely replace the faucet and sink, it could run in the hundreds. It all depends on the situation you are experiencing, the severity of the issue, and if any other damage has occurred as a result of a leaky faucet. The bigger the problem, the higher the costs.
Contact Us Today
If you have a leaky faucet, you may contact us today at Reynolds Plumbing. Our trained plumbing experts will be able to quickly identify the problem and take the steps necessary to resolve it. In addition to plumbing issues, we also specialize in heating and air conditioning. If you would like to learn more or you have an immediate need and would like to set up an appointment, we encourage you to contact us now. We may be reached at the following number: 765-966-0994