What Causes a Drippy Faucet

Close up of a dripping, chrome, kitchen faucet

That annoying drip not only can it keep you up at night, but it can add to your water bill if you are not careful. Dripping water from the taps is not free and each drip wastes water. If you let it go you could lose about a gallon of water per day on the conservative side of the issue.

Fixing the drip not only lets you sleep at night, but it will save you money. To learn what causes this situation just keep reading our article. It has those sources and once you know where the drips come from, you know how to fix the faucets.

4 Categories of Causes for a Dripping Faucet

1. Worn Out or Damaged Parts

Close up of an outdoor faucet dripping.

Worn-out washer- this accounts for about 90 to 95% of the dripping you hear coming from anyone of your sinks’ faucets. Those fixtures that use washers are numerous and this is the first place you need to look.

The good news is that this is the easiest repair job you will ever encounter.

Worn-out O-rings or seals- these parts are found in the other types of faucets like cartridges, drip, and ball faucets. These parts can wear out and fixing them is a little harder than replacing a worn-out faucet.

2. Worn Out Cartridge

Close up of a dripping, chrome faucet

This is found in the cartridge faucet, and it is a vital part of that type of tap. Once it goes you will need to replace it. To get a replacement either measure carefully or take the old one to a fixture supply store. You could use the model name and number as well.

Knowing the brand name is also important when looking for a replacement faucet.

3. Water Pressure

Side view of a running bathroom faucet

This source will usually occur at certain times of the day or night. When no one else in the neighborhood is using their water, the pressure can build up and be too much for the faucet’s system.

There are other sources for too much water pressure as well.

It is not a problem you can leave for now. If you can’t find the source or fix it yourself, you will need to call a plumber in to handle the work.

4. Broken Plumbing

Old outdoor faucet with an orange handle and lots of plumbers tape around the joint.

This situation can contribute to a dripping faucet by adding water pressure to the line. Or it can simply just drip where the crack is giving you that annoying sound right before you go to sleep.

How to Fix these Drip Sources

Torso view of a plumber holding a pipe wrench

As we said, the dripping faucet problem due to a worn-out washer is the easiest repair you will ever come across. All you have to do is unscrew the aerator, the part at the end of the faucet where the water comes out and pull out the old washer. Sometimes it will just drop out.

Then you just put the new washer in the aerator and screw it back into place. If it takes you longer than 2 minutes to do this, you may not be suited for handyman work.

To fix the O rings and seals on the other types of faucets found in homes these days, you will need more tools than just your fingers or a pair of pliers. Plus, you will have to buy the right replacement parts before you start working.

You will have to take the handles off to get to those parts and it will take more than 2 minutes to get done. The same goes for the cartridge replacement. If you are not confident in your plumbing skills, call a plumber to do it for you.

In these two and the following repairs, you will need to shut the water off before you get started. Finally, if you suspect there is a broken pipe or two, call a plumber. They will track down the problem and have the parts needed to fix it on the spot.

They also have all the tools needed to make the repairs so your bill should not be too high unless there is a lot of work involved.

A Final Option

Store display of faucets

When you have a dripping faucet, and your mate has been after you to change the design of the tap to make her kitchen or bathroom look more modern there is one final option.

You can go shopping and find a new style or type of faucet to replace the old one. The time it takes to pop out the old and put in the new is almost as fast as replacing a worn-out washer. Not quite as fast but almost.

Some Final Words

There are few sources for a dripping faucet and there are few solutions. But all those solutions will work well as you are replacing old parts with new ones. Doing that has your faucet lasting many more years.

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