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Causes of Leaking Taps

Causes of Leaking Taps

Causes of Leaking Taps Jun 27, 2024

A leaking tap can be frustrating to deal with. Left unrepaired, it can quickly escalate to a major headache. Beyond the annoying dripping, a leaky tap can inflate your water bills over time and create a thriving environment for mold. In this article, the knowledgeable plumbers at Rooter Man Plumbing list the common reasons why your tap might be leaking, to save you time and energy.

A Damaged Cartridge

In modern faucets, a cartridge controls water flow and temperature. If the cartridge is faulty or damaged due to mineral build-up or wear and tear, it might not create a proper seal, leading to leaks around the handle.

To fix a damaged cartridge, use a screwdriver to remove any screws holding the handle in place. Some faucets require a cartridge puller for easier removal. Carefully remove the old cartridge and replace it with a new one that matches your faucet model. Attempting a cartridge replacement can be trickier for a DIYer. If you’re unsure about the process, consult a professional plumbing repair service.

Worn-Out Washers

These are the most common culprits behind leaky taps. Washers are made of rubber or neoprene and create a seal against the valve seat to stop water flow. Over time, washers wear out due to constant use, friction, and exposure to hot water, leading to leaks.

Here Are the Steps to Fix a Worn-Out Washer

  • Use the basin wrench to remove the faucet handle nut.
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the handle and access the washer.
  • Replace the old washer with a new one that matches the size and type.
  • Reassemble the faucet, ensuring a snug but not over-tightened fit.

O-Ring Problems

O-rings are small rubber rings that form seals within the tap mechanism. Similar to washers, they can deteriorate over time or become dislodged, causing leaks around the base of the handle or spout. Use the adjustable wrench or a screwdriver to disassemble the faucet handle or spout, depending on where the leak is. Locate the O-ring and replace it with a new one that matches the size.

High Water Pressure

The normal water pressure rating for your house is between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch (PSI). Excessively high water pressure in your home's plumbing system can put extra stress on the tap's internal components, causing leaks to develop at weak points like washers or valve seats. We recommend you inspect the pressure regulator to ensure it’s properly adjusted. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, call a nearby plumbing service for an inspection.

Damaged Valve Seat

The valve seat is the surface against which the washer forms a seal. If the valve seat becomes damaged or eroded due to wear and tear or mineral buildup, a proper seal might not be formed. Due to the complexity of this repair, it's often recommended to seek professional help from a qualified plumber. They have the expertise and tools to replace the valve seat effectively.

Loose Parts

Over time, nuts, screws, or other parts within the tap can loosen due to vibrations or wear. This can cause leaks around the handle or base of the faucet. The solution is to tighten any loose screws or nuts around the faucet handle or base using the appropriate screwdriver. Avoid over-tightening, which can damage the faucet. If this doesn’t work, you may have to consider a faucet replacement.

Contact Rooter Man Plumbing for Faucet Replacement and All of Your Plumbing Needs

If your tap is still leaking after attempting DIY repairs, it is time to seek professional help from the licensed plumbers at Rooter Man Plumbing. In some cases, the culprit behind a leaky faucet isn't a simple fix like a worn washer or loose part. Over time, faucets themselves can deteriorate due to constant use and exposure to water. If tightening components or replacing washers doesn't solve the leak, it may be time to consider faucet replacement. The professional plumbers have the expertise to perform a comprehensive inspection and provide you with professional guidance.


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