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What Causes A Dripping Faucet? Drip, Drip, Drip!

what causes a dripping faucet

A leaky faucet is a waste of water and money plus it’s annoying to listen to. Drip, Drip, Drip, Drip.

But sooner or later each of use will encounter a leaky faucet in our bathroom or kitchen.

Repairing or replacing a faucet can run anywhere from as low $40 for a repair up to several hundred dollars for a replacement if you hire a plumber.

However, if you do it yourself it’s typically a really simple, inexpensive, and easy fix.

But what causes a dripping faucet in the first place?

faucet parts (1)

How Much Water Does A Leaky Faucet Really Waste?

Now you may not be thinking that a dripping faucet is a big problem but the truth is that your dripping faucet is costing you a lot of money each month.

In one month at one drop of water per second, you waste about 100 liters or 26.4172 gallons of water. And if this was hot water that was dripping you’re also wasting a lot of energy too.

You could be wasting more water if your faucet is dripping faster.

Go here to use the American Water Works Association (AAWA) drip calculator. It will give you some idea of how much water you could be saving if you fixed your dripping faucet.

Most Common Causes Of A Dripping Faucet

faucet o-ring

Faucet O-Ring – The faucet’s O-ring helps to seal the stem from leaking when the faucet is turned on. Over time because of hard water deposits and minerals the O-ring will become worn out or damaged.

If your faucet is dripping by the handle where the O-ring is housed replacing this part most likely will solve your issue.

All-purpose faucet repair kits can be bought at your local hardware store.

These kits contain O-rings and washers of different sizes. To make sure you get the right one take your faucet’s stem with you so that you get a perfect match.

inlet and outlet seals

Broken Seals – A broken seal, and we don’t mean the English singer and songwriter, can be the major culprit in causing your faucet to leak.

Over time sediment buildup can accumulate inside the faucet assembly and wear out the inlet and outlet seals. Seal replacement can easily rectify this unwanted issue.

unstable water pressureUnstable Water Pressure – If you notice that your faucet leaks only at certain times throughout the day it may be due to unstable water pressure in your home.

When the water pressure is too high it can cause water to backup and leak at certain points with the faucet being one of them.

broken plumbing fixture

Broken Plumbing Fixture – If you’ve got a leaky faucet and it’s not the O-ring, the seal or unstable water pressure you may have a broken plumbing fixture, fittings or pipe.

If this is the case, replacing rubber parts is not going to solve the problem. Typically replacing the entire faucet assembly is the best option.

If this plumbing repair is over your pay grade then calling a professional plumber may be the best way to get this taken care of.

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