Drip. Drip. Drip.
That’s not only an annoying sound, but it’s also the sound of both water and money literally going down the drain.
For every faucet that drips once per minute, that’s a wasted 34 gallons per year.
In life, there’s nothing quite as annoying as a dripping faucet!
Keep reading to learn what causes a faucet to drip and what to do about it.
1. A Worn-Out O-Ring
One of the more common causes of a dripping faucet is a worn-out o-ring.
A sure sign that you need to replace this piece is if you notice water collecting or leaking at the base of the faucet spout.
First, shut the water off to the faucet.
Then, use a crescent wrench to unscrew the faucet head.
Do this by slowly twisting the wrench to the left.
Once the faucet head is removed, you’ll find the o-ring sitting inside.
This should be easily removed with just your fingers.
Place a new o-ring into the same location that the old one was removed from.
Then, screw the faucet head back on using only your hands at first to make sure you have the threads lined up correctly.
Once lined up, you can use the wrench to tighten the faucet head until it is secured but don’t over-tighten.
2. An Old Washer
If the o-ring doesn’t fix your leaky faucet, the cause of your leak may be an old washer.
Again, before you start removing your faucet parts, turn off the water and empty your pipes.
Changing a tap washer begins by removing the caps or tap button.
These are the decorative pieces on the top of your faucet that generally read “hot” or “cold”.
The cap can be removed by gently prying it off with a flathead screwdriver.
Then, remove the faucets handle by unscrewing the standard or Allen head screw located under the cap.
Once the screw is removed, you’ll be able to take out the stem or bonnet, a donut-shaped piece inside the faucet.
The washer sits underneath the stem.
Remove the old one and simply place in your new one.
Since this area is small, using pliers can make this easier.
From there, you’ll just reverse the above steps to put your faucet back together again.
3. A More Complicated Issue
If your faucet dripping just won’t stop and you’ve tried all the tricks laid out in this article, it may be time to call a plumber.
You may be dealing with a faulty faucet, broken plumbing, or even incorrect water pressures.
All of these issues are hard for the typical homeowner to identify and remedy on their own.
While it will come with some extra cost, a plumber will be able to determine the exact cause of your faucet drip.
Within minutes, they can diagnose the issue and move on to providing a solution.
Rest Easy Knowing What Causes a Faucet to Drip
Now that you know what causes a faucet to drip, you’re well on your way towards stopping the drip and resting easy.
Start by changing out your faucet’s o-ring and see if this stops the drip.
If that doesn’t work, then move on to replacing the washer.
And if all else fails, don’t be ashamed to call a plumber — that’s what they’re there for!
For more great advice on how to conquer home-ownership on your own, browse the DIY section of this blog.