5 Causes of a Leaky Faucet


Our Lompoc plumbers know better than anyone that we’ve all been there… And while hearing the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet may not be the most annoying sounds in the world, it’s up there.

The cold reality is, that dripping spigot won’t fix itself. It’s not something you should ignore long, either. Those drips can add up fast. In fact, a rate of one drip per second translates to 3,000 gallons down the drain in a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s the equivalent of 180 showers!

Now that you know repairs are needed, our Lompoc plumbers are here to provide you with some tips for diagnosing the problem. Our expert technicians are also here if you need a fast fix done by the pros.

Here are five main causes of a leaky faucet:

Bad O-ring.

Have a cartridge faucet? Those are usually faucets with a handle that moves up and down to control the flow of water. If the sink handle is leaking, you’ve likely got a bad O-ring. One problem that occurs in cartridge faucets is a loose or worn-out O-ring, the small disc that’s attached to the stem screw that holds the handle of the faucet in place. Replace it and you should be good to go, but make sure it’s the right fit for your specific faucet.

Worn-out Cartridge.

The cartridge can also wear down and cause leaks. The cartridge is a valve that controls the flow of water into the faucet spout. If you’ve got a leak around your sink handle, check for signs of wear on the cartridge. Just like the O-ring, be sure to match the sink’s model number to ensure you buy the correct replacement.

Corroded Valve Seat or Washers.

If the leak is coming from the spout, it could be an issue with the valve seat, which connects the faucet and the spout. Accumulating sediment can corrode the valve seat or the washers surrounding it, causing a leak. You can avoid this by regularly cleaning the valve seat, but too much erosion means you might need a replacement.

Loose Parts.

The adjusting ring, which attaches the handle to the valve, and surrounding packing nuts can become loose over time, causing your sink handle to start leaking. Tightening the adjusting ring or packing nuts, or replacing them, will usually do the trick.

Broken Pipes.

If the leak is coming from underneath the faucet, that means you have pipe issues. Broken pipes or faulty pipe connections can lead to a host of issues a lot larger than an annoying drip. Water damage, mold and mildew can form under your sink. And that might just be a problem for our Lompoc plumbing pros rather than a do-it-yourself job.


For more helpful maintenance tips or assistance with repairing or replacing your leaky faucet or pipes, call Griffin Plumbing at 805-934-1949 today!

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