What Causes a Faucet to Leak? Insights from an Experienced Plumber

At Bakersfield Plumbing Company, we’ve been addressing plumbing issues in Bakersfield, CA, since 1910. Over the decades, one common issue we’ve encountered time and again is leaking faucets. While a dripping faucet might seem like a minor annoyance, it can lead to significant water waste and higher utility bills. Let’s delve into the common causes of faucet leaks and how to fix them, drawing from our extensive experience in the field.

Common Causes of Leaking Faucets

  1. Worn-Out O-Ring: The O-ring is a small rubber ring that is part of the faucet stem screw. Over time, this ring can wear out or become loose, causing the faucet to leak around the handle. This is particularly common in cartridge faucets.
  2. Corroded Valve Seat: The valve seat connects the faucet to the spout and can corrode due to sediment buildup in the water. This corrosion can lead to leakage around the spout area. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent this issue.
  3. Worn-Out Washer: In compression faucets, which are common in older homes, the washer presses against the valve seat to create a seal. Each time the faucet is used, this washer experiences friction, eventually wearing it out. A worn-out washer is one of the most common causes of a dripping faucet.
  4. Loose Parts: With frequent use, the parts inside your faucet can become loose, leading to leaks. This is often the case with the packing nuts and adjusting rings in the stem screw. Tightening these parts can sometimes resolve the issue.
  5. Broken Plumbing: Cracks in the plumbing or broken pipes can cause water to leak. This is usually a more serious issue that requires professional attention. A professional plumber can diagnose and fix the problem efficiently.

How to Fix a Leaking Faucet

Fixing a leaking faucet can range from a simple DIY task to requiring professional intervention, depending on the cause. Here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing some common issues:

  1. Gather Your Tools: You’ll need a wrench, screwdriver, replacement parts (like O-rings or washers), and plumber’s grease.
  2. Turn Off the Water Supply: Before starting any repair, make sure to turn off the water supply to avoid any potential flooding.
  3. Disassemble the Faucet: Carefully take apart the faucet handle and other components to access the internal parts. Keep track of each part to make reassembly easier.
  4. Inspect and Replace Parts: Check the O-ring, washer, and valve seat for any signs of wear and tear. Replace any damaged parts with new ones, making sure they are the correct size and type for your faucet model.
  5. Reassemble the Faucet: Once the new parts are in place, reassemble the faucet. Ensure all parts are tightened properly but not overly tight, which can cause new issues.
  6. Test the Faucet: Turn the water supply back on and test the faucet. Check for any leaks and ensure it operates smoothly.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

While some faucet leaks can be fixed with a little DIY effort, others require the expertise of a professional plumber. If you’re dealing with a persistent leak, corrosion, or broken plumbing, it’s best to call in the experts. At Bakersfield Plumbing Company, our experienced plumbers are equipped to handle all types of faucet repairs quickly and efficiently.

Why Choose Bakersfield Plumbing Company?

With over a century of service in Bakersfield and Kern County, we have a deep understanding of the unique plumbing challenges in our area. Our commitment to quality workmanship and customer satisfaction sets us apart. We use high-ranking plumbing keywords to ensure you find the information you need and the professional help you deserve.

If you’re dealing with a leaking faucet or any other plumbing issue, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is ready to provide you with top-notch plumbing services that stand the test of time.

Contact Bakersfield Plumbing Company today to schedule your plumbing service and experience the difference that over 100 years of expertise can make!