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Three Common Reasons Faucets Can Start to Leak

Homeowners Shouldn’t Ignore Leaks 

A leaking or dripping faucet can have several serious consequences. One immediate consequence is an increased water bill due to the water being wasted. This can add up over time and result in significant financial losses. A leaking faucet can also damage the surrounding area as water seeps into walls, floors, and other materials, resulting in costly repairs or even replacement of these materials. Furthermore, mold and mildew can begin to form in areas where moisture is present, leading to further damage and health concerns for those living in the space.

When facing a plumbing problem like a leaky faucet, homeowners should consult plumbers because there could be several potential causes. Professionals can pinpoint the underlying reason for the leak and fix it correctly. This blog post will discuss some of the most common causes of a dripping faucet. 

A Worn-Out O-Ring 

o ringAt first glance, O-rings just seem like flimsy pieces of plastic. However, they play an important role in preventing leaks. They prevent liquid from escaping where two pipes meet by acting as a seal. If an O-ring wears out, it can’t do its job––and water can start to escape, causing dripping near the faucet handle. 

Several potential causes of O-ring failure include incorrect sizing, improper installation, and environmental exposure. O-rings are sized according to their inner and outer diameters and the material they’re composed of. If the O-ring is too large or too small for its application, it will fail to provide an adequate seal and may not be able to withstand pressure. 

Improper installation of an O-ring can also lead to failure. If the O-ring is not properly seated in its groove, it can become twisted or stretched, making it vulnerable to failure. Additionally, if the O-ring is compressed too much during installation, it will be weakened and unable to maintain a proper seal.

Finally, environmental exposure can lead to O-ring failure. Heat, cold, and chemical exposure can all degrade the performance of an O-ring, causing it to become brittle, and exposure to corrosive elements can lead to cracking.

A Worn-Out Washer 

When most people think of washers, they may picture dishwashers or washing machines, but there are washers inside each of their faucets. Just like O-rings, these devices help create airtight seals that prevent leaks. They look like thicker, flat rings rather than thinner O-rings. 

A worn-out or corroded washer can cause leaking at the faucet’s spout due to its inability to create a proper seal. This is often caused by age, exposure to extreme temperatures, or high water pressure. When a washer wears out, it can become brittle and crack, leading to leaking. Corrosion can also occur when the washer is exposed to extreme temperatures or harsh chemicals, which will eventually cause it to break down and fail. 

Valve Seat Corrosion 

valveA valve seat is another vital component of a faucet. It is the metal surface that the valve touches when it is turned off, and it helps to ensure a tight seal. If the valve seat is corroded, the seal may be compromised, causing leaking or dripping at the faucet's spout. This is because corrosion causes the metal valve seat to become pitted, which prevents it from forming a tight seal against the valve.

Corrosion can occur when the valve seat becomes exposed to corrosive agents, such as minerals and chemicals. They gradually erode material from the surface of the valve seat, leaving behind rough patches that reduce its ability to form a strong seal, leading to the leak. Dripping and leaking faucets should be repaired immediately to prevent high water bills, mold and mildew growth, and water damage. 

About Henco Plumbing Services 

Henco Plumbing Services provides award-winning customer service to Vancouver, WA, and the surrounding areas. They offer same-day service, flat-rate pricing, and financing. Call them today for plumbing fixture and faucet services in Vancouver, WA.