Did you know that the modern sink wasn’t invented until the early 1800s? Since then, sinks have become an essential part of every kitchen and bathroom. Sinks are very convenient, but they won’t last forever. 

The faucets will eventually start having problems. If you have a leaking faucet, you might be wondering what caused it. You might also be wondering what you can do to fix it. 

Leaking faucets can be a problem for bathtubs and showerheads, too. Keep reading and learn why a faucet might start leaking and what you can do to fix it. 

A Problem With the O Ring

Suppose you have a bathtub dripping or your sink’s faucet is leaking and you don’t know why. Many people think that leaky faucets aren’t a problem. All they do is cause a dripping sound, which can easily be ignored once you turn on the TV or put on some music. 

But the other problem that a leaky faucet causes relates to your water bill. It might not seem that a few drops of lost water will amount to anything on your water bill, but it can. Your water bill might go up as if you’ve been taking extra-long showers every day. 

This plumbing issue is like money going down the drain. You might have fiddled with the faucet but to no avail. It will be very difficult to fix the problem if you don’t know what the cause is. 

This is why the first place you should turn your attention to is the O ring if you have a cartridge faucet. Your faucet is likely held in place by something called a stem screw. If you remove the screw, you will find a small disc stuck to it. 

This disc is called the O ring. It is very important for the prevention of leaking. If anything happens to this ring, your faucet will start leaking. 

How It Works

Many things can damage the O ring. It usually involves corrosion. After using your cartridge sink for so many years, the interior will start to decay. 

Instead of being firm and watertight, the O ring will start to become loose and frayed. This will prevent the ring from maintaining a good seal on the faucet. Water may then start to leak around the handle. 

This will also happen if the O ring is cracked or deformed in any way. If you have diagnosed the O ring as the problem, you’ll have to replace it. Adding a new O ring will give the faucet the support and security it needs. 

You’ll no longer have to deal with the leak after that. If you don’t know anything about faucets or O rings, you may not know how to do any of this. It would then be a good idea to call a professional plumber. 

Plumbers know all about these basic problems and can fix them in the blink of an eye. This will prevent your water bill from skyrocketing. You won’t have to listen to that annoying dripping sound either. 

The Valve Seat Is Corroded

Between the faucet and the spout, there is something called the valve seat. The valve seat is a connection that is part of the compression mechanism. The valve seat is usually very sturdy and firm.

This ensures that the water that flows through the faucet goes where it’s supposed to. But if something happens to the valve seat, water may start to drip out of the faucet even when it is off. This kind of leak happens at the spout rather than the area around the handle. 

This is more of a typical leak, and it can affect most types of faucets. While the valve seat is made from high-quality metal, this doesn’t mean that it’s resistant to corrosion. It will eventually start breaking down over many years. 

This is due to the existence of water sediment. Tap water is always filled with various minerals. While these minerals can sometimes be useful, they can cause a lot of damage to faucets. 

Once these minerals start building up inside the valve seat, the seat will start breaking down. It will lose its form and no longer be able to do its job. It will instead become overcome with water sediment. 

Take the faucet apart and inspect the valve seat to see if this is the cause of the leak. If you see that the valve seat is covered in water sediment and has fallen victim to corrosion, you have found the root of the problem.

What You Need to Know

Depending on the level of corrosion, it may not be necessary to replace the valve seat. 

You may only need to clean it and remove the water sediment. You can do this with a firm brush and strong cleaners. If the valve seat still seems too corroded and damaged after you clean it, it may be necessary to replace the part. 

You can prevent this problem by regularly cleaning the valve seat. The frequency at which you clean it will depend on the harshness of your local water. If you know that your water is very hard and rich in minerals, you may have to clean the valve seat more often to prevent sediment buildup. 

But if your water is soft and does not contain many minerals, you won’t have to worry about it as much. It’s best to clean the valve seat a few times every year. While this might be a pain, it will save you money since you won’t have to replace the valve seat so often. 

You also won’t waste money on your water bill due to frequent leaks. If you aren’t sure what to look for when inspecting your valve seat, call a professional. A professional can walk you through the process and tell you exactly what’s wrong with the faucet.

They may also clean the valve seat for you if it’s covered in water sediment. 

The Faucet Was Not Installed Correctly

There are many reasons why a faucet might not be installed correctly. You may have hired a service that was not very good. They may have installed the faucet well enough that it would work, but not well enough that it wouldn’t leak. 

If certain parts of the faucet aren’t attached tightly enough, there would be nothing to stop a leak from occurring. The other reason why a faucet may not have been installed correctly is that you did it yourself. It is possible to install your own faucets, but that doesn’t mean you should. 

If you’ve never installed faucets before and you decide to install one, there is a good chance you will make a mistake at some point during the process. You may mix up the various parts, you may not tighten the parts enough, and so on. 

The faucet might work fine for a while, but then those parts will come loose after repeated use. This will cause a leak and you might not know how to fix it. Poor installation of the washer is one of the most common reasons why faucets start leaking. 

The Washer

The washer is a piece that presses against the valve seat when the faucet is active. It doesn’t do much more than that, but it can get worn out the more you use your faucet. Every time it hits the valve seat, friction damages the washer. 

The washer will soon become so worn out that it can no longer do what it’s supposed to. Once the washer gets damaged, you can’t repair it. You’ll have to replace it to fix the problem.

If you choose the wrong-sized washer for the faucet, this could also cause problems. If the washer is too large or too small for the valve seat, a leak will soon occur. This can also happen if you install the washer in the wrong position. 

If you suspect that the cause of your leaky faucet is a washer, then call your local plumber.

They can come and see if the washer is at the root of this issue, and then they can fix it for you. 

The Causes and Fixes of a Leaking Faucet

There are many causes of a leaking faucet, and most of them can be fixed very simply. The cause may be as simple as a damaged O ring or a poorly installed washer. You can find and fix the problem once you hire a professional plumber. 

Are you ready to fix your leaky faucet? Our services at Master Plumbing in Idaho can help.