A leaking faucet can be a real annoyance. Not only can the constant dripping be an irritating sound, the water loss can add up significantly over time. This leads to wasted money, aggravation, and ultimately further damage that can be more expensive to repair. Before you dismiss that dripping faucet as no big deal or nothing to worry about, you should understand what can cause this type of leak and what you'll need to do to fix it.
1. Poorly Maintained Cartridge
Cartridge faucets are usually fairly reliable, but they do require some care and maintenance. You'll have to replace the cartridge periodically due to the wear and tear caused from general use. If your home has hard water, that wear and tear will happen more frequently due to the mineral content in the water.
If your cartridge faucet is leaking, it's usually an indication that the cartridge is damaged. You can solve this problem easily by simply installing a new cartridge. If you're not comfortable doing that on your own, your local plumber can do it for you. It's a quick and easy job, so it shouldn't be cost-prohibitive work.
2. Excess Pressure In The Lines
Your home's water pressure levels can contribute significantly to the condition of your plumbing. If the water pressure in the lines is too high, it can actually cause damage to your faucets and cause them to leak. Not to mention, if there's a pressure problem that's keeping the water from flowing properly through the entire system, water will seek the nearest possible outlet from the source of the problem. This can mean that the water will be forced through a faucet, causing a leaky faucet.
Since water pressure can fluctuate, a leak caused by pressure problems is typically intermittent. If you only see the leak occasionally, or it seems like it comes and goes throughout the day, that's a key indication that it may be caused by water pressure problems. Your plumber can help you fix this by installing a pressure regulator on the inbound water line.
3. A Damaged Faucet
Another common cause of leaky faucets is damage to the faucet itself. If you have only one faucet in the house that's leaking and it's either old or poorly cared for, it could have internal damage that's led to the leak. For example, if the washer or gasket on the faucet has become worn and damaged, that will lead to leaking. You may need to replace the gasket, washer, or o-rings to stop this from happening.
In extreme cases, you may need to install a whole new faucet, especially if the faucet itself is corroded or otherwise damaged. Your plumber can evaluate the condition of the entire assembly and let you know if a simple parts replacement is sufficient or if you'll have to install a whole new unit.