The Leaky Sink Faucet Can Be Caused by The Smallest of Parts
It may seem like a simple task to fix a leaky faucet, but determining the cause of the problem may be the most complicated part. Modern sinks and taps are masterpieces of engineering with many different internal parts, but even they can produce a leaky faucet if just one piece is worn out or suffers corrosion. This article will discuss three parts of the faucet unit that can cause a leak.
Bad Part #1: The O-Ring
The o-ring is a small, flexible ring that helps hold the handle valve in place for either the hot or cold supply line. If this piece is sheared or worn, the faucet begins leaking from the handle when turned on. When the handle is turned, the water allowed through the valve makes its way up through the damaged o-ring and seeps out from under the handle. If a homeowner’s sink leaks like this, it does not mean the whole faucet needs to be replaced; it can be fixed simply by replacing the o-ring and possibly the faucet cartridge. The replacement will be a quick job for a plumbing technician, but even the average homeowner can do it. The main difficulty for a DIYer is making sure that they purchase the correct part for their particular sink.
Bad Part #2: The Washer
Another flat ring, called the washer, sits at the bottom of the handle. Some faucets have washers made of metal, and some have semi-flexible washers made of rubber or silicone. If these become corroded or damaged in some other way, the valve cannot be fully closed, and the faucet will leak. This problem is often ignored because people try to give the handle an extra twist to tighten it or simply don’t think the problem is a high priority. Reasons that a leaking faucet should not be ignored are listed below.
- Mold and Mildew: These microbes thrive in warm, damp environments. A leaking sink is perfect for these harmful things to take root.
- Money Waste: If the water is dripping, it is counted as used, and the homeowner will pay for that drip.
- Water Waste: Water is a precious resource that should not be wasted. A small drip can add up fast to gallons of water.
Bad Part #3: The Valve Seat
This third part is only found in faucets with a single handle controlling both the hot and cold water valves. This resembles the washer in the more traditional two-handle setup. Dripping will come from the faucet when the valve seat is worn out. Again, replacing the valve seat is not necessarily difficult, but a homeowner must ensure they have the right part. If they do, they can change the valve seat in the following way.
- Turn off the water to the faucet
- Remove any decorative cover on the handle
- Remove the bolt holding the handle in place
- Remove the handle, the sink cartridge, and the valve seat
- Replace the valve seat
- Reassemble the other parts
- Turn the water back on
About Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs, Inc.
For over 20 years, Chris Wilson Plumbing and Heating Repairs, Inc. have served Palm Desert, CA, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties. They are a family-owned and operated business and are ready anytime with 24/7 emergency service. Call today for all types of plumbing services.