4 Causes of a Dripping Faucet

A dripping faucet.

There is nothing in life quite as annoying as a dripping faucet. The steady drip keeps people awake at night, and you can struggle to get back to sleep as you wait for the next splash of water to hit the sink. As well as preventing you from getting a good night's rest, a dripping faucet can also lead to water stains, or even small floods in the bathroom, so stepping in and stopping the drip is always a good idea. Before you can stop the drip, however, you have to know exactly what the causes are of the dripping faucet.

1. Damaged Parts

Although there are many reasons why the faucet might be dripping, this is probably the biggest reason for it. A steady drip is often a sign that you need to replace a washer inside the tap itself. The seals inside compression faucets are particularly likely to become damaged, as they are under a lot of pressure to keep water from flowing. The other types of faucets, known as the cartridge, drip, and ball faucets, may all have drips, but they are washer-less, so you should look at the moving parts, such as the O rings, or damage to the inlet or outlet seals.

2. Worn out Cartridge

Another common reason for the drip in a cartridge faucet is that the cartridge itself, from which the faucet takes its name, needs to be replaced. This can be easily done if you have a matching cartridge which can fit the gap left by the original faucet easily. In order to ensure that the cartridge is the right size, you should measure it carefully both before and after removal, and then take it to the original faucet dealership.

3. Water Pressure

If you find that your dripping faucet only occurs at certain times of the day, or during certain behaviors, then you should consider whether the water pressure is too high. Water pressure may prevent water from flowing away from a certain point, meaning that it backs up and then leaks out at another place, often an available faucet or to the toilet overflow tank. This dripping is not serious, but you may wish to reduce the force of your water pressure slightly, as this can be an increasing problem, and you may eventually need to call out a plumber to fix it.

4. Broken Plumbing

An uncommon cause of a dripping faucet is a broken pipe or fitting. These can develop cracks, which often leak out into the area below the sink. If the crack causes problems with the water pressure, you may find that the faucet connected to the break will drip from time to time. You may need to get a plumber to examine your water pipes if you suspect that this is the problem, particularly if you have tried the other solutions offered here to no avail.