Over time, the faucets in your home can and will wear out from constant use. Fortunately, most types of faucets will give you plenty of warning signs that they are starting to fail. One of the most common indications that your faucet is in need of remediation is when it starts to leak after being shut off. In most cases, the cause of a faucet leak has to do with hardware failure.
However, what happens when you’ve already replaced the cartridge inside and the faucet continues to leak? Here are some of the most common reasons – aside from a bad faucet cartridge – that may be the cause of your leaky faucet problem:
- Faulty washers: The washer is a crucial component inside of your faucet that opens and closes as you turn the fixture on and off. Since the washer is constantly moving, this creates friction, which can in turn result in normal wear and tear. Ultimately, the washer will no longer fit tightly against the valve seat – causing water to leak.
- Bad seals: Many faucet designs feature inlet seals, which allow the water to flow freely when the faucet is on and stops the water when it’s off. There are a number of ways that seals can become damaged – including scale, sediment build-up, and excessive water pressure.
- Faulty O-rings: Like washers, O-rings are another important internal component of faucets that can wear over time. The O-ring’s job is to help maintain the seal between your faucet cartridge (or stem) and the washer.
- Broken or damaged hardware: Aside from washers, O-rings, and seals, if any internal hardware that’s a part of the faucet mechanism for turning the water on and off breaks, the entire system may not function properly. As a result, this can cause water to leak and drip from the faucet.
- Valve seat corrosion: Located at the bottom of the mechanism that is responsible for turning the faucet on and off you’ll find the valve seat. From continued use and corrosion, this valve can become worn out. A strong indication that you have a bad valve seat is when you start to notice water dripping from the handle area, whether the faucet is on or off.
If you’ve already tried fixing your leaky faucet by replacing the cartridge to no avail, the leak was likely not caused by a faulty cartridge. In some cases, it has to do with the quality of your water. The water that flows through your faucet on a daily basis is filled with calcium and other minerals that render it highly corrosive. Over time, the water can start to eat away at small imperfections in the brass body of the faucet that are present from the casting process.
Soft areas and bumps in the brass are easily removed by the corrosive water, creating gullies on the surface that are virtually impossible to see. In order to fix a leaky faucet that has this problem, your plumber might have to buff the inside of the interior of the cartridge cylinder to find the defects with a flashlight.
Fixing Your Leaky Faucet
Although the solution may seem simple, fixing a leaky faucet after replacing the cartridge isn’t always as easy as it looks. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many different components that comprise the entire assembly of your faucet. While you might think that you can tackle a leaky faucet as a DIY project, it’s very common for homeowners to end up causing more damage in the process – only to call in a professional plumber to help save the day.
For dual-handled faucets, or those that have distinct hot and cold handles, you are dealing with more than just a decorative cover and a screw holding the housing in place. With these handles, the other hardware you’ll come across include the faucet stem, seat rings, washers, inlet valves, valve seats, O-rings, and more. When it comes to single-handle faucets, depending on the specific faucet, the internal parts may include ball-type mechanisms, cartridges, and ceramic disks, in addition to the aforementioned components. It’s also notoriously tricky to remove the cover off of single handle faucets.
Call Anytime Plumbing Today!
To avoid creating unnecessary damage and having to replace your entire faucet after something as simple as a leak, it’s in your best interest to call the professionals at Anytime Plumbing! We will gladly help you fix your leaky faucet, even after you’ve already attempted to correct the problem by replacing the cartridge.
Regardless of the type of faucet you have or where the leak is occurring, our experts have the experience and skill to find the right solution for your problem. Give us a call whenever you need us at (831) 431-6593 and we will schedule your professional faucet repair!