What Should You Do With a Leaky Faucet?
The drip, drip, drip that always sounds so much louder at night is a sure sign you've got a leaky faucet problem. An indispensable fixture in your home, faucets that leak are more than an inconvenience. They can also add to your water bill and, ignored, can turn a simple repair into a big plumbing replacement project.
Did you know that one drip per second from a leaky faucet can waste 3000 gallons of water or more over the course of a year? That's enough to take almost 200 showers! The EPA considers it such a serious problem that they devote an entire week in March to teaching people how to take care of leaks in their homes. This year's "Fix a Leak Week" runs from March 18th through the 24th, but the goal is to help you find and fix leaks in and outside your home all year long.
Common Causes of Leaky Faucets
There are several reasons one or more of your faucets might be leaking.
- Issues with the O-ring. The internal O-ring fits around the inner brass body of a faucet, serving to seal the faucet body against water. If it has dried up or cracked, water can seep down along the faucet body and out the bottom when you turn on the valve.
- Worn out washer. If the leak is located around the spout, chances are good the washer is the culprit. All washers eventually get worn down and a simple replacement should do the trick.
- Corroded valve seat. The natural minerals in tap water can, over time, eat away at the valve seat, resulting in a leak. A damaged valve seat tends to cause problems with water flow so the leak is along the line of the seat itself instead of out of the faucet. The best way to avoid a valve seat replacement? Preventative cleaning is your best bet.
- Improper washer installation. If the washer isn't worn out, it's possible it was installed incorrectly and needs to be adjusted. Your plumber can get the job done right.
It's not as common, but sometimes problems in your pipes themselves cause a faucet to leak. For example, cracks in the pipes can cause the water pressure to fluctuate which leads to drips that are more difficult to detect and repair.
You can check a leaky faucet's washers and gaskets for wear and replace them yourself if necessary. If that doesn't solve the issue, or you suspect there could be a bigger problem, it's probably a good idea to bring in a pro.
Stop That Leaky Faucet Today
That tiny drip might not seem like a lot of wasted water, but you could find the cost of ignoring the leak is high. Repairing leaks as soon as they occur can help you avoid water damage and bigger plumbing issues down the road. And since fixing household water leaks can save you 10% or more on your water bill, keeping your home leak-free by rectifying dripping faucets is a smart move.
Why not talk to us today about evaluating leaks or any other potential plumbing problems in your Jacksonville home before they turn into larger issues? Contact David Gray Plumbing Services online today or call us at (904) 724-7211 to learn more.