Why Faucets Drip And How To Prevent The Problem

Most advice about dripping faucets focuses on dealing the problem after it starts. However, if you can know what causes the dripping in the first place, then you can stop it before it begins. Here are four causes of faucet drips:

Worn Out Washers

For washer-type faucets (most have two controls, one each for hot and cold), a worn out washer is a common cause of dripping. Each time you close the faucet, the washer presses down on metal (the valve seat). The more you use your taps, the more the friction and resistance wears down the washer.

Before a faucet starts dripping, you will find that you have to tighten it down to stop water flow. This is the time to change the washers, because if the wear and tear continues, it will soon be dripping even if you torque it down tightly.

Corroded Valve Seats

The valve seat is a piece of metal that connects the faucet and the spout. Naturally, it corrodes because it comes into contact with water every time you use the faucet. However, the corrosion is accelerated by the accumulation of deposits on the valve seat. Water sediments, which are mainly minerals and chemicals, are responsible for this acceleration of corrosion.

Therefore, preventing the accumulation of these sediments will keep dripping at bay for some time. The best way to do this is to clean the valve seat regularly.

High Water Pressure

If your water pressure is too high, then the water may not flow away from certain points. Instead, the water may back up and flow out of available openings such as faucets. You should suspect that this is the problem if there are also leaks at other water points in the house, or you hear intermittent banging in your water pipes. You can also use an inexpensive pressure gauge to measure the pressure; anything above 80 psi is high.

Therefore, keeping your water pressure within reasonable levels is another way of preventing dripping. Installing a water pressure regulator is a good method of keeping your water pressure low.

This is not an exhaustive list of causes of faucet drips. However, these three examples show that you don't have to wait until the drips start before you can deal with them. In most cases, replacing worn out parts, cleaning the faucet, and monitoring for anomalies in your plumbing system may prevent dripping.

For more help, contact a service like Abbey Plumbing & Heating Co.