It may not seem like a lot, but the slow dripping of a leaky faucet is far more wasteful than it appears at first. A single faucet shedding as little as 10 water drops per minute can waste as much as 350 gallons of water in a year. That amount of water is enough to raise a property’s monthly utility bills by a noticeable amount. Leaking faucets can indicate a larger plumbing problem within your home or business. But, what can cause the incessant dripping? Our Ocala plumbers with Sunshine Plumbing & Gas have a few suggestions.

Damaged Components

One of the most common causes of a dripping faucet is a damaged part. Parts will vary depending on the model, of which there are three main types: ball, cartridge, and disc — all of which are susceptible to damage. In general, however, there are two which are more likely to need an inspection including the following.

What’s Causing My Leaky Faucet?

O-Rings

Cartridge faucets use what is called an O-ring to bridge the gap between the screw and handle holding the valve in place. A common sign of an O-ring leak is water dripping from beneath the faucet’s handle. When this small rubber tube becomes loose or torn, water can escape the piping and out the handle, causing dripping. In such cases, a faucet repair will involve tightening or replacing the O-ring entirely.

Washers

The faucet washer sits at the end of the faucet stem where water pours into the sink. This rubber, or sometimes plastic, disc is held in place by a brass screw that, when corroded, can cause water to drip. Similarly, when the washer is loose, or the wrong size is installed, dripping can also occur. If your faucet is leaking while it’s shut off, this may be indicative of a loose or damaged washer. 

Water Pressure Problems

Water pressure that is set too high or too low can cause faucets and other water fixtures to leak. Low water pressure can prevent water from flowing smoothly through the pipes. Eventually, backed up water will escape the pipes through places such as faucets and even your water toilet tank. While high water pressure is not considered a serious problem, it can still lead to water leaking through loosely fitted valves and corroded piping. Contact a plumbing repair company to audit your plumbing system and determine the right water pressure setting for your needs.

Broken Or Damaged Piping

Plumbing and water leaks can affect the water pressure coming to and from the faucet, which could result in intermittent dripping. Even when the source of a pipe leak is far away from the dripping faucet, it could still be responsible for altering the water flow in the entire plumbing system. Not only that, but a single damaged pipe could eventually result in more pipes getting damaged over time, adding to an ever-escalating problem. To stay clear of critical plumbing trouble, request plumbing services in Ocala, FL, at the first sign of a pipe leak.