If you have a leaky faucet in your Vacaville, California home, your water bill will tell the tale. Over the course of just one year, leaky faucets can send up to 10,000 gallons of water down your drains unused. Not only is this waste costly, but it’s especially problematic in Solano County, where drought conditions frequently prevail. Thus, finding and fixing leaky faucets is of the utmost importance. It’s also important to learn why faucets leak and to implement a few solid preventative strategies. To help you get started, the following are six common causes of faucet leaks in residential buildings.
1. Loose or Damaged O-rings
Each faucet handle in your home is held in place by a component known as a stem screw. At the base of every stem screw is a small, circular part called an O-ring. The O-ring is a flexible, rubber disc that seals off water leaks when you turn the tap on. Over time and after repeated use, an O-ring can crack or sustain other wear-related damage. In some instances, the O-ring may even slip or shift out of place, especially if it wasn’t correctly installed to begin with. If you have a slow, steady leak from one of your faucets, this is likely the reason why.
This is a common issue with a simple fix. When you call us, we’ll search for and replace all damaged O-rings, and we’ll have your faucets working perfectly in no time.
2. A Corroded Valve Seat
Just between each faucet and the connected water spout is a component known as the valve seat. The valve seat is a seal at the faucet’s stem that has a tiny hole in its surface so that water can pass through. If you have excessively hard water in your home, each valve seat could be bearing the strain of mineral build-up and corrosion. Corroded valve seats should be replaced by professional plumbers only. This is but one of several types of ongoing wear that’s frequently handled during whole-house plumbing inspections and annual maintenance service.
If you have recurring issues with worn valve seats, it may be time to consider adding a water softener to your home. Not only will a water softener extend the lifespans of your faucets and all of their included parts, but having one can also lead to healthier skin and hair and fresher, better-tasting water.
3. Missing, Worn, or Incorrectly Installed Washers
If your faucet is brand-new, there’s always the possibility that leaks are installation-related. This is especially true if you’ve upgraded the faucets in your home as part of a do-it-yourself project. Missing, worn, or incorrectly installed washers can lead to constant water waste and maddening dripping sounds.
Over time, even professionally installed faucets can develop leaks caused by washer problems. These components are constantly subjected to high pressure, hard water minerals, and other factors that lend to their wear. Although many faucets are expected to last about 15 years, a fair number of their components will wear down or outright fail long before this time.
4. Excess Water Pressure
If the water pressure in your home is excessively high, leaky faucets are hardly your sole source of water waste. With overly high water pressure, large quantities of tap water are constantly flowing down your drains unused each time you turn your faucets on.
High water pressure takes an unnecessary toll on all water-reliant appliances. Your dishwasher and washing machine will wear down a lot faster than expected, and they’ll likely have more problems than normal throughout their lifespans.
When it comes to water leaks, high pressure makes it difficult for plumbing features to function as they should. High water pressure has a tendency to prevent water from flowing in the right direction throughout various points of the plumbing system. Unfortunately, if high pressure has created a leak at your faucet, there’s a good chance that it will eventually create pinhole leaks in your pipes too.
Pinhole leaks are leaks that can fester unnoticed for a long time while depositing large amounts of moisture behind your drywall. The only sure way to spot slow and hidden leaks like these is by scheduling a whole-house plumbing inspection. However, this also points to the importance of scheduling professional plumbing repair services when faucet leaks are first detected. Although your leaky faucet might seem like a minor annoyance, it could be indicative of water pressure problems and resulting issues deeper within your plumbing system.
5. Cracked Pipes or Cracked Pipe Fittings
It’s easy to assume that faucet leaks are the result of broken faucet components. After all, in most cases, this is exactly what they are. However, there are times when leaking faucets are an indication of serious problems within the plumbing system itself. In addition to sediment buildup caused by hard water and excessively high water pressure, there’s also the possibility that you have cracked pipes or pipe fittings.
6. Your Faucets Have Reached the End of Their Lifespans
Faucet replacements aren’t just for improving kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room aesthetics. These fixtures have finite lifespans. Even when they’re well-made, they can still lose their functionality long before they lose their good looks. While most faucets can last up to 15 years, it’s important to consider factors such as water hardness, water pressure, frequency of use, and improper use. If you have lots of people living in your home who are overly forceful when turning your taps off and on, you can probably expect your faucets to start failing after just eight to 10 years of use.
Faucet Maintenance and Tips for Leak Prevention
Among the best ways to maintain your home’s faucets is by scheduling annual plumbing maintenance. During these visits, we can look for evidence of water pressure issues, hard water buildup, pinhole leaks, and other problems. Having a simple pressure-reducing valve installed could prolong the lifespan of your faucets, your dishwasher, and your washing machine. It will also limit the likelihood of hidden leaks in your supply pipes and minimize the risk of water damage.
It’s also a good idea to remove and clean your faucet aerators once every several months. These are the components that are attached to the very end of each faucet nozzle. They mix air and water together during water distribution. Much like shower heads, faucet aerators can be soaked in white vinegar to break down mineral buildup that might otherwise cause undue stress. If you’re unsure of how to remove and clean these components, we can walk you through this process during your next appointment, or we can clean them for you.
Many faucets come with long-lasting warranties. In fact, some come with lifetime warranties. These agreements cover the costs of replacing or repairing products that fail as a result of substandard materials or manufacturing errors. Thus, you may not have to pay to have your leaky faucet fixed. Find all relevant warranty agreements and read through these documents in their entirety so that no benefits are overlooked.
We handle plumbing problems both large and small. We proudly serve residents of Vacaville, California and the surrounding area. We offer plumbing, air conditioning, and heating repair services. We also provide water heaters, air purification, and solar installations. To schedule an appointment, contact Cozy Home Services today!