The Top Causes of Leaking Faucet, and What to Do About It

Tips & Tricks / Article
December 23, 2022

Common Causes of Leaking Faucets

There are several common causes of a leaking faucet. One possibility is that the washer is old and needs to be replaced. Another reason could be that the valve seat is worn down, or that the o-ring is no longer in good condition.

If your faucet is leaking, it's important to determine the root cause and take corrective action as soon as possible. A leaking faucet can waste water and increase your monthly utility bill. It can also damage your faucet and plumbing fixtures, leading to more expensive repairs down the road.

If you're not sure what's causing your leaking faucet, it's best to call a professional for assistance. They will be able to identify the problem and recommend the best course of action for fixing it.

Troubleshooting Solutions

There are a few troubleshooting solutions you can try when your faucet is leaking.

The first is to replace the washer. This is the most common solution for a leaking faucet, and it's a quick and easy fix. All you need to do is twist off the aerator, remove the old washer, and pop in the new one. Make sure you get the right size washer for your faucet, or you could end up with the same problem down the road.

If replacing the washer doesn't fix the problem, you may need to replace the entire faucet. This can be a more expensive fix, but it's something you may have to do if the faucet is old or corroded.

Finally, if neither of those solutions works, it may be time to call in a plumber. A leaking faucet can be a sign of a bigger problem, so it's best to get it fixed before it becomes a bigger issue.

How to Identify and Repair Washers, O-Rings, and Seals

There are a few different causes of a leaking faucet, but the most common ones are due to worn washers, o-rings, or seals. If you suspect that one of these is the culprit, there are a few things you can do to try to fix it.

The first step is to identify which part is causing the problem. To do this, you'll need to remove the handle from the faucet. Once you have it off, take a look at the washers, o-rings, and seals and see if any of them look worn or damaged.

If you do find a worn part, you can try replacing it yourself. You can usually find replacement parts at your local hardware store. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always call a plumber for help.

Common Parts That Fail in Faucets

Now let's delve into the common parts that tend to fail in faucets. The most common culprits are the O-ring or the washer. The O-ring, usually made of rubber, is located at the base of the valve stem and is responsible for keeping water from leaking out. On the other hand, the washer is a metal disk located at the head of the valve stem that acts as a stopper for water and also helps regulate pressure.

When either one of these components start to wear out, you might notice your faucet isn't shutting off completely after use, or there may be a slow drip coming from your faucet. Both of these can cause an annoying and wasteful leak in your home—not to mention it will increase your water bills over time.

Luckily, replacing either of these components is a relatively simple process that you can do yourself if you have a few tools around. But if that sounds like too much work, don't forget that you can always call in a professional plumber to get it done right away.

Causes of Hard Water Buildup

Hard water can be a major culprit when it comes to leaky faucets. The minerals in hard water, like calcium and magnesium, can react with metal and plastic parts inside the faucet to form deposits that could decrease water pressure. This build up is called “scale” and can cause a few different problems.

If the scale builds up around the valve seat — where the faucet handle connects — it might prevent the valve from properly shutting off, causing a constant drip. Even if you shut off your faucet tightly, over time, this scale buildup will continue to increase until you have a noticeable leak coming from the tap.

Certain parts of the country with hard water are more prone to this type of problem than others—so if you live in an area known for its hard water, it might be worth checking your taps regularly to make sure they’re not leaking due to scale buildup.

When to Call a Plumber for Help

If you’ve tried all the above options and your faucet is still leaking, then it’s time to call in the professionals. A good plumber should be able to diagnose and fix the underlying issues quickly without too much fuss.

But it’s important to do your research first before calling a plumber and make sure you get one with a good reputation. You can ask friends and family for recommendations, or read reviews online for a better idea of who can help.

Once you have the plumber onsite, let them know exactly what’s wrong and give them access to all the parts that need replacing. This will help them figure out what needs to be done faster and with less effort. And at the end of it, you should be left with a fixed faucet that won’t leak again anytime soon!


If you're dealing with a leaky faucet, it's important to identify the cause so you can fix it. Here are the most common causes of leaking faucets, and what you can do to address them.

If your faucet is leaking because the seal is bad, you can replace the seal to fix the problem. If your faucet is leaking because the valve is worn out, you can replace the valve to fix the problem. If your faucet is leaking because the hose is cracked, you can replace the hose to fix the problem. If your faucet is leaking because the washer is worn out, you can replace the washer to fix the problem. If your faucet is leaking because the handle is loose, you can tighten the handle to fix the problem.