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What Causes A Kitchen Faucet To Drip? Here Is Everything You Need To Know

You may have had your kitchen faucet drip a few times before, and it got you wondering what the cause could be, so what causes a kitchen faucet to drip?. 

Well, we are going to answer that question for you today. After reading this article, you will be able to know the reasons why your kitchen faucet has been dripping and what you can do about the situation. 

Without wasting much time, let us dive into what causes a faucet to drip. 

One of the most common causes of a faucet dripping from the spout is a worn-out washer. If you also notice that the faucet dripping happens around the handle, then that could be caused by the O-ring that has been damaged. 

The cause of a faucet dripping can be down to several reasons, and it can also vary depending on the type of faucet being used.

Now, we will take a closer look at the causes of the faucet dripping below. 

The Causes Of Faucet Dripping

When your faucet starts dripping, not only does it become annoying, and the dripping can end up costing you a lot in repairs as well if the drip goes unnoticed for a while. 

Here are some of the most common causes of faucet drip.

  1. Worn out washer
  2. Corroded valve seat
  3. Damaged O-ring
  4. Worn out cartridge
  5. Irregular water pressure

We will take each of these by one and take a better look at what happens to cause the faucet dripping. 

Worn-Out Washer

This is the most common of all the causes of faucet dripping. Whenever you see that your kitchen faucet has started dripping, this could likely be the cause of that problem. 

When this happens, you will see that the faucet is dripping from the spout, and this problem typically occurs in compression faucets.

Corroded Valve Seat

The valve seat is responsible for connecting the faucet to the spout. When the valve seat gets corroded, you will see that the tap has started dripping around and beneath the handle. 

The buildup of sediments can also cause this to happen. Cleaning the place occasionally can prevent this from happening. 

Damaged O-ring

If you notice that the faucet has been dripping around or beneath the handle, the cause will most likely be O-ring damaged. 

The O-ring is a disc that has been attached to the stem’s crew holding the handle of the faucet. This problem happens typically to cartridge faucets. 

Worn Out Cartridge

A cartridge that has worn out can also be the cause of your kitchen faucet dripping. 

The inlet and outlet seals of the cartridge get worn out over time due to the buildup of sediment, which can lead to the faucet dripping. This type of problem is only found in cartridge faucets.

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Irregular Water Pressure

This problem is rare but can still happen and cause your faucet to drip water. 

The irregularities in the water pressure can even cause much bigger problems. It is advisable to contact your local water supplier and tell them about the situation if your faucet keeps dripping. 

How To Fix A Dripping Kitchen Faucet

plumbing fixing

The best thing to do when you see that your faucet has started dripping is to contact a professional plumber in your local area to take a look at it so that he can diagnose the correct problem and fix it. 

However, you can also decide to carry out the repairs on your own if you do not feel like paying someone to do something you think you can do. 

This can be a fun thing to do, and you will probably end up feeling more connected to the plumbing in your home. 

There are four types of faucets out there, and the one you have in your kitchen is going to be one of these types. The four types of faucets are:

  1. Compression faucet
  2. Ceramic-disc faucet
  3. Ball faucet
  4. Cartridge faucet

Each of these faucets has parts used in replacement and repairs, so when you are fixing a tap, you should be able to tell the kind of faucet that it is so that you will know the type of parts to get. Each of these faucets also has its repair methods used in repairing it. 

If you decide to repair the faucet on your own, make sure to turn off the water supply to the faucet before you start working on the faucet. 

You will generally locate the water supply turn-off to the faucet under the sink. The next thing to do is to make sure that you have clogged the drain in the sink. 

If you do not have a drain, use a cloth or a rag. Covering the sink with the drain will ensure that none of the parts go down the drain while you are working. 

After this, you are now fully ready to fix your dripping faucet. We will take each type of faucet one by one and look at how we can fix them.

How To Fix Compression Faucet

The compression faucet is a faucet that usually has two handles. One handle is for hot water while the other is for cold water. The handles are also typically twisted to open or close the water flow. 

The rest of the types of faucets all come with a single handle while having a swivel arm used to control the hot and cold water.

The first thing to do is to remove each of the handles. Sometimes, you will have to pry off the grip before unscrewing it. 

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Now, take a wench and remove the nut. You will then find the stem on the O-ring underneath, which also sits on the seat washer.

The seat washer gets worn out over time because it is rubber. 

So if you see that the faucet has been dripping from the spout, this is the possible cause. However, if the dripping is seen around the faucet handles, the O-ring will have to be replaced.

How To Fix Ceramic Disc Faucet

  1. In fixing a ceramic-disc faucet, the first thing you will have to do is to remove the escutcheon cup, and you do this by unscrewing and pulling the handle. 
  2. After that, you unscrew and remove the disc cylinder as well. You will know the disc cylinder quickly by simply looking at the underside where several neoprene seals are located. 
  3. Take the disc you just removed to any hardware store in your area and have them give you the same thing for a replacement. 
  4. When you return, you put the new ceramic disc in the same place where you removed the old disc. You then reassemble all the parts back in their rightful places. 

You have to turn on the water supply very slowly after replacing the ceramic disc with a new one. 

This is very important, so you should make a mental note of it. This is because if you allow the water to come forcefully, it could end up damaging the new ceramic disc, and you will find yourself headed back to the hardware store.

How To Fix Cartridge Faucet

  1. With the cartridge faucet, you first unscrew and remove the handle by tilting the handle backward. Sometimes too, you will have to pry the decorative cap off before you can do that. 
  2. After you do this, the next thing is to remove the retaining clip if you have to do so. The retaining clip is usually made of plastic and is responsible for holding the cartridge in its place. 
  3. You can remove the retaining clip by using a pair of pliers. After removing the retaining pin, you can then proceed to remove the cartridge and remove it in a way that makes it sit straight up.
  4. You can now remove the spout and put it aside. Now look for the O-rings and use a knife to cut the old O-ring out. 

Before placing the new O-ring inside, you should first coat it with the plumber’s grease. After putting in the new O-ring, you reassemble the handle back in its place and are finished.

How To Fix Ball Faucet

The ball faucet comes with several parts, and each of these may need a replacement, and some of the features may need specialization as well. 

This means that the best thing to do would be to purchase a replacement kit. These replacement kits are not expensive, and they come with all the tools you will need to fix the ball faucet. 

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You can purchase these replacement kits from any home repair shop in your area. 

  1. To fix a ball faucet, you can start by removing the handle and then use a pair of pliers to remove the cap and the collar. 
  2. After that, use one of the tools in the replacement kit to remove the cam, the washer, and the ball. 
  3. You then remove the inlet seals along with the springs by using a pair of needle-nose pliers.
  4. You then remove the O-rings by cutting the old one out and inserting the new O-rings. 

Do not forget to plumber’s grease on the new O-ring before placing it inside. You then reassemble all the parts back in their rightful places.

Taking Care Of Your Faucet

The faucets do generally not need much maintenance. However, there is still something you can do to make sure that they are always in good shape. 

You can use a soft cloth along with a window cleaner or soap to give the faucet a good shine. Never use steel wool on your faucets or any rough soap pads with stiff bristles. 

It is not advisable to use any of such to scrub the faucet because it may ruin the finish of the faucet. People living in challenging water areas will indeed be facing its challenges. 

Aside from being in the mineral content, it can also cause the faucet and the drain to clog up. 

You can use vinegar to get rid of the mineral deposits. You can also soak the parts inside the faucet for about four hours and then brush off the sediments with a toothbrush. 

The faucet will also need some minor repairs once in a while, and you should not forget this. Once you see that your faucet has started dripping, it is clear that the faucet needs repairs.

Conclusion

So if you are one of the peoples that are fond on fooling what causes a kitchen faucet to drip on any platform, then this article has answered all your questions, now you know what causes a faucet to drip, how to fix a dripping kitchen faucet and what to do when there is a drip faucet in your kitchen.

Some faucets are sealed on arrival, meaning that you cannot remove them. You will have to replace the whole unit when it starts having problems in such situations.

I hope this article has answered your questions about why faucets drip and how you can repair them. 

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