What Causes Faucets to Leak?


Most of us don’t consider small faucets leaks the cause of much wastage. But think of it this way: a single leaky faucet in your house loses a couple of drops every few seconds. Now if a couple of faucets are constantly leaking in your house and in your neighbor’s house too, it adds up really fast.

According to the USGS Water Science School, around 1500 faucet drips in one day are equivalent to water loss worth one full gallon. Even if your faucet is leaking one drip every second, you might end up wasting around 3000 gallons of water in the year!

These statistics are alarming. What seems like an ordinary dripping tap might cost you huge amounts in utility bills. Other than the bills, wasting water is also socially irresponsible.

But what’s causing your faucets to leak? Let’s take a deeper look.

Damaged plumbing

This might sound confusing. How can a crack or corrosion in your pipes cause your faucet to like? Let us explain. For instance, some part of your home’s plumbing is damaged. As a result, certain areas in the pipes can become cracked and start leaking water. This causes pressure changes throughout the system, which eventually reach the faucet too. Faucets that are closest to the site of the leak are more likely to be affected.

What makes it worse is that cracks in the plumbing aren’t always visible. They could be beneath the sink, behind the walls, or even at places where the pipes connect. Look at how your faucet leaks. If the leak is slow but steady, the problem lies within the plumbing. However, you can’t detect a crack in plumbing with DIYs. Make sure you seek expert plumbing advice on the matter.

Changing water pressure

If the faucet leaks at different rates every now and then, it’s likely because of changing pressure. If the pressure in your pipes is too high for instance, not all of it can flow out at a time. As a result, excessive water backs up and starts leaking elsewhere.


Water pressure is usually high when the municipal supply is adjusted to meet the requirements of your locality. If you’re living in apartments, water pressure is usually higher in the bottom floors and lower as you move up.

How can you tell if your faucet is leaking because of changes in pressure? When there are pressure issues, faucets only leak at certain times of the day or when they’re dealt with in a certain way. At times, it will leak a lot all of a sudden and at other times, the dripping is slow and infrequent. If this is the case, you plumber will fix the problem by lowering the water pressure a bit.

Damaged cartridge

This only applies if you have a cartridge faucet. A cartridge is like a valve which turns a faucet on and off. This cartridge usually has a long lifespan, but can get corroded or broken if mishandled.

If your cartridge faucet is leaking, the chances are it’s the cartridge which is leaking and needs a replacement. To fix the problem, it’s essential to swap the worn out cartridge with another one which is exactly of the same shape and size. If you seek help from a plumber, they’ll first measure the size of your existing cartridge and then swap it with an identical one. If you try and tackle a damaged cartridge on your own and fail to get the right size, your cartridge will loosen out causing the faucet to leak even further.


Are you looking for residential plumbing in Palm Beach County? Get in touch with us. At Your 1 Plumber FL, our experts are well equipped to deal with all your everyday plumbing needs. To book our services, give us a call at 301-540-7586. You can also book an appointment online.

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