A leaking tap might not seem like an emergency, especially compared to other plumbing issues like a burst pipe. However, a dripping tap can waste a significant amount of water if left unattended, resulting in higher bills (not to mention the annoyance that a constant drip, drip, drip can bring).
There are several possible causes behind a leaky faucet and identifying the reason can help you plan what to do next. You might be able to fix some issues yourself, but others will require the services of a professional plumber. If you’ve noticed a leaking tap in your home and want to know why, see below for four possible causes.
Tap cartridges control the flow and temperature of water coming out of the tap, so they’re one of the most important components. Cartridges are highly durable but they can become worn out over time or damaged by a buildup of sediment (which then creates leaks). If you know which size cartridge you need, you may be able to replace it yourself, but you’ll need some specialist tools and knowledge of how taps work. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to call in a professional.
A leaking tap can be caused by issues with your pipes, including cracks, corrosion or damage from tree roots. Damaged pipes can lead to fluctuations in water pressure, which then causes your taps to drip. However, pipe damage is serious and it’s unlikely that this alone would cause a dripping tap. If you do have damaged pipes you’ll probably notice other issues, such as unpleasant smells, discoloured water and much larger leaks.
High water pressure
Excessive water pressure can affect the flow of water in your pipes; if the pressure is too high, water cannot flow effectively. This causes water to become backed up and if it can’t find an outlet, it will start to drip out of your taps. A plumber will be able to test your water pressure and provide a solution to lower it if necessary.
Damaged valve seat
The valve seat is what the washer closes onto when the tap is off, forming a seal between the spout and the tap. The valve seat comes under a lot of pressure so they’re vulnerable to corrosion and general wear and tear. You may be able to replace the valve seat yourself if you have the right tools, but again, it’s always best to call a professional if you’re not sure to avoid further damage.
If you’re suffering from a leaking tap, burst pipe or any other plumbing issues, get in touch with the team at McRoberts Plumbing. We’re proud to offer a full range of plumbing services in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Glasgow and beyond, including tap and sink repairs, bathroom installation, boiler repairs, burst pipes and shower fixtures. A member of our expert team can be at your door within 24 hours and we also offer a 24/7 emergency hotline, so give us a call today or contact us online to find out more.