What Causes a Leaky Faucet?

Written on: February 26, 2024

We offer world-class plumbing services in Western Connecticut.

plumbing Fairfield County, CT Do you have a sink that won’t stop dripping? When you open a bathroom or kitchen tap, do you see water seeping out of handles and around the faucet base?

Leaky faucets are undoubtedly annoying, but they also present larger issues for your quality of life and home budget. That drip-drip-drip of your plumbing leads to needlessly higher water bills. Leaking water can cause mildew and mold to form, too.

At Seymour Oil & Propane, we partner with Allen’s Plumbing Supply to provide top-notch plumbing services in Fairfield County and other parts of Western Connecticut. Leaking faucets are some of the most frequent plumbing issues we address. Here’s a rundown of some standard causes of leaky faucets and whether you need a professional plumber to fix them.

Disc Cartridge Valve

Does the leaky faucet have two handles? These kinds of fixtures are called cartridge-style faucets because each handle has a cartridge with a disc. Cartridges regulate how much water comes out of your faucet. Over time, these cartridges wear down, become damaged or get out of position. Water slips through, and you end up with a persistent drip.

You could go to a hardware store for a replacement cartridge and install it yourself. Alternatively, a plumber can handle the job quickly.

Faucet Washer

The culprit could also be a loose or damaged washer. This washer is located at the base of the fixture. It opens and closes to let water pass through. Repeated use can create friction, which causes the washer to wear out or break. It can also become displaced. In some cases, the faucet’s installer may have even used the wrong size washer. In all these circumstances, you would end up with a leak.

As with a cartridge issue, you can replace the washer on your own or call a professional.


The O-ring (or O-rings — there can be several) hold your faucet in place. They’re made of rubber and can be found around the valve stem. They can wear out and break over time. Replacing a damaged O-ring will fix a leaky faucet quickly. Many homeowners prefer to have a professional plumber handle this process because, even though it’s a relatively quick job, it requires removing much of the fixture.

Valve Seat

Your faucet’s valve seat sits at the base of the fixture and connects a faucet cartridge to the valve that delivers water. If the valve seat becomes corroded, water will leak out. Depending on whether your valve seat is plastic or metal, it will need to be replaced or resurfaced. Reach out to a plumber to handle this repair.

Water Pressure

The issue could also be a matter of excessive water pressure from your plumbing. This is often the case when the leak only happens at certain times of the day or when you only get a drip when the faucet is at a particular angle. Addressing high water pressure requires a professional plumber.

The Seymour team is here for your plumbing needs!

If you have a plumbing issue that requires a licensed professional — or if you’re looking to install new appliances or fixtures — you can count on the Seymour Oil & Propane team. We get the job done quickly and correctly and treat your home with the utmost care and respect.

Say goodbye to aggravating and wasteful leaks. Contact Seymour Oil & Propane today for a plumbing appointment.