When your faucet continues to drip from the spout when both handles are in a sealed position, your issue may be due to a damaged stem or cartridge component. The apparatus inside a faucet handle is defined as a stem or cartridge, this mechanism functions as an in-line shut-off valve. In simpler terms, when you rotate your faucet handles into the off position rubber or plastic components will seal across an opening; thus cutting the flow of water. If one of the faucet’s internal components is damaged, worn, or breaks apart; this part must be replaced to stop the drip. Going to a local hardware store and replacing the part can lead to success, however contacting your plumber will guarantee the safety of the entire mechanism.
Sometimes the easiest solution can be the correct one
The cause to a dripping faucet may be due to the handles not being set on a fully closed position. Many people open both faucet handles at the same time in order to regulate the temperature of water, so forgetting to fully close both handles is a common problem. Furthermore tub faucets contain three handles, sealing both water handles and using the middle handle to seal the diverter can prevent the flow of water. Some homes contain knob-style handles, which usually rotate clockwise to fully reach the off position. Angled handles in a dual-handled assembly will turn away from the spout to obtain the off position. Lastly, before trying to open the faucet’s guts make sure you have double-checked the source of the leak.
Causes that allow faucets to drip while in a sealed position
Depleting rubber washers are usually the source of a dripping faucet. Rubber washers are connected by a screw to the innermost end of compression-style faucets. When your faucet is stationed in a closed position, the washer presses and seals over an opening to prevent the flow of water. Years of use can reduce the size of the washer and deplete the part, thus allowing small portions of water to travel through the opening; and leading to a drip. Extremely damaged washers can even cause a running faucet. Replacing the washer can once again seal the opening and stop the drip. On the other hand; ball, disc, and cartridge-style faucets do not contain washers. Instead they use multiple plastic and metal components to control and seal the flow of water. All these parts are vulnerable to damage and deterioration, and identifying the faulty part can be difficult. Additionally, improperly disassembling this complex mechanism can damage other parts. A plumbing professional is highly recommended to replace the appropriate part and prevent future damage.
Extracting and Replacing faucet stems
If dripping still continues after a washer or worn part is replaced, a faucet stem replacement may be needed. Screwdrivers and wrenches allow a person to remove compression faucet stems. However, washer-less faucet stems usually require a special stem-pulling tool or cartridge removal tool. General stem-pulling tools can be found at a local hardware store, yet many proprietary cartridge removal tools can only be purchased/ordered through plumbing supply outlets. Once the stem has been removed take the old part to your hardware store and purchase the same new stem. Buying a new version or different stem may not stop the dripping. Reassemble the purchased stem and the dripping should stop.