Why Is My Faucet Leaking At The Base – How To Fix It
Leaking faucets will not only disturb sleep, increase water bills, but also bring other troubles. Water leakage from faucets is a common problem, and there are also different types of situations. For example, when the faucet is turned off, the spout still leaks, or when the faucet is turned on, the base leaks at the same time. In either case, fortunately, most leaky faucets can be repaired if the homeowner has the right tools and some basic plumbing knowledge. In this article, we will analyze why the faucet leaks at the base and guide you how to fix by yourself.
What causes faucet to leak at the base
There can be several reasons for a faucet leaking at the base. Below we review some of the most common causes of leaking faucets.
The valve seat serves as the connection between the tap and the spout in the compression mechanism. A buildup of water deposits can cause corrosion of the valve seat, resulting in leaks around the spout area. Make sure to clean the valve seat regularly with the help of a professional plumber.
Improperly installed gasket
Often, a gasket that is not installed properly or is the wrong size can cause a leaking faucet. We recommend hiring a professional plumber to help you install your gasket properly and say goodbye to leaks.
This is one of the most common reasons behind dripping faucets. With each use, the gasket is pressed against the valve seat, and this constant friction causes it to wear. As a result, dripping water was found around the spout. Drips caused by worn rubber gaskets can be repaired by replacing the gaskets. This type of leak is found in compression faucets.
Problems with O-rings
The stem screw is used to hold the faucet handle in place. This stem screw consists of a small disc attached to it, called an O-ring. O-rings can become loose or worn during normal use, causing the faucet to drip near the handle. If this is the problem, replacing the damaged O-ring seal can fix it. This problem is especially present in cartridge faucets.
Tools you need
To fix a faucet, you’ll need to gather a few tools that you probably already have at home. To get started you need:
- 4-way or 6-way screwdriver
- Movable pliers
- A small monkey wrench
- Flashlight (Some models require an Allen key to remove them. Older faucets will require a seat wrench if the seat wears out and needs to be replaced. A larger Allen key can be used in most cases.)
Now you are ready to complete the troubleshooting and repair process.
How to fix my faucet leaking at the base
If your faucet seems to be leaking from the bottom, it’s best to fix the problem as soon as possible. But before you call a plumber, try the following:
Tighten the retaining ring
In some cases, tightening the retaining ring may be your best option. When the retaining ring comes loose, it allows water to slide through, creating a puddle around the bottom of the faucet. Here’s what you need for this process:
- Use the shut-off valve under the sink to shut off the water flow to the faucet, then turn on the kitchen faucet to drain the line. After the water stops flowing, close the handle.
- Using a 3/32 Allen key, remove the set screw on the faucet handle and set it aside.
- Unscrew the dome cover by turning it counterclockwise, and set it aside.
- Use a crescent wrench to tighten the retaining ring.
- After reinstalling the handle, turn on the switch of the faucet again and check whether the base is leaking or not.
There are multiple O-rings on the faucet to help ensure a watertight seal. When these o-rings dry out and crack, they allow water to leak, causing water to pool at the bottom of the faucet. So if tightening the retaining ring doesn’t help, try replacing the o-ring.
- First, turn off the faucet again and drain excess water from the lines.
- Use a hex wrench to remove the set screw on the faucet handle and set the screw aside.
- Unscrew the dome cover counterclockwise and set it aside.
- Unscrew the retaining nut counterclockwise to remove it.
- Take the valve out of the faucet body and inspect the O-rings for wear. if they look
- If worn, remove them and replace with new rings.
- After the faucet is reinstalled, turn the water back on and check for leaks.
Replace ink cartridge
If all else fails, the filter element in your kitchen faucet may be worn out. Therefore, you need to replace the filter element to solve the problem. To buy replacement cartridges, you need to know what kind of faucet you are using. If you are not sure which model you have or cannot find any identifiers, please contact the manufacturer’s customer support team for assistance. After you receive your replacement ink cartridge, begin the following steps:
- First, shut off the water supply using the shutoff valve under the sink. Drain excess water from the water supply line, then cover the drain with a small towel.
- Using a flathead screwdriver, carefully pry up the cover under the handle to expose the set screw.
- Use the Allen key to unscrew the set screw and set it aside. Some newer models may require a Philips screwdriver to remove the set screw.
- Firmly lift the handle from the faucet and set it aside.
- Turn the dome cap counterclockwise to unscrew it and set it aside. You should now see the retaining nut.
- Use a pair of pliers to loosen the retaining nut and turn counterclockwise.
- Remove the old cartridge from the faucet body, taking care that it lines up with the faucet.
- Install the new cartridge, making sure to align the tabs with the back of the faucet body.
- Retrace the steps for reassembling the faucet.
- Turn the water back on, remove the towel covering the drain, and check for leaks.
Closing thoughts on why is my faucet leaking at the base
If you follow the step-by-step instructions above, you should be able to solve the problem of faucet leakage. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to replace the faucet or call a plumber to fix it.