A dripping tap can wear away at both your wallet and your patience. Not only can the sound be annoying, a simple drip can lead to large amounts of water waste. A tap that drips ten times a minute can use up to 5 litres of water a day! Your home plumbing system is a vital piece of infrastructure and is often taken for granted. The network of water pipes and drains within your home are responsible for bringing in the water used for cleaning and nourishment while the drains are responsible for the removal of waste. Ensuring the system is kept in working order is vital for the health of you and your family.
While rare, issues with your pipes may be causing your leaking tap. Usually, problems with your pipes will manifest into other more noticeable problems before causing your tap to leak but it isn’t unheard of. These other symptoms can include external leaks, smells and coloured water. Problems with the pipes will cause pressure fluctuations which may lead to your tap dripping.
When pressure builds up you can have a serious situation on your hands. When you have the right pressure in your water pipes you achieve a laminar flow of the water. This is where water flows through your pipes at the correct rate under the correct pressure and appears to flow smoothly and consistently. The main symptom of excessive pressure causing non-laminar flow is rattling in your pipes. The movement of the pipes can cause wear on the pipe joins leading to cracks and leaking water. Pressure limiting valves (PLV) can be installed to regulate water pressure and protect your pipes from fluctuating water pressure.
Another cause of high water pressure can be air bubbles trapped in the pipes. The air bubbles will not dislodge and instead for a bottleneck for the water to flow past. This creates changes in pressure that puts strain on the pipes. There is a simple method for clearing your pipes of air pockets that you can do yourself to troubleshoot.
The Washer and O-Ring
Something as simple as a broken seal can lead to much larger issues. The two seals within your tap work together to ensure water does not escape the fitting. You are able to tell which is damaged by determining where the leak is occurring. If there is water leaking from the spindle then you most likely need to replace the washer inside the tap. If the tap is dripping even with the spindle turned off then you most likely need to change the O-ring. It is the O-ring that is most prone to fail when your water pressure is too high.
Your plumbing might just need a tune-up. With all the moving parts inside taps, old age can take its toll and wear down parts. The valve seat is the most prone to failure as minerals within the water can wear down the seal over time. Other parts may wiggle loose over time and need to be tightened. For sink mixers, you may need a new cartridge that can return your tap to as good as new with a simple fix.
Bring Your Plumbing Back From Disrepair, Call Botanical Plumbing Today.
If not treated early, water leaks are bad news for the environment and can lead to expensive water bills and costly damage to your home. At Botanical Plumbing we provide pressure testing to ensure your plumbing is functioning properly as well as a full slew of leak repairs, including no-dig repairs. Contact us to discuss your needs and remember we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency repairs.