Bathroom Faucet Dripping After Water Turned Off (Solved)

A dripping faucet can be very annoying and it also leads to a higher water bill. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, one drip each second can waste up to 3000 gallons of water per year.

So without delaying it, you should fix it immediately. Although, fixing a dripping faucet is an easy task and inexpensive.

But before that, you should understand “why your bathroom faucet is dripping after the water is turned off”.

If your bathroom faucet is dripping the reason could be a worn-out washer, damaged o-ring, corroded valve seat, or damaged cartridge.

 In this article, we are going to help you figure out what type of faucet you have and how to fix them.

Why Is My Bathroom Faucet Dripping After The Water Is Turned Off?

1. Broken Or Worn-Out Washers

There are four types of faucets: Ball faucets, cartridge faucets, ceramic disk faucets, and compression faucets. Among the 4 faucets, only compression-style faucets have rubber or plastic washers.

The washers compress over the opening to stop the flow of water, when the faucet is turned off. Over time, the washer gets worn out due to the friction caused by the valve seat.

Also, the compression faucets can induce pressure on them, causing the washer to wear out.   

So, when the washers get broken or worn out, it is not able to cover the entire opening.

As a result, water starts to leak out of the faucet. That’s why your faucet starts dripping even when the faucet is turned off.

To fix the problem you have to replace the washer with a new one.

2. Loose Or Damaged O-ring

Cartridge-style faucets have O-rings instead of rubber or plastic washers. The O-ring is a small rubber ring that creates a watertight seal to stop the flow of water when the faucet is turned off.

With regular use, the o-rings become loose or damaged. When the O-rings get loose or damaged, water starts dripping from the faucet.

To fix the issue, replace the O-ring with a new one.

3. Corroded Valve Seat

The valve seat is situated at the base of the faucet mechanism. It helps to control the water flow and works as a seal for the faucet stem.

With time, the valve seat becomes corroded due to the presence of minerals in water.

And once the corrosion takes place, mineral sediments start to gather around the valve seat and eat away the component.

As a result, the valve seat becomes ineffective and water starts dripping from the faucet.

So, replacing the valve seat is the only option to fix the problem. However, all the valve seats are not removable, check whether the seat in your faucet is removable or not.

Disassemble the faucet and inspect inside the valve housing with a flashlight. If the shape of the hole in the bottom of the seat is hexagonal or square then you can remove the seat.

To remove the valve seat you will need a seat wrench. In case, the valve seat is too corroded then you may need a round grinding disk with a T-handle.

4. Damaged Cartridge

The cartridge is a valve which controls the flow of water. Over time, the cartridge gets damaged, and as a result water leaks from the faucet spout.

So if your cartridge is damaged then replace them with a new one. You can purchase the new cartridge from a hardware store or order online from Home Depot.

In case you are buying it from a hardware store then take the old cartridge with you so you can get the exact model. As there are various faucet brands and different faucets have different cartridge models.

How To Fix A Dripping Bathroom Faucet

Step 1: Shut Off The Water Supply

Shut off the water supply so that flooding does not occur in the bathroom.

Under the bathroom sink, two shut-off valves are located – one for hot water and the other for cold water. Rotate both the valves in the clockwise direction to stop the water supply.

If there are no shut-off valves under the bathroom sink, turn off the main water supply of the house.

Then, turn on the faucet to flush out the remaining water present inside the pipes.

Step 2: Cover The Sink Drain

Before disassembling the faucet handle make sure to cover the sink drain with a drain stopper or else the faucet’s part may fall in the drain. If you don’t have a drain stopper, simply place a towel over the sink drain.

Step 3: Disassemble The Faucet Handle

To disassemble the faucet handle, first, you have to remove the cap on the faucet handle. The cap is located on the top or side of the faucet handle.

If your faucet has an index button on top of the handle then remove it with the help of a flathead screwdriver (or a knife). After removing the cap, you will see a screw; remove it with the help of a screwdriver.

If the cap is located at the side of the handle, you will see a decorative cap instead of an index button. Behind the decorative cap, there will be a set screw. Remove the set screw by using an Allen wrench.

At last, remove the faucet handle.

Step 4: Identify The Faucet

First, you have to identify the type of faucet you have to get the right replacement parts.

Basically, there are four types of faucets: compression faucets, cartridge faucets, ceramic disk faucets, and Ball faucets. Here we will help you to figure out what type of faucet you have and how to fix them.

Compression Faucet

Compression faucets are identifiable by their separate handles. They have two handles – one for hot water and the other for cold water. To shut off the water flow, you have to tighten the handles down.

The faucet works with the help of a compression stem. The stem is a type of glorified screw with a washer at the end of it pressing against the valve seat.

How To Fix Them?

1. There are several parts inside a compression faucet that can cause the faucet to leak.

2. After removing the faucet handle, you will see a stem nut that holds the stem in place. Use an adjustable wrench to remove the stem nut.

3. After that, pull out the stem with the help of your hand. If it is stuck inside there, take the help of pliers.

4. Once the stem is removed, you can get access to the washers, O-ring, retaining ring, and faucet seat. Simply replace these parts with new ones.

5. But make sure to get the exact replacement of each part because the O-rings size can vary from 3/8 to 5/8 inch, so it’s important to match the exact size of your faucet.

6. Once you have got the replacement, lubricate the new parts with non-toxic, heat-proof plumber’s grease before installing them into the faucet.

Cartridge Faucet

Cartridge faucets also have two separate handles- one for hot water and the other for cold water. That’s why cartridge faucets and compression faucets look almost indistinguishable.

But you can tell the difference by how the handles feel when used. To turn off the compression faucet you have to rotate the handle tightly by applying strength.

However, in a cartridge faucet, you can turn the handle smoothly and consistently. In fact, with a half-turn, the handle goes from the off to the on position.

How To Fix Them?

1. Normally there are 2 parts that can cause a leak in the cartridge faucet, that’s O-rings and the cartridge.

2. Examine the condition of these parts. See if they are damaged or worn out. If they are damaged then replacing the parts will fix the problem.

3. First, cut out the existing O-rings and replace them with a new one. If replacing the O-rings doesn’t solve the problem then replace the entire cartridge.

4. But make sure to get the exact replacement. Take the damaged part to the hardware store to get the exact replacement.

5. Before installing the new cartridge and O-rings, coat them with non-toxic, heat-proof plumber grease.

Ceramic-Disk Faucet

Ceramic disk faucets are identifiable by their single lever over a wide cylindrical body. The ceramic disk faucet mixes cold and hot water inside the mixing chamber called a pressure balance cartridge.

At the bottom of the chambers, there are two ceramic discs that control the flow of the water by raising and lowering the chambers. The temperature of the water is controlled by a side-to-side rotation of the handle.

 How To Fix Them?

1. After removing the faucet handle, take out the ceramic disk. Now check the condition of the ceramic disk and the neoprene seals. The neoprene seals are located at the base of the ceramic disk.

2. If the seals are damaged, replace them with a new one. If replacing the seals doesn’t solve the problem, replace the entire ceramic disk.

Ball Type Faucet

Ball-type faucets are very common in the kitchen sink and were the first washerless faucets.

You can identify the ball faucet by its single handle that moves over a rounded ball-shaped cap right above the base of the faucet spout.

They have a single handle that controls a rotating ball called the lever ball assembly which is made up of either metal or plastic body.

The ball has chambers in it along with rubber O-rings and spring-loaded rubber seals. The main function of the ball assembly is to control the flow and temperature of the water coming out of the faucet

How To Fix Them?

To determine the cause of the leak, you have to disassemble the faucet handle and inspect the parts.

But in ball faucet, it’s very difficult to identify which part has worn out or damaged. So it’s better to replace all the parts.

That means you should replace the Springs, valve seat, cam washer, and O-rings with new ones.

The good thing is faucet repair kits are widely available for many different ball faucets and they include every parts you will need for the repair.

Step 5: Reattach The Faucet Handle

Once everything is done, simply put back all the parts into the faucet where they belong and then reattach the faucet handle by tightening the screw.

Step 6: Check The Faucet

Now turn on the water supply valve. Let the faucet run for a few minutes so that the remaining debris gets flushed out. Also, the air present inside the faucet will pushed out. After that turn off the faucet and check the handle and tap for leaks.