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6 Dripping Faucet Detection Tips For Property Owners

Updated: Jul 2

When talking about property maintenance and care, a minor issue can often indicate larger problems lurking beneath the surface. A dripping faucet stands out as both a common and frustrating problem. 

This article will talk about the process of detecting, understanding, and resolving the issue of a dripping faucet.

What Causes Faucet Leaks? 

Faucet leaks are a common household issue that can lead to significant water waste and increased utility bills if not addressed promptly. Understanding the various causes of faucet leaks is the first step toward effective troubleshooting and repair. 

Water Pressure 

Excessive water pressure can stress your plumbing system, including faucets, leading to leaks. When water pressure is too high, it can force water through even the smallest openings, resulting in a drip or leak, especially noticeable at night when water use is low. 

Cartridge Faucets

In cartridge faucets, the cartridge itself can be a source of leaks if it becomes worn or damaged. These faucets use a cartridge to control the flow of water, and over time, it can wear out or become clogged with mineral deposits, causing leaks.


Issues beyond the cartridge itself, like worn-out O-rings or springs that help control the cartridge, can also lead to leaks. These components are integral to the proper functioning of cartridge faucets and require regular inspection. 

Seals and Gaskets

O-rings and other seals in the faucet can deteriorate over time due to constant exposure to water, leading to leaks. These seals are crucial for maintaining a watertight connection between the faucet's moving parts, and when they fail, leaks occur. 

Loose Parts 

Faucets are made up of several components, and over time, these parts can become loose due to regular use or vibrations within the plumbing system. Loose nuts, screws, or washers can lead to a leaky faucet by allowing water to escape. 

Broken Plumbing 

Leaking can also be caused by issues beyond the faucet itself, such as broken or deteriorated plumbing lines that supply water to the faucet. These problems can cause leaks that appear to originate from the faucet but are actually due to issues within the walls or under the sink. 

A Leaky Spout 

Wear and tear on the spout, such as corrosion or damage, can lead to leaks. This is often the result of aging materials or the continuous impact of hard water, which can corrode or degrade the spout over time. 

Tap Corrosion 

The tap, or the point where water is dispensed, can suffer from corrosion over time. This corrosion can compromise the integrity of the faucet, leading to leaks. Corrosion is often caused by the chemical composition of the water and can be exacerbated by the faucet's material. 

How to Detect a Leaky Faucet? 

Detecting a leaky faucet extends beyond the obvious sign of a persistent drip. Here are several methods to uncover even the most elusive leaks: 

1. Submetering And Micrometering 

Integrating submetering into your water system offers a laser-focused approach to tracking water usage throughout your home or building. 

The submetering method is important for detecting spikes in water consumption that are always unnoticed by property owners and homeowners. These spikes can tell that there is a sign of a leaky faucet within a property.

Utilizing micrometering is a valuable approach for identifying sources of overuse. By meticulously measuring each fixture within the unit, even the slightest leaks can be detected and promptly addressed before they escalate. 

Leveraging IoT technology enables you to receive real-time alerts and comprehensive reports, ensuring swift action is taken in the event of a leaking faucet or one left open for an extended period

2. Check the Flow Angle 

Paying attention to the angle at which water exits the faucet can reveal much about the health of your plumbing fixtures. Occasionally, water droplets may adhere to the faucet's body, creating a misleading path that ends away from the sink, suggesting a leak. 

This subtle sign often goes unnoticed but can indicate a malfunctioning valve or washer. Observing these nuances allows for early intervention, preventing the escalation of leaking faucets into more serious plumbing issues. 

water flowing from a faucet

3. A Noisy Handle 

When the handle of a faucet produces unusual sounds, it's often an early warning of internal wear or damage, hinting at potential leaks. These sounds, ranging from grinding to squeaking, can indicate that the components responsible for controlling water flow, such as valves and washers, may soon fail. 

Addressing these noises promptly can prevent further damage to the faucet and the broader plumbing system, avoiding costly repairs. 

faucet handle

4. Deposits on the Faucet 

The presence of mineral deposits or corrosion on the exterior of a faucet is a clear indicator of a slow, persistent leak. Over time, water escaping through tiny openings can leave behind hard water stains or corrode metal fixtures, signaling that it's time to inspect your faucets closely. 

leaky faucet

5. Water Spots Away from the Sink   

Finding water spots on surfaces distant from the sink can be a surprising clue that leaks are occurring. These spots often result from water splashing or dripping from leaky fixtures and then traveling along countertops or walls, where it eventually evaporates, leaving behind evidence of a leak. 

water spots

6. Loose Faucets 

A faucet that exhibits excessive movement or instability is a clear sign that internal components may be deteriorating, leading to potential leaks. This wobbling can strain pipes and fittings, increasing the risk of leaks both at the faucet and within the plumbing system. 

an old and loose faucet

How to Fix A Leaky Faucet? 

Once a leak is detected, timely repairs can prevent water waste and potential damage. Follow these steps to address a leaky faucet: 

  • Shut Off the Water: Always begin by checking your shut-off valve or turning off the water supply to the faucet to prevent flooding during repairs. 

  • Remove the Handle: Carefully dismantle the faucet handle. This may require unscrewing or gently prying, depending on the faucet design. 

  • Remove the Cartridge or Stem: Extract the cartridge or stem, which houses the seals and washers likely to be the source of the leak. 

  • Install New Cartridge: Replace the old cartridge or stem with a new one, ensuring it matches the faucet model to prevent future leaks. 

  • Reattach Faucet Handle: Once the new cartridge is installed, reassemble the faucet handle and restore the water supply to test for leaks. 

Tips for Fixing a Leaky Faucet 

  • Work Carefully: Take each step slowly to avoid damaging the faucet or its components. 

  • Keep Parts Organized: Lay out parts in the order of removal to simplify reassembly. 

  • Use the Right Tools: Employ plumbing-specific tools to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. 

  • Replace Washers and O-rings: Even if not visibly damaged, replacing these parts during repair can prevent future leaks. 

  • Check for Corrosion: Inspect all parts for signs of corrosion or wear and replace them as necessary. 

man fixing a faucet

When to Call for Help? 

While many faucet leaks can be addressed with DIY methods, certain situations necessitate professional intervention. 

If the leak persists after attempting repairs, if the cause of the leak is unclear, or if the faucet requires significant disassembly, it's important to ask for help.

How DrizzleX Can Help You

DrizzleX home page

DrizzleX allows you to detect hidden leaks, such as running toilets and leaky faucets and showers, to stop millions of gallons of waste each year. It also alerts you to excessive water overuse by tenants. 

Typically, buildings that use DrizzleX reduce their water bills by 25-45% or more. And you can expect a pretty quick return on investment (ROI). Buildings with DrizzleX save enough water to cover the entire cost of DrizzleX within about 9 months on average.

Usage Reports

One of DrizzleX's solutions is the “Tenant’s Overuse” report. Since many people aren't really aware of their excessive water usage, an accurate report can be very helpful in preventing unnecessary expenses. Using the reports, you can communicate with your tenants about their water consumption habits, and back it up with precise data too.

Leak Detection

Leaks can be sneaky because they aren't always visible. With property inspection, you can see the obvious ones. But, silent leaks will only show up on your utility bills. DrizzleX gives you water control because you can monitor the water flow in your building.

The system will notify you about where and how much water is being lost.

E-mail Notifications

Once DrizzleX spots the leak, it will notify you via email. The message you receive will include all the details about the exact apartment and fixture that is the culprit, how many gallons were used, how much it will cost you if the problem isn’t fixed, and even possible causes for the water waste and how to fix it.


DrizzleX also allows you to bill your tenants. Tenants conserve water when they are the ones paying for it. You can easily create water bills based on accurate water consumption and bill them fairly.


Tackling a dripping faucet promptly can save water and money while protecting your home from damage. 

High water pressure, faulty cartridges, deteriorated seals, and corrosion in taps and water lines are common culprits. Detecting leaks might involve noticing drips, listening for unusual sounds from faucets or toilets, and spotting water away from sinks.

Simple fixes include shutting off water, replacing cartridges or seals, and reassembling the faucet. 

However, persistent issues or significant leaks in water lines may require a professional's touch to ensure peak efficiency, prevent mold growth, and avoid hikes in your water bill.

FAQs about Dripping Faucet Detection 

What's the fastest way to detect faucet drips?

The fastest way to detect faucet drips is by visually inspecting the faucet and sink for water and listening for the sound of dripping water, especially in quiet times.

Is submetering worth it?

Submetering is worth it for accurately tracking water usage, identifying leaks early, and potentially saving on water bills by promoting responsible usage. In buildings that don’t have water mains to each apartment unit, installing micrometers from DrizzleX is an effective solution.

What is the best type of faucet?

The best type of faucet depends on your needs and preferences, but ceramic disc faucets are highly durable, require low maintenance, and offer precise control over water flow and temperature.

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