Why is Faucet Dripping Water When Shut off Valves Off

Why is Faucet Dripping Water When Shut off Valves Off: 8 Causes

Last Updated on May 16, 2023

Have you ever experienced a dripping faucet even when the shut-off valves are turned off? This can be frustrating for homeowners and lead to an increase in your water bill over time.

The reason behind this issue can vary, but it’s essential to understand the root cause to prevent further damage to your plumbing system. One of the common reasons behind a dripping faucet is a faulty cartridge. Incompatible washers can also contribute to faucet leakage.

Moreover, corrosion and mineral buildup can be a reason for faucet leaks as they restrict the water flow in the faucet, leading to dripping. Today we will explore why your faucet may still be dripping even with shut-off valves turned off. So continue reading!

Why is Faucet Dripping Water When Shut off Valves Off: Probable Causes

Why is Faucet Dripping Water When Shut off Valves Off: Probable Causes

Here are some possible reasons why your faucet keeps dripping water despite being turned off.

Damaged Cartridges:

One of the leading causes of a dripping faucet is damaged cartridges. Over time, cartridges can become worn out and damaged due to continuous use and exposure to hard water.

When this occurs, the cartridges can no longer create a seal and prevent water from escaping. The result is a dripping faucet that does not stop even when the shut-off valves are turned off.

To correct this issue, it is recommended to replace the damaged cartridges. First, turn off the faucet water supply to the faucet and remove the handle and escutcheon to access the cartridges. Replace the damaged cartridge with a new one, making sure it matches the type of faucet you have.

Incompatible Washers:

Incompatible washers can also cause a dripping faucet. When the washer is incompatible with the type of valve seat, it can cause leakage even when the shutoff valves are closed.

If this is the case, the washer must be replaced with the appropriate type for the valve seat. To replace the washer, first, turn off the water supply and remove the handle and stem of the faucet.

Replace the washer with a compatible one, ensuring it is the right size and type for the particular valve seat.

The Washer Is Worn Out:

It is also common for worn-out washers to cause dripping faucets. Over time, washers can become warped or cracked, which can cause them to leak. If you suspect that this is the reason your faucet is dripping, then replacing the washer should do the trick.

In most cases, you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the handle in place. Once you have access to the washer, simply remove it and take it to your local hardware store to find an identical replacement.

With a new washer in place, simply reverse the process and screw the handle back into place. In most cases, this simple repair will resolve a dripping faucet.

The O-Ring Is Damaged:

Another possible reason for a dripping faucet is a damaged O-ring. The O-ring is a small rubber ring that helps create a seal between the valve seat and the valve stem. If this seal is damaged, then water will be able to escape, resulting in your faucet dripping.

Replacing the O-ring is a relatively easy fix that anyone can do, as long as you have the right size replacement ring. This problem is most common in older homes, as the O-rings tend to degrade over time. In any case, it is always a good idea to check for damage before attempting any repairs, as a broken O-ring can cause much more extensive damage if left unchecked.

The Faucet Is Worn Out:

If your faucet is old, then it’s possible that it’s simply worn out and needs to be replaced. Over time, repeated use can cause even well-made faucets to break down and develop leaks.

If this is the case, then there’s not much you can do except buy a new faucet and install it yourself or hire a professional plumber to do it for you.

Corrosion and Mineral Buildup:

Another probable cause of a dripping faucet is corrosion and mineral buildup. The minerals in hard water can cause the valves and other parts of the faucet to corrode and form mineral buildup. This buildup can block the valve surfaces, preventing them from making full contact and closing properly.

The best way to fix this is to thoroughly clean the affected parts of the faucet using a solution of white vinegar and water. Apply the solution with a soft brush or cloth and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Once the buildup is loosened, rinse the faucet with water and reassemble it.

Water Pressure:

In some cases, a dripping faucet may be due to a build-up of water pressure. If the water pressure is too high, it can cause leaks at points of weakness in your plumbing system. For example, if the seals around a pipe are not tight, water may seep through the gaps and cause the faucet to drip.

This is usually caused by an issue with the main water supply, so you’ll need to contact your water provider to resolve the problem. In most cases, they’ll be able to fix the issue quickly and without any major disruption to your service.

In any case, if the problem is more severe, you may need to have your plumbing system inspected and repaired by a professional. Either way, it’s important to get the problem fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your home.

Should I Leave Faucets Open After Shutting Off The Water?

Should I Leave Faucets Open After Shutting Off The Water

One question you may have after shutting off the water to your home is whether or not you should leave the faucets open. The answer to this question depends on a few factors.

If the water is shut off due to a broken pipe, it is important to leave the faucets open in order to drain the remaining water out of the pipes. This will help prevent the pipes from freezing and cracking.

In contrast, if the water is shut off for another reason, such as a scheduled repair, you may not need to leave the faucets open. In this case, it is generally best to follow the advice of the repair person.

They will know if there is any risk of the pipes freezing and can advise you accordingly. In general, it is always best to err on the side of caution and leave the faucets open after shutting off the water.

Can a Shut-off Valve Leak?

Over time, any shut-off valve can become corroded, leaky, and difficult to turn. This is especially true for valves that are not used often, as they may have been open for years without being turned off.

Also, the washers in these valves can become brittle or crusted with mineral deposits, making it difficult for them to seal properly. Therefore, it is important to inspect shut-off valves regularly and to replace them if they become damaged.

In some cases, it may be necessary to hire a professional to replace the valve. Yet, this is typically a minor repair that can be easily completed by most homeowners.

Do You Have to Shut off The Water to Fix a Leaky Faucet?

Do You Have to Shut off The Water to Fix a Leaky Faucet

There are two water shut-off valves that you need to be aware of when fixing a bathroom sink leak. The first is the main water shut-off valve. This is the valve that controls water flow throughout your entire home.

If you turn this valve off, you will not have any water at all in your home. The second shut-off valve is located under your sink. This valve regulates the flow of water to just your bathroom sink. By turning off this valve, you will still have water in your house, but it will not come out of your bathroom sinks.

To fix a leaking bathroom sink faucet, you need to turn off both of these valves. Once the valves are turned off, you can then proceed to disassemble the faucet and repair it as necessary.

Once you have repaired the faucet, you can then turn the valves back on and test the faucet to make sure that it is no longer leaking. If it is still leaking, you may want to contact a plumber for assistance.

Why Does My New Faucet Drip After I Turn It Off?

If your new faucet is dripping after you turn it off, there are a few possible explanations. The washer may be installed incorrectly. If the washer is too loose, it won’t create a tight seal, and water will be able to leak through.

The problem may be with the valve seat. If the seat is damaged or corroded, it may not seal properly, even with a new washer. Also, the problem could be with the O-ring. The O-ring is located behind the handle of the faucet and helps to keep water from leaking out.

If it’s damaged or worn out, it inevitably needs to be replaced. In some cases, you may be able to diagnose the problem yourself by tightening the washer or replacing the O-ring. Then again, if the damage is extensive, you’ll need to call a professional plumber to make repairs.


A dripping faucet can be annoying, but it can also be a sign of a bigger problem. 

Hopefully, after reading the article, you now have a better understanding of the facts involved with the answer to your question.

To fix a dripping faucet, you will need to replace the washer. With a few basic tools, anyone can do this. If you are unsure of how to proceed, it is recommended that you consult a professional plumber. By taking control of this problem quickly, you can help prevent additional wear to your faucet and save money on your water bill.

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