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Old 03-27-2013, 10:58 PM   #1
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


After looking through the B&D Home Repair guide and scouring the Internet, I need some help.

I noticed a small puddle of water under my bathroom sink. Upon closer inspection, the water appears to be coming from both of the connections to the under side of the faucet (the side of the supply tube that connects to the faucet, not the side that connects to the shutoff valve).

Any idea as to what is happening or what I should do to narrow things down? My best idea is just to take it apart and put it back together

The most relevant article I found on the Internet was this one that suggested replacing the faucet:
http://plumbing.about.com/od/fixture...et-Leaks_4.htm

More specific details, in case they help:

Note that the drip is coming from under the sink. I see no water on top of the sink/faucet.

The amount of water is small (maybe one drip every 30 seconds at the most), but the rate seems to vary somewhat (but I haven't been able to correlate it with anything). The drip rate doesn't change if the water is on/off. If I open the shutoff valve, I don't see any drips for a long time (at least an hour or so). Obviously, if I close the shutoff valve, the drip goes away.

Thanks for any help!

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Old 03-28-2013, 01:21 AM   #2
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


Is this a new install? Is there plumber tape at the connection? When the shutoff valve is open, there're no drips for an hour and when it starts to drip, it drips every 30 seconds or so?

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Old 03-28-2013, 06:25 AM   #3
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


If the drip is from the water feed line---try tightening the line----you did not tell us what the line is made of---on rare occasions the flexible lines fail at the connection of the hose to the threaded part----use a tissue to dry out the area and isolate the leak.

I've seen thousands of dollars worth of damage caused but failed flex lines----massive damage--
so I use only rigid lines unless there is no practical alternative.

You need a good light to see where that leak comes from---post a picture if you can---
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


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Originally Posted by Property Medics View Post
Is this a new install? Is there plumber tape at the connection? When the shutoff valve is open, there're no drips for an hour and when it starts to drip, it drips every 30 seconds or so?
I don't believe it's a new install--but I just moved into the house, so I can't be 100% sure.

When the shutoff valve is open, there are no immediate drips, but if I leave a paper towel underneath, in an hour or two I see water on the paper (maybe 1/2 fl oz).
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
If the drip is from the water feed line---try tightening the line----you did not tell us what the line is made of---on rare occasions the flexible lines fail at the connection of the hose to the threaded part----use a tissue to dry out the area and isolate the leak.

I've seen thousands of dollars worth of damage caused but failed flex lines----massive damage--
so I use only rigid lines unless there is no practical alternative.

You need a good light to see where that leak comes from---post a picture if you can---
Thanks. I can try tightening everything and report back.

The feed line appears to be plastic and it is flexible. I've dried the area and I have a good idea of where the water is coming from.

It looks like the water is forming not at the connection between the feed line and the threaded part, but up above, right at the underside of the sink.
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet-bathroom-faucet-drip-under-sink-006-1024x680-.jpg  
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:36 PM   #6
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


Very good picture. A couple of things

1. No plumbers tape is used on supply line connections, they are compression fittings with brass ferrules or rubber washers.

2. The supply lines you have are probably PEX, and it is fairly rigid. The top of your supplies are doing an immediate turn to the right and appear to be under stress. This is not good, as they should be in alignment with the input line better than this. This is not the source of your current leak, however, and is mentioned as a potential problem down the road.

3. Your problem is probably in the cartridge, or where the cartridge seals to the fixture. Shut off the supply lines. Remove the handle. There is a screw under the medallion, or an allen set screw behind a pop out logo or snap in filler plug. Remove the cartridge and inspect it closely. You can usually buy an O ring replacement kit for the fixture or call the manufacturer and they will send you a new cartridge. Clean out the well where the cart goes and replace. Apply greae supplied, if any. That should do it. I noticed that no plumbers putty was used under the mounting plate of the fixture. It should be there in my opinion. ONLY PLUMBERS PUTTY, NOT SEALANT if you ever want to remove the fixture in the future.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #7
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


Be careful you may break all them wonderful plastic nuts..... If you can afford it go and purchase a new faucet that uses brass parts and a 2 new 3/8 inch braided lavatory supply tubes. For one you have a polybutene plastic supply tube that was sued out of existance years ago for failures. The pipe degrades with chlorine.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:31 PM   #8
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


From the picture I am seeing the arrow pointing to the area where the flange nut is contacting the bottom of the sink. IF this is where the water is dripping from then I would say that you DO NOT have a leak where the supply line attaches to the faucet. You have a leak somewhere above the sink top that is getting into the area between the sinks threaded stem and the flange nut. You don't show the actual faucet but I'm betting it's a type that has a single handle and a cartridge assembly. These can leak internally, seep the water into the faucet's housing and this would appear where you have the arrow.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:48 PM   #9
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


I agree with Thurman.
Somethings wrong with the way those supply lines are run, sure looks like it's bent 90 Deg's, is crimped and runs in the wrong direction for a supply line.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:00 PM   #10
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


Look at the angle stops real closely- they appear to be plastic like the supply lines -may be a one piece unit. So, you may be stuck with those supply lines or replacing the valves as well.
I'd be inspecting the cartridge or installing a high quality faucet.
Do you live in a manufactured home? If so, they're built with rather unique products..
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #11
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"Unique" = cheap
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


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"Unique" = cheap
Well- I wasn't going to say it...
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:55 AM   #13
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


Thanks for the info, jagans, Ghostmaker, Thurman, joecaption, TheEplumber.

I attached a picture of how the fixture looks up top. Good to know (in one sense) about the line not being optimal. I did some searches and I think the supply line/valve are indeed polybutylene. The home was built in the late 80s--not sure if this bathroom ever got remodeled (I suspect it did).

I agree that it makes sense that there's a leak somewhere in the fixture and the water is coming out below--but I still think it's a bit odd that I don't see any water pooling on the top of the sink.

I'll see if I can figure out how to open up the fixture and figure out if it uses a cartridge (I suspect it does) and then check the seals and cartridge.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:49 AM   #14
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


If you loosen the set screw holding the handles on and remove them I'd bet your going to see it leaking down the stem if you turn the water on.
Some it's as simple as snugging up the packing nut.
If you can ID the maker of the faucet and contact the company they will send you a new set for free.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:13 AM   #15
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet


I've isolated the leak, but I'm still not sure what to do about it. Given how much time I've spent narrowing this down, I'd be slightly disappointed to have to just replace the faucet, but it's not clear to me that the leaky part can even be replaced/repaired/tightened.

The leak (which is very slow and only seems to happen when the water pressure is turned on) is coming from where the very top of the brass end (tailpiece?) connects to the underside of the faucet handle (water is visible in the second attached picture). As far as I'm aware, these connecting parts are both "a part of" the faucet (meaning I believe the faucet comes assembled this way--though not sure since I didn't buy/install it).

Any idea if there's something I can do to stop the leak here? Would putting some sealant around this part be a good idea? Or do I just need to replace this faucet?

Just a note on the mechanism in the handle. It appears to use some sort of ceramic disk cartridge. I know very little about how faucets work, but the cartridge seems fine to me. When I remove it, there is water sitting in the little reservoir where the cartridge goes, but I don't see any water seeping out.

P.S. The long delay since my last update is because of a little mishap. I noticed the drain leaked a tiny bit as well, so I tried tightening the nut that secures the drain assembly to the sink. I got a little overzealous and... snapped the PVC drain assembly apart. I had to replace the whole drain assembly (only $10)--which promptly started leaking (around the threads that connect to the top part of the drain). I applied some thread sealant and reassembled and the drain is now working fine... now back to the original problem :|
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Very slow drip under counter from faucet-bathroom-faucet-drip-under-sink-013-640x425-.jpg   Very slow drip under counter from faucet-bathroom-faucet-drip-under-sink-002-640x425-.jpg  

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Last edited by EricBNeverScare; 04-09-2013 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Fix typo
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