Faucet leaking under sink...

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by Calman, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Jun 4, 2014 #1

    Calman

    Calman

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    Hi folks,

    I have a problem detecting a leak from our kitchen faucet this past week and wonder if some kind soul could lend their expertise?

    To give you some background to the problem, we were carrying out countertop renos, so the faucet had to be removed (worked perfectly at this point). After 2 weeks or so, we refitted the faucet, only to detect an issue with the water pressure. So, I removed the spout foil head and found some debris which I removed (very small pieces of hard black plastic). This cured the water pressure, but now the hot water tap didn't completely shut off - remained a thin trickle on the off position. Doing some research on our Peerless kitchen faucet, I clued myself up on removing the cartridge and checking the seats/springs. Both seats looked identically worn (shiny and flat on the top) ... so I went ahead and replaced the hot supply and now they both successfully shut off without a single drip!!

    However, I am still experiencing dripping under the sink after this repair. I have checked the water supply lines, which are tight and don't appear to be the source of the dripping. If it helps, I have since learned that the dripping only occurs when the water has actively been used. With both hot & cold valves turned on underneath the sink, the area stays dry and I can't see a single bead of water from the lock nuts on the underside of the faucet. If I started washing dishes, using both hot and cold, frequent dripping would then occur under the sink and I would have to shut off both valves.

    Can I now assume that the cartridge(s) could be at fault? .. (of course, replacing the seats/springs alone was hopeful and easier on the wallet).

    Any insight would me most welcome, as this is now becoming a "tiring problem".

    Kind Regards,
    Cal
     
  2. Jun 4, 2014 #2

    nealtw

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    Welcome to the site. Do you have a pull out faucet with a flexable hose? I have seen a simular problem with the fitting going to the hand hold part.
     
  3. Jun 4, 2014 #3

    Calman

    Calman

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  4. Jun 4, 2014 #4

    nealtw

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    Hopefully someone that knows more about it will come along.
     
  5. Jun 4, 2014 #5

    havasu

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    I'm going to guess you disturbed one of your drain lines during the re-installation.
     
  6. Jun 4, 2014 #6

    Calman

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    Sorry, but no, it's not related to the drain lines.

    The leak from underneath the sink, appears to be seeping through the particle board directly to the front of the faucet lock nuts. So, I would assume that it's coming from the base (internal workings) of the faucet.

    The problem is, I don't know exactly what's causing it? ... O-Ring, Cartridge or some other issue.

    Having replaced the faulty (hot supply) seat/springs - as it didn't completely shut off, I feel I should also replace the cold supply, just to rule it out and give piece of mind?

    All I know at this point, is that the valves and water supply nuts are not the source of the problem.

    All the best,
    Cal
     
  7. Jun 4, 2014 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Call Peerless, should be under warrentee.
     
  8. Jun 5, 2014 #8

    CallMeVilla

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    Let's try to be systematic. The drips usually show up on the underside of a supply line or the drain piping. The water, obviously, came from up above somewhere. You need to wedge yourself under the sink with a flashlight while the water is running. Look carefully at the connection point under the faucet. Wipe the area with a rag then look for water accumulation.

    You should be able to isolate the source area.

    If it is the faucet, you might need to put a bead of plumber's putty under the beauty plate which sits across the top of the sink up above. You will need a basin wrench to tighten the nuts ... This could be difficult which explains why faucets are mounted to the sinks BEFORE the sink is dropped in the counter top.

    Single handle (cartridge) faucets feed their hot and cold upward and the connections are made 1/2 way, transitioning from the flexible supply lines to the more rigid copper lines which got up and into the faucet. Those connections can be leaking too. You will need Teflon tape and two wrenches to make these connections water tight.

    Sometimes, it is the supply line to the hand wand. This is rare but you should look closely anyway. The connection is the same as the hot/cold.

    Plumbing is not magical but it does require focus and tenacity. Remember: You are smarter than the pipe!

    LEAK.jpg
     
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  9. Jun 5, 2014 #9

    nealtw

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    Villa, this is the older style, two handle, no pull out, see the link in post 3
     
  10. Jun 5, 2014 #10

    Calman

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    Hi CallMeVilla,

    Yup indeed, I have done the "under sink crawl" many times in the last few days (initially to re-brace the sink, before discovering this faucet issue). As mentioned above, the leak is definitely appearing above the valve and water supply connections, so basically where you tighten the locknuts underneath the faucet, water is dripping just outside this area. It's difficult to see an actual stream direction, as the whole area gets wet, so looking up at it with a torch, I can only see frequent beads of water build up and drip.

    To update you slightly from my report above. I concluded that no leak was present with both valves turned on and taps left off for 4 hours. Wiped everything dry and nothing to report. After which, I decided to run the cold tap and let it run for a while, giving the spout a swing left/right a few times at the same time - still no drips/beads and all dry underneath.

    So .... unless something inconsistent is going on, I am now "assuming" that the problem is focused on the hot supply (O Ring/Seat/Cartridge).

    Thanks for your valuable opinion. I will update you when I move onto the next step (ruling out each area "bit by bit").

    BTW - I saw one of the pipes wink at me, when my hours of frustration were at an all time high - so not sure if the pipe has a higher IQ than me??

    All the best,
    Cal
     
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  11. Jun 5, 2014 #11

    CallMeVilla

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    AH, my bad. Thanks Neal ... This means two cartridges or valves which can leak and the mixing crossover which feeds the faucet head.

    Nonetheless, the supply lines will connect to the individual valves and if a leak is coming from there, it would be readily visible. Dry the highest spot with the water running into the valve. Wait, observe, shout "GOT YOU!" if it is leaking. If not, move to the next connection, repeat process.

    If the o-ring of the faucet is leaking, then the "drop point" should be near the center of the unit ... Causing another shout out ...

    This is all about systematic observation with a strong flashlight and some padding under your back. Sucks to be under the sink, but somebody has to do it!

    SINK UNDER.JPG
     
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  12. Jun 5, 2014 #12

    nealtw

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    If I may, if all else fails pull it out and hook up the water and run it into a bucket so you can really see what going on.
     
  13. Jun 5, 2014 #13

    Calman

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    Many thanks for your assist folks - super appreciated!!!!!!!!

    Now then, I thought progress was being made in Godzilla sized boots, then without changing anything, I decided to do some dishes only using the cold supply (although the valve was turned on for hot, just didn't turn on the actual hot tap at any point). Looked under the sink (which I now have a resident square basin in place, drip, Drip, DRIP ... which appears to be dropping on BOTH outer (front of sink as you approach it) sections of the locknut fixings.

    Now then, I decided to turn my attention to the spout base. The "chrome dome" was only hand tight, so I took it off and had a look at things under the hood. Now, I am an amateur plumber, so not qualified to review a worn O-Ring, but to me, they looked okay. However ......... I will upload a photo in my next post, as something doesn't sit well with me (although it could be perfectly normal, when viewed by you folks with genuine plumbing skills).

    Stay tuned ...
     
  14. Jun 5, 2014 #14

    Calman

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    Oh!!! .. also Neal, my tiny amateur mind had that VERY idea. As I am also doing tiling on the kitchen backsplash, the faucet will have to come out again (working or not) ... so I will "Attempt" to hook it up to the water supply flex lines, without travelling up through the countertop and report my findings on that test also.

    All the best,
    Cal :)
     
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  15. Jun 5, 2014 #15

    Calman

    Calman

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    Okay friends, here are three shots of the faucet, namely the base of the central spout. Can anyone confirm the "scuffs" on either side of the brass fitting ... are they part of the sculpture or is something seriously wrong here???

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    All the best,
    Cal
     
  16. Jun 5, 2014 #16

    nealtw

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    They have done that so it fits in a jig tight when they drill the hole for the spout. My guess now is the lower O ring I would change them both.
     
  17. Jun 5, 2014 #17

    Calman

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    Interesting Neal!

    So, is it save to assume that what you detect, is a flattening Abrasion on the outer edge of the O-Rings? (particularly the lower one).

    I guess common sense would tell me that the reason I am not seeing any leaks above the base fitting (from spout base or tap handles etc) ... is maybe due to the fact that the white seal ring (my word for it lol) ... is creating a watertight area, but if the O-rings are failing, water is making it's way into the faucet base and down into the underside of the sink?

    Sorry, I like to think aloud, as it helps me learn.

    Anyway, thanks as always for the feedback - the faucet will be removed today, as I continue my kitchen tiling, but will certainly look at these O-rings, when I can re-focus on the faucet issue.

    Many thanks again!
    Cal
     
  18. Jun 5, 2014 #18

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Water will take the easy route. Push it's way past the white seal or just fall down, which would you choose. :banana:
     
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  19. Jun 5, 2014 #19

    Calman

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    So true!!! ...

    Maybe one day very soon, I can start rehearsing my Banana Dance and the "faucet failure" will be a distant memory! lol

    So, time for some Scrambled Eggs on Toast, then it's time to remove the Faucet (for now) and crack on with Tiling. Hmm, maybe "crack on" was not the best choice of terms back there??? lol lol

    [​IMG]


    All the best,
    Cal
     
  20. Jun 5, 2014 #20

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I just stole your egg man and I will use it. :D
     
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