What to Do When a Faucet Won’t Turn Off

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What to Do When a Faucet Won’t Turn Off

Turning on a faucet only to realize that you can’t turn it off can be concerning. Understanding why your faucet won’t turn off can help you to find the right solution. The first thing that you should do if your faucet won’t turn off is determine if there is a flooding risk. 


For example, if you have a slow-draining drain then you may want to consider alleviating the build up in your pipes first. All you have to do is purchase a drain stick from your local hardware store. This will help to pull out any hair or waste that has built up in the drain.


Once you have determined that there is no risk of flooding, you can look for a reason why your faucet won’t turn off. Continue reading for causes and solutions for your running faucet. 


If you are ready to schedule a plumbing appointment, you can contact Strittmatter Plumbing, Heating and AC at (940) 287-3777. 

Causes and Solutions for a Running Faucet

Finding out why your faucet won’t turn off will help you arrive at the right solution. Some issues may require the assistance of a plumber while others can be done by people who know their way around tools and basic plumbing. 


There are three main reasons why your faucet may not be turning off. Most of these are easy to fix if you feel comfortable doing so, although it is best to call a plumber to make sure that the entire issue has been resolved. 

1. Damaged Faucet Handle

There are a few faucet handle problems that could be causing a running faucet. Take a look:


  • Stripped handle: faucet handles are connected to the stem with threads. These threads make it so that when you turn your handle it stays in that position. If you turn your handle and it seems loose or doesn’t stay in any position then it is possible that these threads have worn out and stripped. 

    To fix this problem you will need to replace the handle. If your faucet has two handles then be sure to replace both. Unless you are comfortable with plumbing, it is best to call a plumber to complete this task. In some cases, it may be best to replace the entire fixture. 



  • Worn out handle seat: if you were to unscrew the handles on your faucet, you would notice the seat. This part allows your handle to turn. After many years of use it can get worn out. When the seat becomes worn out your handle may not be able to turn off. 

    To fix this you will need to call a plumber so that they can replace the part or repair it. Because this part is more complex and connected to important plumbing equipment, it is best that you leave this job to a professional.


  • Stem washer needs to be replaced: in the faucet stem there is a washer that helps to keep the screw in place. The screw essentially holds the stem together. Without the washer, the screw would become loose and would not allow your faucet to turn off. 

    Washers can crack and wear down over time, allowing the screw to get loose. You may be able to replace the washer yourself, but it is best to let a plumber do this. They will lubricate the stem and replace the washer to keep the screw in place. 

    If none of these seem to be the reason for why your faucet will not turn off, then you may want to schedule plumbing services. While it may seem that a faucet is a simple device, it actually contains many different parts. If any of these parts become loose, damaged or worn out it could cause faucet problems. Be sure to ask your plumber to check those parts. 


2. Worn Out Valves

If the problem is within your bathtub faucet, then the reasoning may lie with the valves. The pressure valves keep the water at a set pressure. If they are set too low then you will get a slow stream of water – too high and the fixtures will be blown out. Over time, these valves can get worn out. This can cause your faucet to keep running. 


There are also pressure valves in sink faucets, however these are smaller and less likely to cause problems such as running water. 


To fix this problem you will need to call a professional for bathroom plumbing. First, however, you should turn the water off so that you don’t continue to waste it. Then, you can call a plumber to inspect and possibly replace the valves. 

3. Cartridge Needs to be Replaced

If you have a newer, two-handled faucet, then it’s likely that you have cartridges in your stem. These cartridges, typically made of plastic, help to regulate both temperature and flow of water. If these become damaged or worn out, your faucet may not turn off after you turn it on. To figure out which side needs to be replaced, try to turn the hot and cold water one at a time. 


If the temperature changes with one handle but not the other, it’s possible that that is the one that needs to be replaced. You can purchase these cartridges at your local hardware store and replace them yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Your plumber can also identify which needs to be replaced and replace it for you.

Reliable Cedar Hill Plumbing Services

If you are struggling to find a cause and solution of your water faucet problems, you should call a plumber. For dependable Cedar Hill water services, you need Strittmatter Plumbing, Heating and AC. 


Our incredible team of technicians are ready to solve any problem you have. We provide maintenance, replacements, repairs and installations for all kinds of heating, cooling and plumbing equipment. From damaged water heaters to clogged air filters, we have got your back.


To schedule an appointment with one of our professional technicians, give us a call at (940) 287-3777 or email us online. 

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