Bathroom Faucet Leaking at Base: How to Identify & Fix It

Bathroom Faucet Leaking at Base: How to Identify & Fix It

You may be facing an issue like a bathroom faucet leaking at base and looking to overcome this problem. How can you come to know about this faucet leakage? There are several methods that can help you to fix this problem of faucet leakage. In this article, we will discuss these methods and which tools one needs for the repair work.

What do you mean by the Bathroom faucet leaking at base?

The leakage of water from the faucet base even if it is closed is a common issue that most people face. These issues may happen with the faucets of the kitchen and bathrooms. There are various reasons for this bathroom faucet leaking at base that we will discuss in proper detail in this blog. Moreover, one can fix these issues easily by himself, If he is not capable then he may call a plumber for fixing it.

How to identify the symptoms of Bathroom faucet leaking at base?

Let us discuss how can you identify that your bathroom faucet leaking at base. Moreover, we will also discuss the ways to check the leakage of the faucet.

If you’re experiencing a leak from the base of your bathroom faucet, it’s important to identify the cause. Unfortunately, we do not notice leaks around the bottom of the tap for some time. This is because we tend to put water around this area when washing our hands or doing other tasks. As a result, we do not realize there’s a leak until it begins to create issues.

How to identify the symptoms of Bathroom faucet leaking at base

To determine whether the bathroom faucet leaking at base, begin the process by drying off the complete body of the faucet which also includes the handles and the area surrounding the bottom. Then open the tap of water and look closely for any leaks at the bottom of the faucet. If you see that water is around the base of your faucet, you should check that it is not coming from any other fault on the faucet. Because sometimes, the fault on the upper side of the faucet also looks like the water is leaking from the bottom. So, it is important to check that no water is coming near the bottom of the faucet from any other source.

Why Bathroom faucet leaking at base occur?

When a faucet of the bathroom begins to leak from the base, there are mainly one of two things behind this issue. These issues are faulty O-rings and cartridges.

Faulty O-rings:

Most bathroom faucets contain O-rings to give a tight seal where you need waterproofing. These O- rings are of rubber material for a strong grip. However, these O-rings can dry up and damage after some time. When this happens, water may start moving through the faucet body while running and escape out through its bottom. Thus this leads to the gathering of water around its base.


Although cartridges can be responsible for such leaks, it is a very rare case that a faucet leakage is due to cartridges. We have seen cases where they wear out. In this way, it permits water to leak out when it is not allowed to do so. In many examples alongside other damaged O-rings which allow water to leak through and gather around faucets’ bases.

Ways of Fixing Bathroom faucet leaking at Base:

Now let us move to the topic of fixing methods of the bathroom faucet leaking at base. If you’re experiencing a leak from the base of your faucet, you can fix it yourself. However, before you start any repair work, make sure to turn off the water supply to the faucet. Most bathroom faucets have closing valves on their supply lines under the sink. If this is the case for your faucet, simply turn both valves clockwise to cut off the water supply.

Alternatively, if there are no separate supply lines for the faucet, you’ll need to close the valve of the main water supply. Once you have turned off the water supply, remove the water that is in the supply line to that faucet. For this run the tap and wait until all the water is removed before starting the fixing procedures.

Replacing O-rings:

If you suspect that O-rings are causing your bathroom faucet leaking at base, here are what tools and equipment you will require and what precautions to take:

Instruments Required:

  • Replacement O-rings
  • Screwdriver set
  • Adjustable pliers or a wrench
  • Towel

Replacing O-rings:


  • You should cover your sink drain properly with a towel or any other cloth so that small parts don’t get lost during opening the faucet.
  • You should erase the handle cap with the help of a flathead screwdriver or fingernail without damaging its finish.
  • By using a Philips screwdriver, you should unthread and remove any screws holding on the handle.
  • With pliers or wrenches around its base in the opposite direction loosen and open the valve from the bathroom faucet leaking at the base after removing its screws.
  • Inspect the valve for O-rings and replace or remove them as needed due to wear and tear.
  • Join all parts and make sure that tabs or grooves are set correctly for a proper fix. Now tighten the valve before rejoining the handle and securing it with a set screw then replace the handle cap.
  • Turn on the water and check for leaks. If it is present switch back off before proceeding further.

Replace the Cartridge:

In case you notice leaks from your faucet, it could be due to a faulty inner cartridge. This component regulates the water flow and can cause leaks if it malfunctions. For a two-handle faucet, you have to replace both cartridges even if there is a leak from one side only.

Tools Required:

To replace the cartridge for the bathroom faucet leaking at base, you will need:

  • A towel
  • An Allen wrench
  • Replacement cartridges
  • Pipe wrench or tongue-and-groove pliers
  • Plumber’s grease
  • Philips and flathead screwdrivers

Bathroom Faucet Leaking at Base


  • Before starting the replacement process for the bathroom faucet leaking at base, ensure that you turn off the water supply and drain any remaining water from the lines.
  • Covering the drain with a towel can help prevent any debris from getting into it. To remove the old cartridge, take note of its orientation and use pliers to pull it out of the faucet body carefully.
  • It’s essential to remember how to insert the new cartridge correctly for which taking an image of its position is advisable.
  • After applying the plumber’s grease on the O-rings of new cartridges with your finger and correctly putting them into their positions in faucet bodies rejoin everything in reverse order by replacing retaining nuts tightening them reattaching handles securing them then replacing decorative caps.
  • Once you have reversed the whole process of joining the parts of a faucet.
  • Meanwhile, you should also make sure there is no water gathering around the faucets before checking for leaks.
  • This should solve any issues related to leaking faucets caused by faulty inner cartridges.

Replacing the Faucet:

In some cases, replacing the entire faucet is the best solution for bathroom faucet leaking at base. This is particularly true for older faucets that have been in use for multiple decades, as most bathroom faucets tend to wear out after 15 to 20 years. If you’ve already tried replacing the O-rings and cartridge but the problem persists, it may be worth investing in a new faucet instead of continuing with costly repairs. Fortunately, there are bathroom faucets available for less than $100, so you don’t have to break the bank when replacing your old faucet.

Call a Plumber:

If your faucet is still relatively new and in good condition but you can’t seem to fix the issue on your own, you can call a plumber. For the base and provide expert advice on how best to proceed. The cost of hiring a plumber typically ranges from $45 to $150 per hour, depending on the complexity of the repair.

Bathroom Faucet Leaking at Base


How do you fix a leaky bathroom faucet at the base?

For fixing the bathroom faucet leaking at base, it is necessary to identify the type of faucet. If your faucet is single-handle. You should open it and clean the aerator. The same is the case for the double-handle faucet, you need to open the faucet completely and clean the aerator. But if you have a mini-size double-handle faucet, then you need to place the new O-rings, or cartridge for fixing the issue of leakage.

Why is my faucet leaking at the base when off?

The faucet base leaks even when the faucet is off because of the loosening of the O-rings or the seal. This allows the water to drip even when the faucet is closed. You can fix this leakage by yourself without the help of any plumber.

Why is my bathroom faucet leaking at base and under the sink?

A bathroom faucet leaking at base could be caused by loose connections or clogs due to debris buildup or corrosion. You can simply tighten loose connections by hand or remove and shake out any clogs by placing a bucket under the P-trap. Corroded P-traps will need to be replaced entirely.

Can a leaky faucet stop on its own?

It’s important not to ignore a leaky faucet as it won’t go away on its own and will only worsen over time. Instead of enduring that irritating drip, call a plumber for repairs before it turns into an emergency situation that could cost even more money in repairs.

Bottom Line:

There can be issues regarding bathroom faucet leaking at base and you should know how to handle the situation. There are three major solutions that you can apply for solving these issues. We have discussed them in detail in the above blog. Moreover, we also discussed how these leakages happen and how can a person identify these problems.

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