3 Reasons Why Kitchen Taps Drip When You Run A Bath

A tap that starts dripping when you open another can be frustrating. Here’s how to fix the problem.

It is never normal when you turn on a tap and elsewhere in the house, another faucet starts to drip. If the problem is specific to a leaking kitchen tap when you run a bath, the cause could be abnormal water suction in the plumbing, high water pressure or a faulty tap washer.

A leaking tap can waste water and spike your utility bill. Here’s how you can fix this rather unusual problem.

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The Reasons A Kitchen Tap Drips When You Run A Bath

When this happens, you could be looking at multiple reasons. Some issues are simple and can be fixed at home (if you are an experienced DIY enthusiast). Other bloopers might require the services of a reputable plumbing company.

The most common causes are water suction or pressure and/or a faulty washer in your kitchen tap. The latter is nearly always present in this particular situation. Why? Inherently, even if there is something wonky with the water, a washer in good condition should prevent a tap from dripping in the first place.

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Is Water Suction The Cause Of My Leaking Tap?

Yes and no. In a healthy plumbing system, some suction is required to get water moving – especially to an upstairs bathroom. So if your bathroom is upstairs and the leaky tap is located in the downstairs kitchen, then even a normal phenomenon like water suction could be a part of the problem.

3 Reasons Why Kitchen Taps Drip When You Run A Bath

When you open the tap to run your bath, that weakens the suction and allows water to place pressure on downstairs taps. Faucets in good condition can counteract this effect so that no leaking occurs. However, if your kitchen tap has a faulty valve, the extra water pressure can cause it to drip for as long as the upstairs bathroom faucet is running. 

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How To Fix A Water Suction Problem

The good news is that you don’t need to do anything fancy. Water suction is pretty normal. However, it only becomes a problem when the kitchen tap fails to seal itself properly. The answer is to fix or replace the valve inside the kitchen tap. If you want to try your hand at this, jump to our section about faulty tap valves to see how it is done!

Is Water Pressure Causing My Kitchen Tap To Leak?

If your bathroom and kitchen are on the same floor level or you live in a home that is entirely on the ground level, then water pressure could be the cause. When the pressure is too high, it forces water against valves. This could cause them to leak and drip. Another clue that you are dealing with high water pressure is when your pipes rattle and bang more than they should. They are basically being jostled by the pressurized water.

How To Fix High Water Pressure

Step 1: Get a water pressure reading. A water test gauge can be cheaply purchased for this purpose. Follow the instructions to test but they are usually simple enough – just attach the device to the valve in your kitchen tap. Open the tap and get a reading (it should be instant).

What Is A Normal Water Pressure Reading?

Water pressure is measured in PSI – pounds per square inch. There seems to be no solid rule about the exact “perfect” PSI for residential plumbing. However, most experts agree that PSI for a home should fall between 30 and 80. Anything above 80 is too high. To make sure of the right pressure in your region, you can always contact your local municipality or a friendly plumbing business. 

  • If your reading is normal, then water pressure is not the cause of your leaky tap.
  • If your reading is too high, then check out the next couple of steps.

Step 2: Check to see if your plumbing system has a water pressure regulator. If not, you need to buy and install one. If the valve is present, make sure that it is not damaged or adjusted (for some odd reason) to allow high water pressure. 

Step 3: When you are ready to start, turn off the main water supply. Here’s how you can find your home’s main shut-off valve.

Step 4: Find the locking device on the water pressure regulator. This is usually a nut. Loosen the guy a little so that you can adjust the pressure dial. 

Step 5: Dial the regulator’s pressure adjustment screw to the left to decrease the water pressure. Never make big changes. A quarter turn is sufficient. Test for PSI and if the water pressure is still too high, use the dial to decrease it some more. Keep testing and decreasing until you hit the sweet spot with the PSI.

Step 6: Fasten the locking nut and turn on the main water supply.

Is A Faulty Washer Causing My Kitchen Tap To Leak?

3 Reasons Why Kitchen Taps Drip When You Run A Bath

When you experience this type of problem – where your bath taps cause the kitchen tap to spill – then it is always prudent to check the health of your kitchen tap’s washers. Even if you discover that the water pressure is too high or there is another reason. The point is that a tap should not leak, no matter what. If any dripping occurs, the washers are definitely a part of the problem. Another sign of a faulty washer is when your tap whistles or squeals.

A tap’s washer can malfunction under these conditions:

  • When it is the wrong size.
  • Mineral deposit build-up is destroying the washer’s ability to work effectively. Learn more about the potential health problems related to hard water.
  • Normal wear and tear over the years.

How To Fix A Faulty Washer

If you have never done this before, no worries. Fixing a faulty washer can be done at home. 

Step 1: The most important thing to do first is to shut off the water supply. You can do that by locating and shutting off your home’s main water point. If you notice a shut-off valve under the kitchen sink, then rather use that.

Step 2: Carefully remove the nozzle of the tap. If this seems impossible, the best recourse might be to call a professional plumber. However, most kitchen taps can be screwed off with a little effort. 

Step 3: Once the nozzle is removed, assess the quality and appearance of the washer. 

  • Is the washer dislodged but in good condition? Push it back into its proper place, screw on the nozzle, turn on the water supply and check for leaks.
  • Is it the wrong size or damaged? Then it needs to be replaced.

If you live in an area with hard water, it can constantly pack up your taps with mineral deposits. Find the best water softeners to get rid of scale in your kettle and faucets.

When Should I Call The Plumber?

A plumber is a better route if you want to fix this problem as quickly as possible, do not want to do it yourself, or fixing a bathroom-to-kitchen leak feels a bit out of your league. Whatever the reason, a great plumber will ensure that your plumbing is tuned and working properly again in no time.

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