Asked on Mar 20, 2014

Why do my sink faucets leak in the winter but not the summer?

My sink faucets drip in the winter and then stop in the summer. I know that a continuously leaking drip can waste 20 gallons of precious water a day so this drives me crazy. I live in the country with a septic/drain field system ad a gray water system too. Also, we get a LOT of snow on our roof in the winter time (about 5 ft. this winter) and this might temporarily plug the drains that vent out our roof. Can anyone tell me what is going on and what to do to stop these dripping sinks. (I now let them drip into a bucket and use the water for the birds, the humidifier, our dogs bowl etc. but I would prefer to stop the 24-7 dripping!)
  9 answers
  • It sounds as something as simple as a new washer or perhaps a faucet cartridge is need. Why it only happens in the winter and not the summer is beyond me. Could have something to do with the ground temps making the water colder then in summer? In any case temp should have nothing to do with it. If you have a single lever type faucet you have a cartridge type of faucet. It is removed by taking off the handle, and depending upon the faucet that you own, either a clip, screw or you simply remove a screwed on ring and lift the cartridge off. Purchase a new one and use the grease they provide with the new part put it back in reverse. Of course turn off the water. If you can take a photo and provide make can give you more detail on how to do it better. As far as the stacks and vents being covered with snow, Not really a big issue, Air flows through the snow and the heat from the pipes melts away enough so the pipes vent ok. Sizing of the vent pipes are taking into consideration for snow cover and issues such as your experiencing.
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Mar 20, 2014
    Well believe it or not, two of our faucets were replaced with new faucet systems (the entire system and not cheap ones either) because I was tired of - frustrated with them dripping AND they still drip. Replacing the faucets or the rings has not made a difference either. That is why I began to think it might be the roof vent issues...deep snow in winter, covered and dripping but not in the summer months. Thanks for your kind reply. It remains a mystery...
  • Venting has nothing to do with water coming out of faucet as you most likely understand. Two different systems altogether. Are you on well water? Perhaps pressure differences are causing it? Have you contacted the manufacture of the faucets to explain your issue? They should be better, one would think, at answering this question better then anyone else. I do know that pressures that are to high can really screw up faucets by leaking past seals and causing all sorts of noise and vibration in the plumbing system.
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Mar 20, 2014
    Yes, we are a well system. No, I had not thought of contacting the mfg. but will think about that now. Thanks again.
  • Kerry Karner Kerry Karner on Nov 13, 2020

    I also have a bathtub faucet that only leaks when the weather is cold. Last winter it leaked. All summer it didn't leak. Now it leaks again. It's a Delta that was replaced in the summer and started leaking the first winter.

  • Hmaa Khiangte Hmaa Khiangte on Dec 07, 2020

    Same here. At first I didn't notice it has any relationship with the season. I changed the faucet thinking it's because of my faucet. Now winter started and water start dripping again. I think it's because of shrinkage of steel due to cold which loosen the faucet by little so some water can pass through.

  • Arunava Mukerji Arunava Mukerji on Jan 21, 2024

    Can it be that metal studs in the Faucet contract because of low temperature while washers which are made of fibres donot contract so much thus leaving a small gap for water to drip?

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 22, 2024


  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 22, 2024

    The temperature! Freezing and fluctuating low temperatures make leaks even more likely to occur, as freezing water within your plumbing places an insurmountable amount of stress on your pipes, causing cracks. When water freezes, it expands. This expansion can cause your pipes to crack or burst.

    Are your pipes insulated?