Question: All of a sudden we have a dripping bathroom fauce - more of a thin stream of water rather than a slow drip. But even when I turn off the quarter-turn Hot/Cold water valves located under sink, the water doesn't completely stop; it it just barely slows to a very fast drip-drip-drip-drip. What would be causing this to happen? Is it an issue with the quarter-turn valves themselves, which are only about 3 years old, or with the actual faucet fixture? Or could it be something else entirely? We have no access to main water shut-off within the apartment as it's a per floor/tier water system, accessible only by maintenance staff/plumbers in the building. Lastly, is there anything I can do in the interim to stop the water from the faucet until Monday when I can get a hold of maintenance? Thank you so much.

  • We ended up replacing the faucet as the old one was much older than we realized and didn't even have cartridges. Almost ten months on, no issues have appeared and the faucet was very easy to install. The hardest part was removing the old one. Thanks for all your help guys!
    – Ms.Miss
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you have a problem in both the faucet and the under-sink valves.

When the either the faucet is turned off, or the under-sink valves are turned off, the water should stop completely. If it still runs or drips when both are shut off, then both are not doing their job.

It is quite common for both the faucet and the under-sink valves to have rubber washers as the surface that seals when the valve is turned off. The most likely answer here is that the rubber washers have deteriorated or worn out, and are not making full contact to stop the water flow.

Alternatively, the valves may have a build-up of mineral deposits or rust, which is blocking the valve surfaces from making full contact to close.

The ultimate solution here is to fix both the faucet and the under-sink valves.

The fact that it started all-of-a-sudden sounds like something in the faucet broke. It is likely just a rubber washer that just needs to be replaced.

Shutting off the under-sink valves, reducing it to a drip, will relieve the pressure enough that you can open up the faucet to replace the washer. Depending on the make and model, there may be more than just a washer to replace; some brands have a valve "cartridge" that gets replaced.

Fixing the under-sink valves will require shutting off the water supply to the apartment. Not something you can do yourself, in your situation. You'll have to let building maintenance take care of that.

If you want to fix it before Monday, you'll need to shut off the under-sink valves, get your screw-driver or wrench, and open up the faucet to see if you need a rubber washer or something else, and replace it. Good luck with it!

  • Thank you so much for answer. This makes a lot of sense - both things being an issue. It is odd that it happened all of a sudden as we haven't used the faucet any differently than normal. The weather has been nuts here lately - snowed less than a week ago, went up to 70F a couple days later, now it's freezing. I'm worried that if I do unscrew the fixture to check cartridges (after shutting valves, of course), won't the water will seep out all over the under sink cabinet even with a bucket? Thanks!
    – Ms.Miss
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 0:54
  • With both hot and cold turned off at the same time it still drips? Some times problems with a cartridge faucet it will leak with only 1 supply turned on hot or cold. 1/4 turn valves usually have plastic seats and in some cases can be tightened to stop a leak. If the valve appears to have a nut on 1 side this nut can be tightened to press the ball into the seats two tight will make the valve very difficult if not impossible to open and close.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 2:39
  • You should be able to replace the faucet washers or cartridge from the top side, without needing to remove the faucet from the sink or counter, nor needing to remove the supply lines. It should be a matter of removing the handles(s) from the top side. Any spilled water should go in the sink, or worst case the counter or wall/mirror :-) , but not in the cabinet under the sink.
    – Grunthos
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 17:02

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