Skip to Content Top

Faucet Won’t Turn Off? Tips from a Houston Plumber


Faucets aren’t lifetime fixtures, so they will all break eventually. Of course, according to Murphy’s law that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, your faucet may break while water is still flowing and you may not be able to shut it off. If this happens, don’t panic. You may need to call your Houston plumber for repairs. Learn what to do if your faucet won’t turn off, some things you can try before calling a plumber, and other important things you need to know. 

Avoid Water Damage Until Your Houston Plumber Arrives

The issue about running faucets that won’t turn off is that they can release a lot of water and even flood the room. Without quick intervention, this can lead to expensive water damage. So, you want to take care of it ASAP, likely before the plumber even arrives.

Now, even if you don’t think a running faucet will cause water damage, it might do a bit of damage to your wallet. A faucet that won’t turn off can waste a lot of water and increase your water bill significantly. So, even if you’re really confident that your drains can handle a lot of water at once, it’s probably best if you take steps to turn off the water until you can fix the faucet. 

Shutting Off Water to Sink Faucets

If you’re having trouble with a sink faucet, whether in your kitchen or bathroom, check in the cabinet or area underneath the sink. In most cases, a sink will have local shut-off valves there. Typically, there will be one for hot water and one for cold water. If your faucet won’t turn off, then it’s a good idea to go ahead and try to shut both of these off. To do so, turn the knobs clockwise to stop the water from flowing to the faucet. 

Now, this should work, but if your under-sink shut-off valves are damaged or stuck, you may need to shut off the water to your whole house. It’s a good idea to locate this shut-off valve before you ever need it. It can come in handy in many plumbing emergencies. Typically you’ll find it near the water meter or near your water heater. 

If you can’t find this, there will almost always be a small box underground in your yard near the street where lines run from the water main to your home. In this utility box, there’s usually a handle you can use to shut off the water in an emergency. 

Shut Off Water to Bathtubs and Shower Faucets

Now, if it’s a bathtub or shower faucet that won’t turn off, then there’s a good chance that the local shut-off valve that turns off the water supply to that faucet is actually behind your wall. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go find a hammer and make a hole in the drywall to get to the shut-off valve. Instead, we recommend turning off the water to your house until the plumber arrives to help with Houston faucet repair

Some Reasons Why Your Faucet Won’t Turn Off

Faucets can break for any number of reasons, which is why you’ll likely need help from your Houston plumber. A specialist can help find the problem and fix it quickly so you can get back to normal. 

Some common reasons you might not be able to turn off your faucet include:

  • Stripped faucet handles
  • Worn washers in the faucet stem
  • Worn or broken handle seat

If your faucet won’t turn off, first make sure the handle is completely in the off position. It’s a more common mistake than you might think! Otherwise, you might need to call your 24 hr. plumber in Houston for help. 

Stripped or Damaged Handle

If the faucet handle doesn’t fully settle into its normal position, then the handle may be stripped or cracked. This means that the handle will no longer turn to tighten the valve that stops water from flowing. In these cases, you’ll usually need to replace the handle with a new one. While this may sound like a cut-and-dry job, handles can become corroded and difficult to remove. Some even require a special wrench to take them off. That’s why many people call a plumber for assistance. 

Also, it’s important to remember that finding replacement handles for older faucets might not be an option, so you may end up needing to replace the faucet.

Worn Stem Washer

Another possible reason you can’t get your faucet to turn off is that the washer inside is worn out. Inside the faucet stem, also known as the cartridge, the washer helps seal off the water when you turn the faucet handle off. These washers are made of rubber, which can deteriorate over time. In these cases, your Houston plumber usually just needs to replace the washer with a new one.

Your Houston Plumber Needs to Replace the Faucet Handle Seat

If your faucet won’t turn off, the handle seat may also be worn out. The seat is the piece of your faucet that helps the handle turn. Over time, these can become corroded or worn down, which could lead to your faucet not turning off. If this is the case, then replacing the faucet handle seat will usually solve the problem. However, not all valve seats are removable, so you may need to replace the faucet.

Should You Get Houston Faucet Repair or Replacement?

If your faucet won’t turn off or is otherwise broken, you might wonder if it’s better to choose Houston faucet repair or replacement. Typically, we recommend considering the age when making this decision. Faucets usually last anywhere from 7 to 10 years. So, if yours is on the newer side, it might make sense to replace it. If it’s nearing the end of its expected service life, then it might be time to consider replacing it with a newer option. This is especially true because parts might not be available for older faucets. 

Some Things You Can Try Before Calling Your Houston Plumber

We understand how frustrating plumbing emergencies can be and that you might want to do everything you can to fix the faucet before giving us a call. So, we have a couple of tips that might help you solve the problem without a service call. Just keep in mind that DIY solutions can go awry if you’re not careful, so if you’re not confident you can do these without causing more damage, it’s probably best to give a 24 hr. plumber in Houston a call for help. 

Tighten Faucet Handle Screws

Sometimes the screw that holds your faucet handle can become loose, which may make the faucet malfunction. So, you could try tightening the handle to see if that fixes the problem. You’ll usually need either a screwdriver or an Allen wrench to do this. This is a quick and simple step you can take after turning the water off to see if you can fix the faucet yourself. 

Replace the Cartridge

Another thing that may help fix a faucet that won’t turn off is replacing the faucet cartridge. The cartridge, also known as the stem, is the internal piece of the faucet that makes it function. The moving parts inside the faucet cartridge can wear out and make the faucet malfunction. If this is the issue, then replacing the cartridge will normally fix the faucet. 

Now, we don’t recommend this if you’re not the “handy” type. Also, keep in mind that if you incorrectly remove or install the faucet cartridge, you could end up damaging the water supply pipe, which will usually be harder and more expensive to repair. So, do this at your own risk or just call us for help instead. 

If you’re set on doing this yourself, here are some general instructions, though we recommend you check your faucet owner’s manual for specifics:

  • Turn off the water and cover the drain in case you drop any parts or bolts. 
  • Disassemble the faucet and locate the cartridge.
  • Remove the clip that holds the cartridge in place. Keep this clip, as you’ll need it for the new cartridge.
  • Usually you can remove the old cartridge with a pair of pliers. If the old cartridge doesn’t come out easily, stop and call a professional, as you can damage the pipe by forcing it. 
  • After removing the old cartridge, replace it with a new one. Make sure to use the provided lubricant to make it easier to slide into place. 
  • Reassemble the faucet, turn the water on, and test the faucet. If it works normally, great! If not, call your Houston plumber.

Expert Houston Plumber for Your Plumbing Emergencies

When you need plumbing help, call our experts at Santhoff Plumbing Company! Whether you’re dealing with a plumbing crisis, need regular maintenance, or are looking for help with a home improvement project, our plumbers are your source for quick, excellent service. As a family-owned and operated company, we accept nothing less than your complete satisfaction. We’ve been Houston’s trusted plumbing company since 1974 and pride ourselves on our reputation for quality work and going above and beyond for our customers. Call us now at (713) 360-2185 for 24/7 emergency plumbing services or schedule an appointment online today!

Share To: