Faucet Turns on By Itself – 6 Reasons You Should Know

It’s a frustrating and worrying situation when your faucet turns on by itself. Whether you have a typical handle-operated faucet or a modern touch-activated faucet with a sensor, this problem may occur. Water running needlessly is not only inconvenient, but it may also contribute to greater water waste and higher water bills.

If you see your faucet turning on by itself, you must solve the problem immediately.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to correct the problem and prevent it from happening again. You can restore your faucet back to working correctly and save money on your water bill by identifying the causes of your kitchen or bathroom faucet turning on by itself and implementing relevant fixes.

Why Faucet Turns on By Itself?

Why Faucet Turns on By Itself?

High Water Pressure

High water pressure is like an unseen bully that can do a lot of harm to your plumbing system, and one of the most frustrating problems it can create is a faucet that turns on by itself. If left unchecked, this can be aggravating, wasteful, and potentially cause damage to your house.

When your home’s water pressure is too high, the pressure inside the faucet rises as well, even when the faucet is turned off. This can cause the valve to open unexpectedly causing water to pour from the faucet.

You can use a water pressure gauge to check the water pressure. Water pressure should be within the typical range of 40 to 60 psi (pounds per square inch). When the pressure exceeds 60 psi, it is deemed high and can lead to numerous plumbing system issues.

Fix The Pressure

Installing a pressure reduction valve (PRV) in your water supply line will help you solve the issue of high water pressure. The PRV is an apparatus that controls water pressure and makes sure it stays within the usual range. By doing this, you can prevent your faucets from opening on their own and stop worrying about water shooting everywhere.

The best spot to install a PRV is at your home’s main water entrance, where the water supply line enters. This allows the valve to adjust the pressure throughout the home, ensuring that all faucets get regular pressure.

Worn-out Washer

A washer in the faucet is a small component but its role is important. It is used to prevent any leak in the faucet. It is found inside the faucet handle and it sits on the valve seat that controls the flow of water.


When you turn off the faucet, the washer presses against the valve seat and stops the flow of water.

Due to regular use, the washer becomes damaged or worn out. Also, minerals in the chemical damage the washer. A damaged washer no longer seals the valve seat properly and water comes out even faucet handle is in the off position.

Replace Damaged Washer

  • Turn off the water supply to the faucet.
  • Remove the handle of the faucet by unscrewing it.
  • Use a wrench to unscrew the packing nut that holds the faucet stem in place.
  • Pull out the faucet stem and remove the old washer.
  • Install a new washer on the stem.
  • Reassemble the faucet by following the steps in reverse order.

Faulty Check Valve

Water backflow is stopped by using a check valve. The check valve engages when the faucet is turned off and stops water from pouring out of the faucet. Indeed, it is a one-way valve that only permits water to flow in one direction. It makes sure that the water flow is entirely halted when the handle is in the off position.


The check valve eventually wears out or is damaged and is unable to stop the water flow. The water pressure inside the faucet may build up as a result, opening the valve and causing the faucet to turn on by itself.

Clean or Replace The Check Valve

Remove the handle of the fixture by removing its screw. For this use a flathead screwdriver. Remove the cartridge by removing its retaining clip.

Inside the cartridge, you will find the check valve. Take out the check valve and inspect its condition. If there is debris or buildup on the check valve, remove it with a small brush and reinstall it. But if it is damaged, install a new one.

Loose Handle

When a faucet handle is loose, it signifies that it is not properly tightened to the stem of the faucet. This might happen as a result of normal wear and tear or because the handle was not correctly placed. A loose handle might allow the valve within the faucet to move or shift, causing water to flow out of the faucet on its own.

Tighten It

Tightening a loose faucet handle is a straightforward and satisfying do-it-yourself project. Turning off the water supply to the faucet is crucial before you begin tightening the lever. When you work on the handle, this will stop any undesired water from leaking out and creating a mess.

You must take off the faucet’s handle after shutting off the water supply. Depending on the design of your faucet, a screwdriver or a wrench may be needed for this. You can access the stem inside the handle once the handle has been removed.

A mounting nut that the stem is attached to maintains it firmly in place. The nut should be snug after being tightened with an adjustable wrench. This will guarantee that the handle won’t sag or wobble and that the stem is firmly anchored.

Reattaching the handle is necessary after the mounting nut has been tightened. When tightening the nut holding the handle in place, be sure the handle and stem are in alignment.

Faulty Sensors

This issue will come if you have a touchless or touch-on faucet. These faucets work with a sensor. Without using the handle, you can get water from the faucet. When the sensor is activated, it starts or stops the flow of water.

But when there is any issue with the sensor, the touchless faucet turns on by itself. It mostly happens when the battery is low or the sensor is dirty.

Due to the low battery, the sensor won’t get enough power to work properly. Similarly, if the sensor is dirty, it can’t sense the hand movement properly and start or stop the flow without any hand movement.

Fix it

If these are issues with the sensor, you can solve them easily. Check the condition of the batteries.

In touchless faucets, when batteries are about to die, a red light starts blinking either on the faucet base or at the battery box. To install the new batteries, remove the old ones from the battery box and install new ones.

To clean the sensor, take a soft cloth and soak it in the water and use it to clean dirt or debris over the sensor. If it doesn’t work, use mild soap instead of water.

Malfunctioning Solenoid Valve

An electrically driven valve known as a solenoid regulates the flow of water from a faucet. It is frequently encountered in faucets that are sensor- or touchless-operated. An electrical signal causes the solenoid valve to open and close, enabling water to flow or stopping it as needed.

The faucet may automatically open if the solenoid valve is broken. The valve may become stuck in the open position or stop responding to the electrical signal for one of these reasons. The faucet may also turn off or on its own or not turn on at all as a result of a broken solenoid valve.

How To Fix It?

The first step in repairing a faulty solenoid valve is to switch off the water supply to the faucet. Finally, disconnect the solenoid valve’s electrical connections and remove it from the faucet. Examine the valve for apparent damage, such as fractures or leaks.

If the valve looks to be in excellent working order, you can clean it with a gentle brush and vinegar. If the valve is damaged, it must be replaced. A new solenoid valve can be purchased from a plumbing supply store or internet supplier.

How Much Water Can Be Wasted If a Faucet Turns On By Itself?

faucet turns on

It is difficult to say how much water is wasted when a faucet turns on by itself. The quantity of waste-water depends on 2 things which flow rate of water coming out of the faucet and how many times it remains open. This will decide the quantity of waste-water.

For example, if a faucet has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute and it remains on for an -hour, it would waste 150 gallons of water. By using this formula, you can count the waste water quantity of your faucet.

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