How to Fix a Leaking Tap

Posted on February 23, 2018 in  | Tags:

Leaking taps are the most common household plumbing problem, and not to mention one of the most annoying; the constant dripping noise is bound to drive just about anyone crazy!

However, when it comes to leaking taps there is often a quick fix and there isn’t necessarily a need to call out a plumber.

A leaking tap is fairly simple to tackle on your own, even if you aren’t much inclined to participate in DIY projects. These are the easy steps to take in order to fix a leaky tap in your home. But first, what do you need to complete this task?


What Do You Need?

Before you begin the project of fixing your tap, it’s best to ensure that you have the right equipment to handle the job. For this project you are going to need:

  • Spanner
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • New washers (normally 12mm)
  • A cloth
  • Small water bucket

Once you have these by your side then it's time to commence the real task.


How to Fix a Leaking Tap

  1. The first thing that you need to do when it comes to fixing a leaking tap is turn off the water mains. If you live in a house, then chances are that the mains can be found on the street or in your front garden. If you live in a townhouse or apartment, your mains are most likely in the bathroom.
  2. We really want to avoid anything going wrong during the process, and this means proper preparation. Put a bucket under the sink to ensure that you catch any drips or spills, and make sure to drain the tap water first, then put in a plug. This will ensure that none of the parts fall down the drain if you drop them.
  3. Use the spanner to remove the tap’s cover, which is normally found above the hot/cold water sign. Undoing this allows you to unscrew the handle.
  4. Using your fingers or a wrench, unscrew the handle carefully from the top of your tap.
  5. Unscrew the bonnet from top of the tap to expose the bottom valve.
  6. Use your adjustable spanner to unscrew the bottom valve.
  7. There will be a black rubber washer at the bottom left from unscrewing the valve. You need to get this washer out, as it’s probably the cause of your problem – rubber washers tend to become damaged over time and don’t seal things tightly enough.
  8. Now replace the old washer with the new one in the exact spot you just removed it from. Screw it in and make sure it’s as tight as it can go to adequately seal your tap.
  9. Fit the tap valve back on and tighten it with your wrench.
  10. Fit the covering back onto the valve and make sure to tighten it with a screwdriver – don’t overdo it though as this may mess with the tap alignment. Make sure your tap is properly closed and then turn the water on to test it.

And that’s that! Congratulations on fixing your first tap. We hope that you enjoyed learning about the process.

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