Anyone who has ever had a dripping tap will tell you how annoying it is. However, the annoyance isn’t the only thing that you should be concerned about. This is something that has the potential to be extremely costly and not just from the wasted water. A dripping tap can cause severe water damage to your property that costs thousands of dollars and is indeed one of the most common insurance claims. Keeping your home well maintained is the best policy but failing that, here is our quick guide to repairing a leaking tap.



The Tools You’ll Need

Make sure that you have all the tools that you require nearby before you begin. Realising you have forgotten something after you have started could be a big problem. So make sure you have:

An adjustable spanner
slot and cross-head screwdrivers
scissors
replacement cartridge or assorted washers and O-rings
Step 1: Turn off the water to the tap

There may be an isolation valve or stopcock underneath the sink that with stop water to this sink or tap alone. If there isn’t, you will need to turn the mains water off. Keep the tap open until the pipes have been completely drained.

Step 2: Find the screw

Inside you will find a screw that holds the tap together. This can usually be found hidden under the hot and cold symbols in the centre of the cap. Unscrewing the caps can usually be done by hand or you could pop them off with a screwdriver.

Step 3: Take the tap apart

You now need to remove the tap head (this is the part that you turn). It is possible that there might be a cover protecting the valve in which case this needs to be removed too. Place all the parts next to the sink in the order that you removed them - this will make it easier when it comes to reassembling the tap later.


Step 4: Replace the ceramic disk (if present)

You should now be able to see the valve. Using the adjustable spanner, loosen the valve just enough so that it can be removed. Now put in your replacement cartridge and put the tap back together.

Step 5: Replacing a rubber washer (if present)

Most taps will have either a rubber washer or ceramic disk. With a rubber washer, it is exactly the same as the process outlined above only this time you will remove the old washer and replace it with a new one. Once again, on completion, put the valve back in, tighten and reassemble the tap.

Step 6: Replacing the O-ring

Quite simply the O-ring is a larger washer at the bottom of your tap spout. Carefully unscrew the grub screw located at the base of the spout and remove. You should now be able to see the O-ring. Lift it up using the flathead screwdriver and slide off. If this isn’t possible use the scissors to cut it off. Replace the O-ring and put the tap back together again.

I hope these simple tips will help you fix your leaking tap.


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