Leaky tap? Here's How to Fix it Quickly


Few sounds are as annoying, and inconvenient, as a leaky tap. Never mind the litres of water that can go to waste if the tap isn’t repaired timeously. Luckily, leaky taps are usually easy to fix. So before looking for local plumbing companies, read on to find out how to fix a leaky tap yourself.

Of course, if you do need some help, our team central London-based plumbers would be happy to help.

There are two kinds of taps in this world…

Those with rubber washers, and those with ceramic cartridges. And your leaky tap is probably one of these two types.

Traditional taps have rubber washers, and Monobloc lever taps (taps with a single lever that controls temperature and pressure flow) have ceramic cartridges.

Not sure which tap you have? The ceramic kind’s handle can only turn for half a rotation or less – if it can move more than that, it’s probably a traditional tap with a rubber washer.

What you need to get started

Before attempting to repair your dripping tap, make sure you have these tools on hand:

  1. A slot or crosshead screwdriver (or both, if available)
  2. An adjustable spanner
  3. Scissors
  4. Assorted washers, replacement cartridge, or an O-ring

If you’re unsure of what kind of washer, cartridge or O-ring you need, a local hardware store or plumbing company can provide guidance.

Tackle your leaky tap

Step 1: Turn off the water supply -

Before completing any plumbing related task, always turn off the water at the main valve to the area you’re repairing, known as a stopcock. If the valve doesn’t have a stopcock, you can switch the water off via the isolation valve. This is usually found on the supply pipes below the sink.

Next, open the tap to let the remaining water drain out from above the valve. Once you’ve done this, put the plug in the sink to avoid any components falling down the drain.

Step 2: Unscrew the tap –

All taps are held together by a screw. The trick is in finding it. If you have a traditional tap, the screw is usually under the hot or cold cap on the tap handle. Monobloc lever taps screws are typically found under the hot or cold indicator button.

Step 3: Take your tap apart –

Remove the screw so you can take off the tap’s head, which is the part you turn to control the water flow. If there is a metal cover protecting the valve, remove that too.

Carefully take your tap apart and lay the pieces on the side of the sink in the same order, so it’s easier to reassemble once you’ve replaced the worn component (either a washer, cartridge or O-ring).

Step 4: Replace the offending component –

Grip the valve on the central hexagonal nut with your adjustable spanner to unscrew it while holding the tap spout with your other hand. The valve (or spindle) is now loose enough to remove.

What you do next depends on the type of tap you have:

  1. Traditional tap: Slide off the rubber washer and replace it with a new one.
  2. Monobloc lever tap: Replace your ceramic cartridge disc and tighten it.

Step 5 (optional): Replace your O-ring –

If you’ve replaced your tap’s washer, and it’s still leaking, it may be time to check your O-ring for signs of wear and tear. The O-ring is the larger washer at the base of your tap’s spout. Cut the worn O-ring off with a pair of scissors and roll on the new O-ring.

Step 6: Put your tap back together –

Once you’ve replaced the offending components, reassemble your tap. When you’re certain your tap is assembled properly, turn the water back on and check your handiwork.

Fixing leaking taps can be a complicated business. To avoid any unnecessary complications, you might want to get in touch with a local plumbing company. If you’re based in London, TMT Central has a team of certified plumbers who would love to help.

If you’d like even more information on fixing leaky taps, take a look at these resources:

Article Source: Resources

Article Source: how to mend a dripping tap