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How to Fix a Leaking Tap

A leaking tap is not only irritating but causes a lot of wastage of water and inflated water bills. Rather than fretting about the leaking tap and wondering if you should call a plumber for a small job like this, you can do a DIY project for a leaking tap repair. This way you will save litres of clean water that otherwise is going to waste. So, pick those tools of yours and get to work.

In this guide we will tell you how to fix a leaking tap step by step. So before you get to work, make sure you have our guide handy.

Tools to Fix a Dripping Tap

Arrange for these things beforehand so that you don’t have to look for them in the middle of the task.

  • O rings
  • Screwdriver
  • 12 mm washers
  • Lubricant for the tap
  • Clean soft cloth
  • C wrench or adjustable wrench
  • Jumper valve
  • Reseating kit

Leaking Tap Repair Step by Step Guide

Some instructions to keep in mind-

  • Put the plug into the sink. However careful you might be, one part or the other definitely falls in the sink. It’s therefore wise to put the plug in so that you don’t lose any part.
  • Always read the manual for instructions about the tap. Different taps may have different instructions.
  • Screwdrivers and spanners can cause scratches on the tap, so try to use a soft cloth on them.
  • Resist from over tightening a washer or a valve. This may cause damage or put too much pressure on the joint.
  • Be careful of sharp edges.
  • Wear eye gear for protection.

Before starting with the project, make sure you have turned off the water supply to the tap. You can do this by turning the isolation valve on the pipe below the tap you will be working on with a screwdriver. If there isn’t an isolation valve, look for the nearest stopcock and turn it off. Check the tap to make sure no water is coming out.

Now, let’s look at the steps for a leaking tap repair.

Step 1

Remove the cover and handle from the tap. Remove the body of the tap from the fitting by unscrewing the tap headgear nut. If the nut is tight, use a tap lubricant to loosen the nut. Do not put pressure on it in order to remove it. You will notice a stem here, pull it. Some stems just pop out while some need to be twisted from the valve.

While unscrewing the headgear, remember to secure the spout so as to prevent it from turning around, as it may crack the sink or damage the pipework. Cover the nut with a soft cloth in order to protect it from scratches.

Step 2

Once you have successfully removed the tap body, remove the washer using a plier. The washer might just come out easily or you may have to remove a nut. Check the condition of the washer. Replace it if it is worn out. The new washer may be tight to push it over the pin. In that case, apply some lubricant and push the washer down with the help of a spanner or the side of a plier.

If the washer seems to be in a good condition, it might be the valve inside that is causing the leak.

Step 3

Replace the O rings. Cut the old ones and put in new ones. Before installing the new O rings, coat them in plumber’s grease.

Step 4

Install new springs and valve seats. It is essential that the parts that you replace should be of the exact fit as the old ones.

Step 5

Reassemble all the parts carefully. Ideally this process should just be the reverse of what you did earlier. If you don’t remember, follow this sequence – washer/o-ring, stem, nut, screw and handle.

These steps should fix the leak. Turn on the water supply to check if the leak has been repaired. If all of this has not been successful in fixing the leak, there might be other problems with the tap or a plumbing problem. Before making the situation worse, you should call a professional plumber for a leaking tap repair.