How to fix a dripping tap

Fixing a Dripping Tap

The most likely reason for a dripping tap is a worn washer. Simply replacing it should solve the problem and the good news is that a new washer will only cost a few pence.

Here are some tips to help you fix your dripping tap.


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Determine the Kind of Tap in Your Home

Before you start fixing a dripping tap, it’s very important to know the kind of tap that is in your home. This will determine the kind of replacement hardware you need, and the steps involved to get rid of the drip. It’s worth mentioning that compression taps leak more often.

Thus, there’s a good chance that if the tap is leaking, it’s a more likely to be a compression tap. The primary reason is the wear and tear of washers, nuts and o-rings. They are constantly torqued down against many different metal parts.

Cartridge, Disc and Ball taps also leak often. Disc taps leak when the outlet and inlet seals wear out or dry out. Sometimes, they may also leak due to sediment buildup. On the other hand, Ball taps leak when the o-ring or ball wear out. Cartridge taps drip when the o-ring cushioning wears out.

Turn The Water Off

Once you have determined the kind of taps that are fitted in your home, you should turn off the water at the stop cock. You can also turn off the tap’s isolation valve. In most taps, this is found on supply pipes below the sink.

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Find the Screw Inside

The most important challenge is to find the screw inside the tap’s handle, which holds the complete tap fixing together.

In most taps, it is hiding under the tap handle’s decorative cap. Sometimes, you can just unscrew the decorative cap by hand.

You can use assistance from an adjustable spanner or slot headed screwdriver.

Reveal the Brass Valve or Spindle

The next step is to place the plug in the sink to prevent any screws or parts falling into the U-bend below.

You should remove the screw and the tap head. It’s the part of the tap that you turn to make water come out.

You should also remove any metal covering the tap’s neck. Some people call this a shroud. This will allow you to reveal a brass valve or spindle.

Fix and Reassemble

Next, you need to use an adjustable spanner. It will help you hold the central hexagonal nut, and unscrew the spindle.

You also need to brace the tap spout with the other hand. While the top washer is considered an o-ring, the bottom one looks like a polo.