How To Fix a Leaking Tap?

Blogs General Plumbing leaking-tap-repair

There are few things more annoying than an incessantly dripping tap. But, aside from the annoying side of it, a leaking tap also means that something isn’t working as it should - and should we even mention the waste of water?! It may be something easily fixed, like a loose O ring or a corroded washer, or there could be something more serious going on. In which case, it’s time to get your local plumber in. If it is in the easier category, here’s a simple guide on how to fix a leaking tap. 

What you’ll need

There are few things you’ll need that a typical tool box won’t include, but if you are new to the tools arsenal, there might be a few things that will need purchasing or borrowing. You’ll also need some spare time to get this done - especially if it’s your first foray at being a plumber for a day.

Start with:

  • A washer to fit your tap (the most common size is 12mm, but double check the size of your current washer)
  • O-ring
  • Spanner or wrench (best if it is adjustable)
  • Tap lubricant
  • Screwdriver
  • Jumper valve

All of these things can be easily bought at a hardware store, but If already this is feeling in the too hard basket, pick up the phone and give Enviromate Plumbing a call to get that leaking tap fixed. We service the greater Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie regions.

Preparation of leaking tap

This guide will work for all general taps including laundry tap leaks, bathroom and shower water tap leaks. 

Firstly, shut off the water supply at the main. This is typically out the front of your home either on the street or in your yard, or inside the bathroom or laundry for apartments and townhouses. Turn on your tap to get rid of excess water sitting in the pipe. 

Identify your issue… the washer corroding? The O-ring? Check pipes for any evidence of corrosion or rust. Is it your hot or cold water leaking? 

If the water is leaking down the tap itself, the issue is your o-ring. If the tap is dripping from the spout while it’s off, this is the washer. You might want to just replace both to be on the safe side, and avoid having to repeat the initial process later. 

Set your tools close to the area you’re working on for easy access, and have a cloth or rag close by to help keep your hands and the equipment from transferring grease and lubricant.

Getting started on stopping your leaking tap

Start by using your spanner to remove the tap cover and then the handle. Remove the headgear by unscrewing the bonnet to loosen. You should now see your washer, jumper valve and o-ring. 

Start your leaking tap repair

Step 1:

Once removed, take off the cover plate at the base of the stem. If it has been affixed by glue, reach for the pliers to help you get it off without damage.

Step 2:

Replace the washer and/or o-ring and jumper valve with your newly bought parts. Tap lubricant application on the spindle and valve will help to seal the tap. 

Step 3:

Be sure to pay close attention to where each part is and how it’s put together, so that you can replace it by just working backwards from how you disassembled them. 

Step 4:

Careful not to tighten the nuts and bolts too much when refitting the bonnet and spindle, you want there to be a bit of movement here (firm fit, but not too tight). 

Check that your leaking tap is fixed

Once your tap has been re-assembled with new parts, it’s time to check your handy work. Turn on your water supply and turn your tap on slowly. 

If water comes through without any evidence of leaks, and turns off without dripping, you’re done! Well done. 

If your tap continues to leak and drip, it’s time to call one of our Newcastle plumbing experts and find out what the issue is. 

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