A dripping tap is one of the most common household repairs that you might need to attend to from time to time, and doing so quickly could save you a lot of money and prevent an excess of water waste. Did you know that a dripping tap can leak as much as 1 liter every hour? Which adds up to a lot of waste and a significant cost if you pay for your water as you use it! Luckily, fixing a dripping tap is also very easy. Here is what you need to do if you want to stop the dripping yourself:
To successfully mend a dripping tap, you will need:
- A cross-head screwdriver or slot screwdriver
- A spanner that can be adjusted
- Washers or a cartridge replacement
Traditional taps almost always leak because the washer or rubber seal has eroded and needs to be replaced, whereas a Monobloc level tap, which can be used to control the temperature and flow of the water is likely to be leaking because the ceramic cartridge within needs to be replaced, so which of the above you will need will depend on the type of tap you have.
Fixing the Leak
Step One: The first thing you will need to do is turn off the water supply via the stop cock or isolation valve. If you don’t know where to locate them, you will need to find out before you go any further because if you try to make a repair without turning of the water supply, you will very quickly find yourself wading through water and in need of assistance! Once the water is turned off, turn the tap on to let any excess water exit.
At this point, it is also a good idea to look up the number of a good emergency plumbing service, so that if you find a more serious problem or have any issues with your repair, you can very quickly get in touch with an expert.
Step Two: Next, locate the screw in the tap’s handle. Usually, it will be located under the cap on top of the tap. Unscrew it either by hand or using the appropriate screwdriver and spanner.
Step Three: Put the plug into your bath or sink, take out the screw and take off the part of the tap that you turn to let the water run, along with the cover surrounding the neck of the tap. You should now see a spindle or valve made from brass.
Step Four: use your adjustable spanner to grip the central nut and unscrew the spindle, all the while holding the tap spout in place with your free hand to stop it twisting and warping the pipes below. Locate the washers (there is usually a top one that is thinner and a thicker bottom one) and find new washers that match them in size and shape.
Step Five: Put the new washers into place, reassemble the rest of the tap and turn the water back on. Hopefully, your tap will no longer be dripping and you can go about your day.