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How To Change A Tap Washer Effectively (DIY Guide)

by | Nov 25, 2019 | Plumbing

A leaky tap will never fix itself. Instead, you have to get to the cause of the problem and get the faulty tap fixed as soon as possible. Fortunately in most cases fixing a leaking tap can be a DIY task with a few common tools on hand. As a matter of fact, you can replace a tap washer with seven simple steps and stop that annoying dripping.

If you are among those that haven’t changed a tap washer before, then you should read this article to the end before starting.

Why Would You Have to Replace a Tap Washer?

A dripping tap can be quite frustrating for its owner; often you end up trying to turn the tap off harder, yet the leaking continues to drip. However, the good news is that there is a simple and effective solution to the issue; get your tap washer changed.

Tap washers are small disks that sit inside the tap itself. Typically, a tap should have two major components; the tap washer and the seat. When you turn the tap off, the washer will push against the seat to make a watertight seal, and eventually, the water will be prevented from moving out of the tap.

That tap washer doesn’t have everlasting life. As time moves on tap washers will eventually wear out. Due to wear and tear, the tap washer may fail to create a watertight seal, and as a result, water may start dripping through the spout.

There are different types of taps and each tap has a different approach in fixing the tap washer. If you’ve got a more modern tap, it’s possible that your tap uses a ceramic disc cartridge rather than a rubber washer. In this case, it may be that you need professional leaking tap repairs or replacement rather than tackling it as a DIY task.

In most cases, changing a tap washer should solve the problem of a leaky tap completely. However, after you have gone through the process of changing a tap washer and the problem persists then it’s time to contact an experienced local plumbing company.

How to Change a Tap Washer

First off, keep in mind that this guide focus on standard taps. So, endeavour to check whether your taps belong to the standard category or not. If you have any doubt in this regard, try to call a professional and ask for their opinion. It is worth noting that taps work differently, and while this guide will likely help resolve a leaky tap, we can’t provide a 100% guarantee unless we know your tap. Now, before we proceed to the seven simple steps of replacing a tap washer, let’s discuss the essential tools to get the job done.

Changing a tap washer doesn’t demand the use of heavy equipment; a few tools, which you are likely to have at home, should be enough. And for those who do not have, you may borrow from your close neighbour or purchase from a nearby hardware store. For this task, you need a spanner, a screwdriver (flat-headed), an old towel (or piece of cloth), a pack of tap washers and a wrench.

A Step-by-step Guide To Change a Tap Washer

Step 1: First and foremost, ensure you switch off your main water supply. Otherwise, you will flood your kitchen or bathroom. Under the tap, you may find an isolation valve. Turn the valve off to block water to the sink. If you don’t have a valve, then head straight to the mains and turn off the water supply.

Step 2: Now, cover the plughole in the sink with the plug. By so doing, if you drop any screw or tap by mistake, you won’t lose it into the drain. Also, you should place a piece of cloth or old towel inside the sink; it will help prevent any damage to the sink surface in case you drop a component or tool.

Step 3: Take out the cover from the tap with a screwdriver to expose the valve. Afterwards, use the spanner to remove the valve. If you realise that the valve is stiff, hold it in place with a wrench, and use a cloth to protect the tap. Now, try to remove it again with the spanner.

Step 4: You will find the tap washer beneath the valve with screws or nut holding it in place. Use your spanner to remove the washer. But, if the washer is extremely tight, add some penetrating oil around it, leave it to soak for a few seconds, then try to remove again with the spanner.

Step 5: At this stage, insert the new tap washer (of the same size) into the position of the old, worn washer.

Step 6: Reassemble the tap. Use your spanner to screw the valve back into its position carefully and ensure that you do not overtighten it; otherwise, the tap will be damaged. Return the top to the tap and tighten it.

Step 7: Take out the towel from the sink and the plug from the plug hole. Now, turn on the water mains and then test your tap is working and no longer leaking. That’s all. Sit down, and watch your impressive job done with a smile.

Prevention of Leaky Taps

Understandably, having to change a leaky tap or tap washer frequently can be quite frustrating. Hence, you are best advised to replace your taps with modern designs using ceramic disc cartridges. This tap has high durability and resilience compared to others.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with the necessary abilities as well as the confidence to get your tap washer replaced as a DIY task. We wish you good luck. But, if you ever encounter any difficulties or get stuck, please contact our experienced team. We have the best leaking tap repair specialists that will provide you with a high-quality solution

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