How to Change Tap Washers

Changing Washers

Start the job by turning off the water and opening the tap to drain down what’s left in the pipe.

Next, gain access to the tap mechanism. On plastic handled taps, the handle pulls off, or is held by a screw under the coloured insert (prise this up with a screwdriver).plastic handles and brass handles

On brass taps, unscrewing the shroud will often leave enough room to get a spanner on the mechanism nut. If not, undo the handle — held by a small grub screw — and remove the shroud completely. (See Problem Solver for problem tap handles.)

Washer fittings vary widely (see Step 2 below), so have a small crosshead screwdriver and a pair of long nosed pliers handy. If you can’t get the old washer off, or the new one is a loose fit, prise off the jumper and fit a new combined washer/jumper or a plastic insert.


1. Remove the handle or loosen the shroud enough to get an adjustable spanner on the mechanism nut. Support the tap firmly, and unscrew.

changing washers

2.The washer could be a push fit (A), screwed to its jumper (B), or held by a small nut (C). Prise off or undo the old one and fit a replacement.

Alternatively, the washer may be combined with its jumper, which is a push-fit into the spindle. Use this type to replace a washer seized in its jumper.


Trade Tip

Washer wise

"If you’re stuck without a washer, try turning the worn one the other way around, — but don’t expect it to last long.

If you have a Continental tap, you may not be able to buy exact-size replacements. In this case buy the nearest Imperial size and trim the washer to fit with a Surform-type plane."



You shouldn’t return the water off to rewasher a Supatap but find out where to do it just in case. The temporary seal relies on a check valve dropping down from inside the tap when you unscrew the mechanism — so when you see the pin poke out, don’t try to push it back in or you’re likely to end up soaked!

repairing supataps 11. With the Supatap fully open, loosen the retaining nut using an adjustable spanner and unscrew the nozzle section from the body of the tap.

repairing supataps 22. The washer is fitted to the anti-splash device inside the nozzle. Tap it out through the larger end and prise off the washer with a small screwdriver.

repairing supataps 33. Fit an exact size replacement, refit the anti-splash device in the nozzle, and screw the nozzle back on the tap (water will spray as you do this).



Remove the cartridge as for a washered tap. Inside the cartridge are the two ceramic discs, one of which remains fixed while the other is turned across it to open the inlet.

Sometimes, the small lugs turning the movable disc wear down, allowing it to slip very slightly and leaving the inlet partly open. The only cure is to fit a complete new cartridge.

24. May 2011 by admin
Categories: Plumbing, Taps | Tags: , | Comments Off on How to Change Tap Washers


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: