How to Fix a Dripping Tap with a Reseating Tool
Reseating a Tap
When a tap seat becomes worn, no amount of re-washering will stop it dripping. Nor is the problem only confined to old taps: new tap seats can wear prematurely if particles of grit or metal find their way into the mechanism. Either way, regrinding the tap seat is a lot easier and cheaper than replacing the taps themselves. There are two ways to go about it.
Metal reseating tools can be hired with interchangeable cutters to suit 1/2″ and 3/4″ taps.
Plastic reseating kits consist of a universal clip-together plastic tool, plus spare washers and a set of disposable abrasive grinding discs.
In both cases, check the seat first for signs of score marks. These will show up as black lines when you start grinding, but disappear as soon as the seat is properly ground-in. Make sure you don’t over-grind.
1. To use a metal tool, fit the correct size cutter for the tap andit into the tap body. Adjust until you feel the cutter touch the seat.
2. Turn the handle a few times, then remove the tool and check the effect. Repeat, checking frequently, until any score marks on the seat disappear.
Plastic reseating tools can be used like metal ones, but have disposable grinding discs. To grind, push into the tap body and press down while turning.
No reseating tool?
“If you can’t get hold of a reseating tool, there are two other things to try:
Fit a Holdtite washer, which sits deeper inside the seat than an ordinary washer to compensate for any wear. The only drawback is that the tap must be turned more times to open and close it. The Holdtite washer comes with its own jumper, which has a peg that fits most tap mechanisms.
Fit a ‘universal’ plastic insert which comes in a kit to suit many older tap designs.
♦ Remove the tap mechanism as you would for rewashering.
♦ Push the insert into the seat with the flange uppermost.
♦ Exchange the old jumper and washer for the new ones supplied.
♦ Reassemble the tap, then open and close the tap a few times to push the new seat fully home.”