How to Stop a Tap Dripping

How to Stop a Tap Dripping

How to Stop a Tap Dripping There is no need to put up with a dripping tap when it is so easy to replace the washer. Before you dismantle the tap, insert the plug and lay a towel in the bottom of the sink or bath to catch small objects.

Essential tools:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Spanner
  • Screwdriver


Turning Off the Water

On a modern plumbing system there should be a valve on the supply pipe to the tap which will allow you to turn off the water. On an older system, turn off the main stopcock in order to service the cold-water tap in the kitchen (and other taps under mains pressure). To isolate bathroom taps, cut off the water supply to the storage cistern in the loft by turning off the main stopcock, then open up the I taps to drain the cold water.

To work on a hot-water tap, first turn off the boiler or immersion heater and close the valve on the cold-feed pipe to the hot-water cylinder (usually situated in the airing cupboard). Run the hot taps.


Removing a Shrouded Head from a Tap

On most modern taps the head and cover is in one piece. You will have to remove it to expose the headgear nut. Often a retaining screw is hidden beneath the coloured hot/cold disc in the centre of the head. Prise out the disc with the point of a knife. If there’s no retaining screw, simply pull the head off.


Fitting a New Washer

If the tap is shrouded with a metal cover, unscrew it by hand or use a wrench, taping the jaws in order to protect the chrome finish.

  1. Lift up the cover to reveal the headgear nut just above the body of the tap. Slip a narrow spanner onto the nut and unscrew it until you can lift out the entire headgear assembly.
  2. The jumper to which the washer is fixed fits into the bottom of the headgear. In some taps the jumper is removed along with the headgear, but in other types it will be lying inside the tap body.
  3. The washer itself may be pressed over a small button in the centre of the jumper; in which case, prise it off with a screwdriver.
  4. If the washer is held in place by a nut, it can be difficult to remove. Allow penetrating oil to soften any corrosion; then, holding the jumper stem with pliers, unscrew the nut with a snug-fitting spanner. (If the nut will not budge, replace both the jumper and the washer.)
  5. Fit a new washer and retaining nut, then reassemble the tap.

07. December 2010 by admin
Categories: Plumbing | Tags: | Comments Off on How to Stop a Tap Dripping

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