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How to fix a leaking tap

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If you have a leaking tap on your property, we’re sure you will want it fixed as soon as possible. Whether it’s just annoying or you’re noticing a rise in your water bills, fixing a leaking tap is relatively straightforward and you can always call a plumber if you haven’t got the time to do it yourself.

Tools to fix a leaking tap

You will need a number of tools including an adjustable spanner, flat and cross-head screwdrivers, scissors and new components (including a new tap washer and o-ring) to replace the faulty ones. You’ll also need to know the type of tap you have and whether it uses a washer or a ceramic disc as these are the most common things that need replacing to stop a leaking tap.

How to fix a leaking tap: step by step

The first thing you need to do is turn off the water supply to make sure you don’t make a mess – you can do this at the isolation valve or stopcock. Then remove any decorative parts and unscrew the faucet handle by hand.

Identifying the issue causing the leak

If the leak is coming from the spout, it’s most likely that you will simply need to replace the washer. If the leak is coming from beneath the handle, it could be the o-ring that is causing the problem. The next step is to remove the stem, and you’ll need to loosen the nut with your spanner. You might need to twist the stem to remove it from the valve or it may pop out.

Replacing tap washers and o-rings

If your tap washer is loosened or damaged, find a suitable replacement and make sure it’s an exact fit. You will then need to unscrew and slide off the current washer and then slide on a replacement and tighten it. If there isn’t a problem with the tap washer, the next thing to check is the o-ring. This is the seal found at the base of the spout and it looks like a bigger washer. Now use your flat head screwdriver to loosen the o-ring and lift it off. You can also snip it off with scissors. Then replace the o-ring with a new one and put the spout back.

Completing the job

Once you have done this, your tap should no longer be leaking and it’s time to reassemble the tap. Make sure you don’t over-tighten a valve or washer as it could cause extra stress or damage. After you have reassembled the tap, turn the water on and make sure it’s no longer leaking. If your tap is still leaking, it might be worth getting a professional in as there could be another problem.

Call a plumber

If you have a leaking tap that needs professional attention, call Murphy Plumbing today on 02 4963 3922. Our experienced plumbers in the Hunter region will be happy to help.