Apart from the annoying noise a constantly dripping tape makes, just knowing that you are wasting water is incentive enough to fix the problem. The longer you leave it, the worse the problem becomes because each time you close the offending tap that bit tighter, you are actually stressing the washer further. To some, even changing a tap washer is not something they feel comfortable with. If that describes you then it’s time to find a plumber here on Mr-Skill.
Replacing the Washer
Provided you follow a few simple checks, replacing washers is one of the easier jobs around the home. First, make sure you have the correct size replacement – taps come in standard sizes so having a handy pack of assorted washers makes good sense. You will also need some screwdrivers and a wrench. Here’s what you do:
- Isolate the water supply to the dripping tap, and then open the tap to drain it.
- Carefully prise off the plastic cover on the tap handle. Now use the correct screwdriver to loosen the screw at the tap head.
- Remove the tap head using a wrench, having covered the chrome parts with protective masking tape.
- This should reveal the damaged or worn washer, which you must remove and renew with a similar product.
- Refit the tap head and holding screw, not forgetting the plastic tap cover.
- Time to switch on the water supply.
- Fully open the tap you’ve just worked on and quickly close it again. Repeat a couple of times so as to let the new washer bed in correctly.
- Check for leaks, but there should be no further dripping.
Advisory: If your tap shows any sign of leaks it could indicate that you have old plumbing needing replacing. Mr-Skill has a number of member plumbers who would be happy to provide you with a plumbing quote.
Sidney has been a plumber for ever, and changing a tap washer is something he could do in his sleep with both hands tied behind his back. Sid, one of our regular London plumbers, says it isn’t that easy if you encounter older plumbing with stubborn taps that don’t seem to want to let you change the washer that they’re covering. One false move and you could damage the bath or basin, not to mention the surrounding tiles. Where on earth will you find that replacement tile to match the one you’ve just chipped or cracked? Mission impossible springs to mind!