Replacing a Tap Washer: A Do-It-Yourself Project

Many people do not have the knowledge to make minor household repairs. You may be a single mother or a young man, but if you haven’t had to make such repairs before, even the simplest tasks can be a challenge. In this article we will learn how to replace a tap washer. If you have a leaky tap you probably won’t think it’s a huge problem, until you try to sleep and hear the constant dripping sound which then seems magnified tenfold. Not only that, hundreds of gallons of fresh clean water is being wasted as it runs away down your sink. There can also be further damage caused if it is left for a long period of time, which will cost much more to fix than the original problem. You don’t want, or need to call a professional handyman to do a job you can easily do for yourself. Many services charge a call out fee if it’s the weekend, add to this a flat one hour rate regardless of the fact it took 15 minutes to fix your tap.

Read through this guide and even if you don’t have a leaky tap now, remove a washer and take it to the hardware store to buy some spare washers. If you have several taps the same, choose one of these to take apart as odds are high it will be one of them which needs a washer first. Put these away for future need in case a problem occurs when no stores are open. Please note that once you remove a washer that isn’t even broken, you will need to replace it with a new one anyway. Make sure you do this in the morning on a weekday when you have some spare time to reassemble it before the kids get home or go back to the store in case you got the wrong washers before.

Since there are many different types of taps, let’s first look at a few of them. Taps which have a mixture of both hot and cold water will need small washers or an “O” ring while another tap may have larger plastic, rubber or cloth washers. It would be wise to remove a washer from each of the different taps to make sure you have the replacements on hand as stated above. There are other taps which have a ceramic disc inside them. This kind only has a half or quarter turn between ON and OFF and they wear out less often, but when they do you will need to replace the whole disc cartridge. It can cost more than a washer so get the name of the tap manufacturer of possible to find the parts you will need, or look for one the same in the hardware store.Different Types Of Taps:

You Will Need/May Need.

Spanner/wrench, a screwdriver and cross-head/Phillips head screwdriver, plier and tap washers. Rags.

Step 1.

Turn off the water at the main supply. Most of us know where this is, but if you honestly have no clue, just pick up the phone and call the phone number on your water bill. They will be happy to tell you where to find it. Look under the sink first, there may be an isolation valve so you can just just turn it off there.

Step 2.

Go back to the leaking tap, and turn it on. This will allow any water still in the pipe to get away so you can continue with your job. After the water stops running, put the plug in the sink. This will stop any small parts you might drop from going straight down the plughole and getting lost.

Step 3.

Assuming for this exercise, and because these are very common, that the tap you’re fixing is the kind which has the plastic center insert. It may be colored red or blue, or have an H or C on it. Use your screwdriver to gently lift this insert out. Wrap a rag around the base of the tap for grip. Using your wrench or spanner, turn the hexagonal nut in the center so you can remove it from the base section. Once out you will see on the bottom of it, the washer. Remove the washer making certain there are no old pieces of it left.

Step 4.

Replace the old washer with a new one from your repair kit, then simply reassemble the tap.

*Make sure you remove the plug from the sink now. If you have left the tap in the ON position when you flushed the line earlier you will cause a flood in your home if you need to go outside to turn the main supply back on.

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