Washer Replacement | Fix a dripping tap | DIY Plumbing Advice

Replacing a washer in a dripping tap

Certain plumbing problems can easily be taken care of without having to call in a professional plumbing service. One such example is the replacing of a washer in the case of a dripping tap. One sure sign that a washer needs replacing is if you have to tighten the tap more and more in order stop the flow of water. Of course, the washer is just one part of the tap, and if the tap needs reseating or the fixture as a whole needs replacement, it is advisable to call in a qualified plumber to do the job for you.


Step by step instructions on washer replacement

Tools needed: Screwdriver, pliers or wrench, new washer


What a tap assembly typically looks like

  1. Before you start any tap repair, turn off the  water supply. You can do this by either finding the stop cock for the specific tap, or switching off the main water supply
  2. To test that the water is off, turn the tap on as far as it will go. Also, make sure to put the plug into the sink to  avoid losing any small screws or other small parts of the tap itself, as you have to take it apart to repair it
  3. Take the plastic cover off the top of the faucet in order to get access to the screws underneath. These covers are usually near the hot and cold indicators
  4. Remove the handle by loosening and removing the screw underneath the cover
  5. For the next step you will need a wrench or pliers.  To protect taps that have chrome edging, use a cloth between the tap and the pliers or wrench. Now you use the pliers or wrench to remove the valve under the handle by loosening the nut and removing the valve as a whole
  6.  Using a spanner undo any small nuts under the washer plate remove the old washer and replace it with the new one. Take care not to over tighten the washer plate nut
  7. By reversing these steps, put your tap back together and close the tap
  8. Turn on the main water supply to check your work and make sure the tap has really stopped dripping


Final tips on DIY washer replacement

Several types of washers for fixing a dripping tap

Different size washers

  • Be gentle when taking off the faucet cover
  • Washers come in many shapes and sizes. To ensure that you have the right one for your tap, you may need to take your old washer to a hardware store or specialised plumbing store and match it up to be absolutely sure that you have the right oneas not to scratch the faucet
  • Don’t forget to turn the spindle in an anti-clockwise rotation when refitting the head section
  • If changing the washer does not solve the problem, it is best to call in a professional plumber to fix this problem for you


Contact Laws Plumbing

You can either call us directly on 078 225 9939 or send us a quick message and we will get back to you

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