Leaky taps are a common household annoyance that can lead to wasted water and higher bills if left unchecked. Fortunately, fixing a leaky tap is a DIY task that even the most novice home improver can tackle with the right tools and guidance. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of repairing a leaky tap. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and let’s get started!
Step 1: Assess the Problem
The first step in fixing a leaky tap is identifying the type of tap you have. There are two main types: traditional compression taps and modern mixer taps. Compression taps have separate hot and cold water handles, while mixer taps combine hot and cold water through a single spout. Look closely at your tap to determine which type you have before proceeding.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools
Before diving into the repair, gather the necessary tools and materials. For this job, you’ll need:
- An adjustable spanner
- A flathead screwdriver
- A cloth or towel
- Replacement washers or cartridges (depending on your tap type)
Make sure you have all these items on hand before you begin to avoid any unnecessary trips to the hardware store mid-repair.
Step 3: Turn Off the Water Supply
To avoid any water-related mishaps, shut off the water supply to the tap you’ll be working on. In most homes, you can do this by locating the isolation valve under the sink and turning it clockwise until it’s fully closed. Once the water supply is turned off, open the tap to drain any remaining water from the pipes.
Step 4: Disassemble the Tap
Using your flathead screwdriver, carefully remove the tap’s handle by unscrewing the retaining screw located either on the top or underside of the handle. Once the handle is off, use your adjustable spanner to loosen and remove the tap’s bonnet nut. This may require some effort, especially if the nut has been in place for a long time. Be patient and apply steady pressure until the nut loosens.
Step 5: Replace the Washer or Cartridge
With the bonnet nut removed, you’ll have access to the tap’s internals. For traditional compression taps, you’ll likely find a rubber washer that needs replacing. For mixer taps, you may need to replace the cartridge. Use your pliers to carefully extract the old washer or cartridge and replace it with a new one of the same size and type. Make sure the replacement part is seated securely in place before reassembling the tap.
Step 6: Reassemble the Tap
Once the new washer or cartridge is in place, carefully reassemble the tap in the reverse order of how you took it apart. Make sure all components are tightened securely but avoid over-tightening, as this can lead to damage. Once the tap is reassembled, turn the water supply back on and slowly open the tap to check for leaks.
Step 7: Test for Leaks
If you notice any drips or leaks, double-check that all components are properly seated and tightened. Tighten any loose fittings as needed until the leaks stop. Once you’re confident that the leak is fixed, give the tap a final wipe-down with a clean cloth or towel to remove any excess water or debris.
Repairing a leaky tap is a DIY task that anyone can master with a little patience and the right tools. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can save money on costly plumber fees and do your part to conserve water in your home. So, the next time you’re faced with a dripping tap, don’t panic – grab your pliers and tackle the problem head-on!