What to do if you have a dripping tap

Date published: 4th August 2014

A dripping tap can be a total pain in the neck. It’s costly if you’re on metered water and the sound can irritate you by day and keep you awake in the middle of the night. If you want it fixed quickly and efficiently, the easiest thing to do is call a good Plymouth plumber.

But if you fancy having a go at fixing it yourself, you can follow these steps to try and stop the dreaded drip.

Turn off the water

Before messing around with any taps, it’s always wise to turn off the water. The stop tap for your water is usually located on the ground floor of your property and is often found under the sink or under the stairs, depending on where your water supply enters the building.

Take off the top

Once the water is definitely turned off, remove the top of your tap. We’d recommend that you stick the plug in first in case any tiny screws come loose – you don’t want them disappearing down the drain.

Unscrew the top lid of the tap and use a screwdriver to reach into the tap and loosen it so that you can remove the entire head. Then you need to unscrew the remaining middle part of the tap.

Replace the washer

Secure the tap in place with a wrench and then get a spanner to unscrew the base. This is where you’ll find the washer. If the washer is damaged or worn, this is probably what’s causing the tap to drip so replace it and put your tap back together to see if that’s fixed the problem.

If you’re not sure what kind of washer you require, try taking the parts into a hardware shop and they should be able to determine the size for you.

No luck?

If replacing the washer doesn’t seem to have fixed the problem, it could be due to a deeper issues such as a damaged tap seat. In order to get to the bottom of the problem and avoid further damage, we’d recommend calling a plumber in to fix the problem once and for all.

If you are not confident in how to dismantle the taps and replace the washer, it’s always best to call a plumber instead. Some jobs around the house can easily be done yourself with a little guess work and research, but plumbing is rarely one of them!

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