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What are your options with a dripping tap?

· plumbing,leaking tap

Option 1: Log on to and book a Qualified Plumber in 60 seconds.

What you will need:

- An Internet connection

- A phone

Option 2: Try fix the leak yourself.

What you will need:

- An adjustable spanner

- A Screwdriver

- A Washer(s), potentially a Cartridge and Seal

- A Car (for the trip to woodies)

1. Turn the water off at the mains.

Before you go taking your kitchen taps apart or carrying out any DIY plumbing of any kind we recommend turning off the water at the mains. In fact, we recommend option 1 but that’s neither here nor there.

Some sinks will have an isolation ball valve underneath meaning it will stop the flow of water to the tap simply by turning the valve. These are great!

If you cant see an isolation ball valve then you will have to find the stop tap/cock. The stop tap location will vary from house to house but is normally located on the ground floor where your water supply enters the building. If you can’t find the stop tap/cock you might want to reconsider option 1.

2. Drain the tap

Drain whatever water is left in the tap by turning it on.

3. Change the washer (Generally older taps)

Remove the tap head using a flat-head screwdriver and prise the cover off the middle of the handle. Here you will see head gear nut which needs to be removed with your adjustable spanner.

Replace the washer (If you do not know what a washer is please see option 1)

Once you have removed the head gear nut you will see a washer. If the washer is damaged, worn or looks as if it is too big for the fitting than this is most likely the cause and it needs to be replaced.

Your local hardware or plumbing supply store will have these.

3.A Change the Cartridge and seal (Generally newer taps)

Open the centre cap which is on the handle of the tap. Remove the headgear covering the cartridge and rubber seal beneath.

Inspect the cartridge and the seal for damage or wear and tear. If there is no apparent damage check to see if there is any dirt or lime scale present. If there is no damage or dirt the problem may be due to play in the seal when it was installed initially.  

If there is damage present, then the cartridge and seal will need to be replaced. Your local hardware or plumbing supply store will have these.

4. Still Leaking?

After you put the tap back together, turn the water back on. If replacing the washer, cartridge /seal depending on the tap doesn’t alleviate the problem, it could be due to a more complex issue and you may need swallow your pride and get a plumber.

Visit with all of your plumbing issues no matter how big or small they are and avoid any DIY disasters. Some work around the house can be done with help from google but plumbing should be left to the pro’s.

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