Leaky taps are a simple fact of life. The taps in your kitchen and bathroom are sealed using rubber and nylon parts that wear out due to age and normal use. So, at some point, they’ll need to be replaced.
Fixing a leaking tap is a great skill to learn. It not only saves you money, it allows you to fix leaks as soon as they start, which can save you big on your water bill.
In this article we’ll look at how to fix a leaking bathroom tap and provide step-by-step instructions on repairing that annoying drip.
Gather Your Supplies
Fixing a leaky tap is a DIY-friendly job that can be done in just a few minutes. Taps have simple mechanisms with few moving parts, so you’ll only need a handful of supplies to get the job done:
- Tap valve repair kit
- Adjustable spanner
- Long nose pliers
- Plumber’s grease
Tap valve repair kits can be purchased from any hardware store. They come with a selection of tap valves, washers and o-rings that are suitable for fixing a leak in most standard sizes of taps.
How to Fix a Leaking Bathroom Tap
1. Shut Off the Mains Water Supply
You need to shut off the water supply to the leaking tap before you do anything else. In newer bathrooms, this can be done at the isolation valve located under the sink.
If your sink doesn’t have an isolation valve then you will need to shut off the water supply to the whole property. This can be done at the mains water valve, which can be found in a black (or blue) plastic box near the footpath. Open the box and turn off the tap that’s inside to shut off your water supply.
In apartments, mains water valves are usually found in a utility cupboard near your front door. For townhouses, the mains water valve may be located near your driveway or in a dedicated utility shed.
2. Release Remaining Water from the System
With the water supply off, turn on the tap to release any remaining water and pressure from the system.
A small amount of water will flow out of the tap, but it should come to a stop after a few seconds. If the water doesn’t stop then you’ll need to double check your water supply valve to make sure it’s turned off properly.
3. Unscrew the Tap Handle
Most tap handles are held on by a screw on cap. This is usually the button that displays the ‘Hot’ or ‘Cold’ label. The cap can be unscrewed – it should only be finger tight, but you may need to use your spanner to remove it.
The tap handle can then be lifted off the spindle.
4. Unscrew the Tap Cover
With the handle removed, you can unscrew the tap cover from the base. Pay attention to the condition of the spindle when you remove the cover. If the spindle is wet or grimy then there’s a good chance the o-rings are leaking.
5. Remove the Tap Spindle
Use a spanner to unscrew the body of the tap from the sink. A small amount of water may bubble out of the pipes – this is normal.
Underneath the tap spindle you’ll find the jumper valve. Jumper valves are the most common cause of a leaking tap. You should be able to lift the valve out of the sink with your fingers or a pair of pliers.
Make sure you remove the body of the jumper valve and the nylon washer that’s attached to it. If the washer is worn out, it may be stuck in the mechanism, and you’ll need to use your pliers to lift it out.
6. Replace the O-Rings on the Spindle
Before we replace the jumper valve, we’re going to take the tap body and unscrew the central spindle. Wind the spindle clockwise until the two parts are separated.
- The spindle will have one or two rubber o-rings around it. These can be rolled off the spindle, or peeled off with the help of a flathead screwdriver.
- Use a paper towel to clean any grime off the spindle. The new o-rings won’t seal properly if there is dirt or mineral build up on the sealing face.
- Roll your new o-rings onto the spindle and apply a very small amount of plumber’s grease to the new seals. Reassemble the body and spindle.
7. Replace the Jumper Valve and Reassemble the Tap
You can now place your new jumper valve on the bottom of the tap body and screw the assembly back into the sink. Use your spanner to re-tighten the tap body, but don’t over tighten it.
8. Reassemble the Tap Handle
You can now put the tap cover and handle back on. Again, don’t over tighten the cover or cap – finger tight should be good enough to hold everything together.
9. Turn the Water Supply Back On
Finally, you can turn on your newly repaired tap, and then switch the water supply back on at the main valve. It may take a few seconds for water to flow through the system and arrive at the tap.
Turn the tap on and off a few times to make sure nothing is leaking and that the dripping has been dealt with.
That’s it, you’re done!
Keep Your Plumbing Flowing Smoothly with Liqwyd Solutions!
Replacing the seals in a worn out tap is a simple home maintenance item that you can tackle yourself. If you’re unsure about the process, or if you’d rather leave it to the professionals, give Liqwyd Solutions a call!
Liqwyd Solutions is a professional plumber that works all over Brisbane. Based out of the Redlands, we service residential customers across the region, providing plumbing maintenance to keep your day flowing. Whether you need help with a leaky tap or major repair work, our team is equipped to take care of most problems on the spot.
You can contact us online if you’d like to make a booking, or call us directly if you need our emergency plumbing services!