How to Fix a Dripping Tap

leaky tap
There are few things more annoying than a dripping tap. Not only is this issue non-environmental-friendly, but it’s also dripping away into your water bill. It can also stain your sink in the long run, and the dripping noise can be a nightmare when you’re trying to get some sleep.

Learning how to fix a dripping tap isn’t extremely complicated, but there are certain things you need to know first. In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know to identify your tap and fix the dripping on your own.

Tap Valve in a Dripping Faucet

There are mainly two types of valves on faucets, and you need to know which one you have because solving the issue will mean taking different steps for each.
  • Compression valve: these need turning them fully for maximum power. The washer is at the base of the valve, and when it gets worn, water starts to leak.
  • Ceramic disc valve: this is commonly found in monobloc mixer faucets, and you don’t need to turn them much for maximum flow. These use ceramic discs instead of washers.

Additionally, remember that hot water valves are coloured red while cold water valves are coloured blue at the bottom. This is important because they turn in different directions.

How to Fix Dripping Faucets

As mentioned before, depending on the type of valve, you’ll need to follow different steps. So, let’s get to work!

Compression valve tap

If you have a compression valve cap, you’ll likely need to remove the handle cap. Then:
  1. Unscrew and remove the handle.
  2. Unscrew the rest of the cover on the valve.
  3. Use a spanner to loosen the valve and remove it.
  4. Remove the screw on the washer and replace it.
  5. Go from steps 4-1 backwards to put everything back into place.

This will surely make the dripping go away, but there’s an alternative, too. If, when removing the washer, you check that the O-ring is worn, you might be able to solve the problem by just replacing it. The O-ring is the rubber band on the washer. You can remove it with a screwdriver and replace it with another one of the same size.

Ceramic disc valve tap

This can be a bit easier than working on a compression valve because, generally speaking, less disassembling is needed.
  1. Remove the handle cap. Sometimes you’ll need an Allen key for this.
  2. Use a spanner to remove the valve.
  3. Check the ceramic disc valve. If it shows signs of dirtiness, you can try cleaning it. Otherwise, replace it with a new one.
  4. Put the valve and handle back into position.

The same advice goes for O-rings here. When you remove the valve, you can also check the O-ring and replace it to see if it works. However, this process is generally more complicated than in compression valve taps. It’s probably better to simply exchange the piece completely.

What To Do If It Drips from Beneath the Spout

Sometimes the leaking comes from beneath the spout, and this case is a bit more cumbersome to repair since you’ll need to remove the entire piece and replace the spout O-ring. Here’s how to do it:
  1. Go down the sink and loosen the nut that holds the tap to the sink.
  2. Turn the tap around and remove the screw on the back.
  3. Lift the spout to access the O-ring.
  4. Remove the O-ring and replace it with a new one.
  5. Put everything back in place and tighten the nut below the sink.

Some Final Considerations

Besides remembering to turn off your water supply before starting, there are other pro tips to consider. The first one is to not over-tighten anything, as it can result in further damage and incorrect water pressure.

Another important consideration is never using an O-ring of a different size, no matter how small the difference. This will only result in further leaks.

As you can see, it’s not impossible to solve this issue yourself. However, if it looks problematic, you can always get in touch with us. We’ll look for a professional in your area that can help you solve the issue. Call us today if you require plumbing services!


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