STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

How to fix a dripping tap

How to fix a dripping tap

You will need:

  • Two adjustable spanners
  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Washer
  • Reseating tool
  • Cloth

Nothing is more annoying in the kitchen or bathroom than a dripping tap. Fixing the problem is a simple DIY job that will save you a hefty plumber's call-out charge.

Time to complete job: About fifteen minutes.
Approximate budget: Washers cost around £2 for a pack of four.

For more information see The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors.

  • Step 1: Removing the headgear

    Step 1: Removing the headgear

    Turn off the water supply. Put in the plug so that any small parts won't be lost down the waste pipe.

    Take off the top of the tap - you may need to unscrew this. If so, use a wrench to unscrew the large headgear nut.

    Tip: To unscrew the bell-shaped cover of a conventional tap, pad the jaws of a spanner or pipe wrench with a cloth to avoid damaging the surface of a tap.

  • Step 2: Replacing the washer

    Step 2: Replacing the washer

    Prise off the old washer from underneath the headgear nut with a screwdriver.

    Push the new washer into place and screw the headgear back on to the tap. Do not over tighten.

    Replace the top of the tap and turn on the water supply to check for drips.

  • Step 3: Cleaning the valve seating

    Step 3: Cleaning the valve seating

    If the tap still drips, the area underneath the washer may be worn or coated with limescale. This can be cleaned with a special reseating tool available from plumber's merchants.

    Push the end of the tool into the tap and twist it round to clean the metalwork.