Fixing a leaking tap!

1) If a leaking tap has you awake all night, chances are it needs a new washer. The first thing to do is find your main water supply and turn off the valve.

2) Different taps require different tools, but this basic set should keep you covered: a large spanner, screwdrivers, a new washer and heavy duty pliers.

3) Remove the disc cover and handle by twisting with your fingers.

4) Use the spanner to loosen the top fixture.

5) Loosen the exposed headgear with a spanner and remove it.

6) If the old washer is not attached, fish it out with your pliers.

7) Clean the headgear with a cotton bud and insert the new washer.

8) Place the headgear back into the fixture and tighten the bolts.

9) Reassemble your tap by tracing your steps backwards.

10) Turn on your main water supply and give your tap a twist.

TIPS

  • After turning off the main water supply, avoid awkward wet moments by draining your tap and releasing the pressure for at least 30 seconds before dismantling it.
  • Some sinks have main valves sitting just underneath them - which means you won't have to turn off the main supply. Turn the tap clockwise to close the valve and anti-clockwise to open the valve.
  • Modern taps like single-lever models are more complex, but don't be intimidated by the fancy chrome - it's essentially the same as far as the procedure is concerned.
  • If successfully changing the washer doesn't fix the leak suck it up and call the plumber, you've got bigger problems on your hands.

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