- 1 Is changing a tap washer easy?
- 2 Do all taps have replaceable washers?
- 3 Can you change taps without a plumber?
- 4 Is a dripping tap always the washer?
- 5 What causes water to drip from tap?
Is changing a tap washer easy?
Contrary to popular belief, ignoring the ‘drip, drip, drip’ of a leaky tap will not make it go away. Learning how to change a tap washer is one of the essential skills that will turn you from a DIY amateur to someone who really knows their stuff. Learning how to change a tap washer is one of the essential skills that will turn you from a DIY amateur to someone who really knows their stuff.
- Luckily, it requires very little effort, usually taking just a few minutes and requiring very little in the way of equipment.
- In fact, it can be done in as little as 7 easy steps that we’ve outlined for you below.
- For those of you who have absolutely no idea what a tap washer is let alone how to change one, this guide is for you.
And you can all breathe a sigh of relief; when it comes to changing a tap washer, there is no drilling, no fussing around with pipes and no interaction with highly toxic chemicals. This is DIY at its finest – simple, satisfying and (almost) totally safe.
Why is my tap still dripping after changing washer?
What If My Tap Is Still Leaking After Changing The Washer? – If you’ve changed the tap washer and it’s still leaking, most likely, the valve “seat” that the tap washer pushes down on is worn. It allows water to pass no matter how much you tighten it. The tap valve seat, mostly made of brass, becomes worn and burred over time, mainly due to minerals in the water such as lime.
Do all taps have replaceable washers?
How to fix a leaky tap Before you start this repair, you need to do two things: 1. Get replacement parts Washers for most taps above come in standard sizes. However, some modern taps do without washers altogether or may have different seals. See below for more on washerless taps.2. Fixing taps: the steps 1. Remove the handle and cover from the tap (or the combined handle and cover) then unscrew the tap headgear nut to remove the body of the tap from the fitting. Cover the nut with a cloth if it will be visible while the tap is in use, to protect it from scratches.
- It is important to secure the spout while you unscrew the headgear, in order to prevent the whole tap turning round.
- This can damage the pipework or crack the sink.
- Get a helper to hold the tap firmly by the spout or hold it with the hand not holding the spanner.
- Use penetrating oil to loosen the nut if it is stuck, rather than using too much force and breaking your bathroom suite.2.
Once the body of the tap comes away, you can remove the old washer from the pin at the bottom. It may just pull off with pliers, or you may need to remove a small nut or screw. You should be able to see the damage to the washer that is causing the drip. Mixer taps Mixer taps come in a range of different designs but most consist of two taps attached to a single, central spout. These taps can be mended in the same way as single taps. However, you will need to work out first which tap is causing a drip from the communal spout. Washerless taps Taps with ball valves or ceramic discs are two modern designs that don’t have traditional washers to seal the pipe shut. These usually have a mixer function and pivoting handles that control water flow and temperature. These taps are less likely to need maintenance than traditional models.
However they do have various seals and moving parts that can go wrong. If you have had them fitted recently, you may find the user manual gives enough information on how to dismantle the tap head and replacea leaking ‘o-ring’ or another simple part. If not, it’s usually best to call in a plumber the first time something goes wrong and take note of how it’s done.
It’s not strictly in their interest, but you could try asking them to leave a few spare seals for you to use next time! How to turn off the water If you don’t know how to turn off the water supply to your home, you should set about finding your stopcocks (called stop valves in Australia) straight away. The external supply Depending on your home, there may be one or two stopcocks that turn off the water supply. For houses, one can usually be found on the property border near the street. This should be under a small iron cover, suitably labelled. You may have a water meter and, if so, you might find this under the same cover.
(Most Australian and New Zealand houses have water meters, which are located above ground.) The stopcock is simply a tap but, as in Britain it is normally a couple of feet underground, you’ll need a simple tool called a ‘stopcock key’ to turn it. These are sold for very little money in DIY merchants.
However, most homes come with one ready supplied by the previous occupants, so you may find one in your meter cupboard or garage. Caution In Australia and New Zealand, almost all plumbing work beyond simple tasks such as replacing taps or washers must be carried out by a licensed plumber. The internal cold water stopcock A second cold water stopcock is often found inside a property – commonly under the kitchen sink. This will be a large tap that you turn with your hand. When you find your stopcocks, this is a good time to check that you can turn them on and off.
They may become stuck if they haven’t been turned for years, and you don’t want to discover this when you are in the middle of an emergency. If you find a tap is stuck, spray it with some penetrating oil to loosen it and then close and open it to check it works. The hot water stopcock Your home will also have a second internal stopcock for the hot water supply.
This will usually be found at the outlet of your boiler or hot water tank. If you need to turn off the hot water, turn off the water heater at the same time. Other shut-off taps You may find taps that control individual parts of the water supply elsewhere in the home.
For example, showers, baths and sinks may have valves in the pipes nearby that you can use to isolate these fittings without turning off the whole supply. A constant drip from a tap should be fixed as quickly as possible, especially if you pay for your water via a meter. Even one drip per second can add up to more than 80 litres of water down the drain in just a day.
A drip from the spout This is usually caused by a worn washer. Most of us know vaguely that ‘replacing the washer’ will solve this, but not where the washer in question can be found or, indeed, how to replace it. The diagrams on the next page aim to make everything clear.
They show the two most common types of taps, and the washer that wears out most often at the base of the handle unit. The washer forms a seal that prevents water from the pipe below from flowing out when the tap is closed. It is made of rubber and, when this gets damaged or perished, it no longer makes a proper seal and needs replacing.
Tools for replacing a washer Depending on the type of tap you have, you will need an adjustable spanner or ‘monkey wrench’, a thin cloth or rag, pliers, a screwdriver, and possibly some petroleum jelly and penetrating spray oil to loosen any stuck screws and nuts.
|HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCEWater – we pollute it, waste it, privatise it and dam it. Around the world millions of people lack access to it. But there are organisations out there trying to protect the planet’s water for the benefit of all|
|GREEN LIVINGThere’s life in that old sagging sofa yet. Restoring furniture is as easy as buying a throw or painting a wardrobe. Andy Hamilton explains how|
|GREEN LIVINGClean the most difficult places in a natural, eco-friendly way. Laura Sevier explains how|
|GREEN LIVINGLaura Sevier reports on why we shouldn’t be taking our water for granted, as well as offering some easy ways to avoid wasting it|
How to fix a leaky tap
How do I know if my tap washer needs replacing?
Hard to turn – Taps can get more and more difficult to turn on or off if the washer or o-ring seal is getting old and worn. If you really have to put your shoulder into the movement to stop the tap running or turn it on it probably needs attention.
What is a lever tap?
What are lever taps? – Lever taps are taps which feature a lever that users must move in order to operate the flow of water and reach either hot or cold temperatures.
Can you change taps without a plumber?
Leave it to the plumbing experts – If you’re planning on installing a new tap yourself, you will need the knowledge to ensure that you get the job done right and to a standard of quality that will last for a prolonged period without dripping, leaking or causing other plumbing issues as a result.
If you’re not sure whether you can do the job right, it’s best not to try to do it yourself. You don’t want to end up with a bigger problem than you started with. When it comes to working on any plumbing system, it’s easy to burst a pipe or cause a larger issue simply by accident. Causing a significant issue like this will be a costly fix from an emergency plumber.
There is also the risk of causing flooding damage to other parts of your property and getting a large water bill if you cause a leak or burst pipe that loses a significant amount of water before being fixed. If you’re not entirely sure you can accomplish the job on your own, it will likely be much easier to get help and have the peace of mind that it is going to be done by a professional that should have the skills to get it right the first time.
Is a dripping tap always the washer?
Replace o-ring – If the tap washer isn’t the cause of the leak, it could be the o-ring instead. The o-ring looks like a bigger washer and is the seal found at the base of the spout. To check and replace it, carefully remove the spout. You will then need to use a flat-head screwdriver to loosen and lift off the o-ring.
What is the main cause of dripping tap?
Rubber seals – Rubber seals within the tap can build limescale and over time can cause your taps to become leaky. When warn out, they become loose and wear down at the edges. This is caused by constant water pressure leading to wear and tear.
What causes water to drip from tap?
Broken Washers – A common cause of a leaking faucet is broken washers. Washers rest against the valve seat, and overtime, friction can cause the washers to wear out. This then leads to leaking. If a washer is the wrong size or not installed properly, it can also lead to leaking.
Can you fix a dripping tap without turning the water off?
Why do faucets have shutoff valves? – Faucets have shutoff valves in order to control leaks in given area of a plumbing system. Shutoff valves are useful under faucets in the event that a plumbing supply line breaks, or becomes loose and begins to leak.
In the event that this occurs, the shutoff valve allows the user to stop the flow of water beyond the valve. A faucet shutoff valve is usually much easier and faster to access than the shutoff valve for the entire property, which may be located in a crawlspace, basement, utility room, or garage. In older homes, you may also discover that the property does not have a valve that shuts off hte water to the entire property.
In this scenario, the only options are using s shutoff under a sink if there is one, and in the event that there is not one there, you will have to turn off the water at the meter. The worst-case scenario is if the property where you are working does not have aa faucet shutoff valve, a waterline shutoff valve, and you cannot access the meter.
- In this situation, you may not be able to replace the faucet.
- Your best chance at doing this is to open all the valves at the property in an attempt to lower the water pressure as low as possible.
- Then you will also need someone working along side you with a shop vacuum to suck up any water that escapes when you disconnect the existing faucet.
This is not a recommended method due to the amount of water that will be wasted, as well as the high likelihood that you could flood your space in the event that you cannot get the new faucet installed quick enough before the vacuum fills up with water.
It may be time to bite the bullet and call a plumber. Let’s assume for a moment that you are able to reduce the water pressure low enough to successfully replace the faucet. There are a few steps that you need to take before you disconnect the faucet. Remember that there wll likely be a slow but steady stream of water leaking from the supply lines as you work.
WIth this being said, time is of the essence. In order to reduce the amount of time it actually takes to replace the faucet lets do the followiing: Step 1: locat the rings on the coutnertop that help keep the faucet from moving. Go ahead and loosen those.
You can back them down the treaded stem as much as possible, but the the main goal in this step is to make sure that you can move them freely and easily, so that when you disonnect the water lines from the old faucet you can remove it quickly and begin working with the new faucet. Step 2: Go ahead and unbox the new faucet.
Take a close look at it and its parts. You need to have a basic understanding of how it will be installed. Most faucets basically come assembled in the box (except for the drain and the stopper. But in the event that you have purchased one that has some additional assembly required before installation, you need to make yourself aware of that fact now, and go ahead and complete any preliminary assembly.
- Step 3: The next step is to apply the plumber’s tape or plumbers thread sealant to the stems on both the hot and cold side of the new faucet.
- If you use plumbers tape, be sure to apply the tape in the same direction that you will install the faucet supply line hose.
- You want to make sure the tape is going in the correct direction so that it does not begin to bunch up as you turn the threaded fitting on the supply line, as this can negatively impact the watertight seal.
Step 4: Get you vacuum in place so that you can address any water immediately. Make sure that your shop vacuum has a water filter installed. Also make sure that that shop vac is plugged in and then test the vacuum to make sure that it is getting power.
- We want to leave as few things to chance as possible.
- Step5: Make sure to have towels on hand to soak spilled water.
- Also, have a bucket on hand to capture water from the supply lines.
- Faucet vs Tub/Shower Valve Even though replacing a faucet without cutting off the water is difficult to accomplish, replacing a tub or shower valve is even more difficult.
Here are several reasons why: 1. The space that you have to work within is much tighter. Most tub and shower valves are mounted between 2 wall studs and there is usually a small opening on the backside of the tub or shower where the plumbing can be accessed.2.
- The most common way to remove and attach a shower valve involves using a torch to loosen the connect and then using a torch again to sweat the pipes back together.
- Sweating pipe requires that no water come in contact with the area, during the heating process.
- This will be virtually impossible to do without shutting off the water.
There is one alternative that just may work, and that is by using Sharkbite fittings. The Sharkbite fittings use compression to create a watertight seal and can be installed very quickly. The main hurdle that you will run into is that the shower valve has to be installed at a height that is specific to the hole in the shower wall where the handles and controls will be accessible from inside the tub and shower.