Fixing a Leaking Tap

After Hours Plumbing van

Leaking taps can be a persistent annoyance, wasting water and driving up utility bills. Fortunately, you can end that frustrating drip with a bit of know-how and the right approach.

Find out the ins and outs of fixing a leaking tap, from understanding tap components to diagnosing the causes of leaks. Also, know when to tackle the repair yourself and when it’s best to call in a professional plumber.

Diagnosing Leaky Tap Issues and Common Causes

Diagnosing the underlying issue is the key to a successful repair when you need to fix a leaking tap. Here are some common causes of tap leaks, and learn how to identify and address them effectively.

Worn-Out Tap Washers

A worn-out tap washer frequently causes tap leaks. Over time, the constant friction between the washer and the tap seat can cause it to deteriorate, resulting in a dripping tap. If you notice water leaking from the spout even when the tap is fully closed, a broken washer is likely to blame.

Damaged Jumper Valves

If your tap utilises a jumper valve instead of washers, these valves may be the culprit behind the leak. Similar to washers, jumper valves can wear out or become damaged, causing water to seep through and create a leak.

Faulty Tap Bodies

The tap body can sometimes develop leaks due to cracks or damage. This is more common in older taps or those exposed to harsh conditions. Leaks from the tap body can manifest as water seeping from the base or around the handle.

Loose or Damaged Components

Sometimes, loose or damaged components within the tap assembly can lead to leaks. This can include loose screws, worn-out O-rings, or faulty valve seatings. These issues can cause water to escape from the tap even when closed.

Plumber fixing a leaking tap

DIY or Pro: When to Channel Your Inner Handyman and When to Call a Professional Plumber

Deciding whether to handle a tap repair as a DIY project or enlist the help of a professional plumber can be a crucial decision. While minor leaks and simple maintenance may be well within the capabilities of a DIY enthusiast, certain situations call for the expertise of a professional.

Fixing a Leaking Tap: Basic DIY Repairs

If you have some experience with basic plumbing tasks and feel confident in your skills, you may consider handling the tap repair yourself. Here are some scenarios where a DIY approach is feasible:

  • Changing washers or jumper valves: Replacing worn-out washers or jumper valves is a common DIY task that requires minimal tools and expertise.
  • Tightening or replacing loose screws: If the tap handle or other components are loose, you can usually tighten or replace the screws yourself.

Fixing a Leaking Tap: Complex Repairs

Some tap issues are more complex and require advanced skills and specialised tools. In these situations, it’s advisable to call a professional plumber to avoid potential complications. Consider involving a professional in the following scenarios:

  • Tap body or cartridge replacement: Repairing or replacing the tap body or cartridge may involve intricate disassembly and reassembly, requiring professional expertise.
  • Severe leaks or water damage: If the leak is substantial, resulting in water damage or affecting the structure of your plumbing system, it’s best to call a professional plumber to assess and address the issue effectively.
  • Plumbing system concerns: If you’re uncertain about the cause of the leak or suspect broader plumbing system issues, a professional plumber can conduct a thorough inspection and provide comprehensive solutions and plumbing services, including hot water system replacement, gas fitting and blocked toilet.

before fixing a leaking tap

Safety Considerations

Always prioritise your safety when deciding whether to tackle a tap repair yourself. If the repair involves working with electrical components, extensive water shutoffs, or potential hazards, it’s best to leave it to a licensed plumber.

Remember, even if you choose to handle a tap repair yourself, following safety precautions, shutting off the water supply, and using the correct tools and materials for the job are essential.

Must-Have Equipment for Fixing a Leaking Tap

When it comes to fixing dripping taps, having the right equipment can make a significant difference in the success of your repair. Here are some must-have tools and materials that are available in your local hardware store and will help you tackle the task effectively:

  • Adjustable wrench: An adjustable wrench is a versatile tool that allows you to tighten or loosen tap bonnet, nuts and bolts of various sizes. It’s essential for disassembling and reassembling the tap components during the repair process.
  • Screwdriver set: A set of screwdrivers of different sizes and types (such as flathead and Phillips) is crucial for removing screws and a cover plate that holds the tap assembly together. Choose screwdrivers with comfortable grips for better control.
  • Replacement washer and jumper valve: Depending on the type of tap you have, keep a selection of washer and jumper valves on hand. These small components are often the culprits behind leaks and must be replaced during the repair.
  • O-Rings: An O-ring is a rubber gasket that creates a watertight seal in certain taps. If you’re working with a tap that utilises O-rings, it’s advisable to have a variety of sizes available for replacement.
  • Pipe tape or thread sealant: Pipe tape, also known as Teflon or thread sealant, creates a secure seal between threaded connections. Applying a few wraps of tape or sealant can help prevent leaks in the threaded parts of the tap.
  • Needle-nose pliers: A needle-nose plier can be handy for gripping and turning small components, such as screws or nuts, that may be hard to reach or tightly secured.
  • Lubricant: A silicone-based lubricant or plumber’s grease can facilitate smooth movement and proper seating of washers, valves, and other components during reassembly.
  • Towels or rags: Having absorbent towels or rags nearby is essential to catch any water or clean up spills during the repair process. They also come in handy for drying components before reassembly.

Remember, safety goggles and gloves are crucial for protecting your eyes and hands during the repair.

With these essential tools and materials, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the most common dripping tap issues. However, remember that different taps may require specific tools or components, so consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional advice.

After Fixing a leaking tapKey Takeaway

Fixing a leaking tap can be manageable with the proper knowledge and tools. By diagnosing the issues and common causes of leaks and knowing when to tackle the repair yourself or call a professional plumber, you can effectively address tap problems.

Equipping yourself with the must-have tools and materials for fixing dripping taps, and following troubleshooting tips for common tap issues, empowers you to successfully resolve leaks and restore your tap’s functionality.

Remember to prioritise safety and consult a professional from After Hours Plumbing. With a team of licensed and experienced plumbers, you’ll be ready to get back a leak-free plumbing system.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See After Hours Plumbing’s Terms & Conditions here.

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