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Fix that dripping tap in no time! Our guide shows you how to easily identify the problem and make simple repairs to stop the annoying drip for good.

Sound of a dripping tap can be one of the most frustrating household noises. The constant drip-drip-drip is not only an annoying disturbance but can also lead to significant water waste and higher utility bills.

According to research, a single leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. That’s enough water to fill over 180 bathtubs!

Ignoring a dripping tap can also cause structural damage to your home over time, leading to even more costly repairs. However, you don’t have to resign yourself to living with this issue. With the right knowledge and tools, many dripping tap problems can be resolved through simple DIY repairs, saving you the cost of hiring a professional plumber.

How to Fix Dripping Tap

Identifying the Cause of the Leak

Before attempting to fix a dripping tap, it’s essential to identify the root cause of the leak. Different types of taps, such as compression faucets, cartridge faucets, and ceramic disc faucets, require different repair methods. Take a close look at the location of the leak and the type of tap you have to determine the appropriate course of action.

  • Compression faucets are among the most common types of taps found in homes. They work by using a rubber washer or valve stem to control the flow of water. Over time, these components can become worn or damaged, leading to leaks.
  • Cartridge faucets use a single cartridge that controls both hot and cold water flow. These cartridges often contain o-rings or seals that can wear out and cause leaks.
  • Ceramic disc faucets, which are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability, use two ceramic discs that rub against each other to control water flow. If these discs become damaged or misaligned, they can also cause leaks.

How to Fix Dripping Tap | DIY Repair Methods

  • Compression Faucets:
    Step 1: Turn off the main water supply to your home and open the tap to release any remaining pressure. This will prevent water from spraying out during the repair process.
    Step 2: Remove the tap handle by unscrewing it or prying it off, depending on the design. This will expose the packing nut or stem that holds the washers or valve stem in place.
    Step 3: Using pliers or an adjustable wrench, unscrew the packing nut or stem and remove the valve stem and washers. Replace the rubber washers or valve stem with new ones. Make sure to use washers that are the correct size and material for your specific tap.
    Step 4: Reassemble the tap by reversing the steps above, making sure to tighten the packing nut or stem securely. Before reattaching the tap handle, apply plumber’s tape to the threads to create a leak-proof seal.
  • Cartridge Faucets:
    Step 1: Locate the cartridge and use the appropriate tool (often a specialised cartridge puller or a flathead screwdriver) to remove it. Be careful not to damage the surrounding components.
    Step 2: Carefully inspect the cartridge and clean it thoroughly to remove any debris or buildup. Look for worn or damaged o-rings, seals, or springs within the cartridge and replace them with new ones.
    Step 3: Apply a small amount of plumber’s grease or lubricant to the new o-rings and seals to help them seat properly. Reassemble the cartridge, making sure all components are in the correct orientation.
    Step 4: Carefully reinstall the cartridge into the faucet body, ensuring it is seated correctly. Reattach the tap handle and turn on the water supply to test for leaks.
  • 3. Ceramic Disc Faucets:
    Step 1: Turn off the water supply to your home and remove the tap handle. This will often involve unscrewing a decorative cap or using a special tool to pry off the handle.
    Step 2: Locate the cartridge housing and use a wrench or pliers to unscrew it from the faucet body. Carefully remove the ceramic discs, being mindful not to chip or damage them.
    Step 3: Inspect the ceramic discs for any cracks, chips, or scratches. Even a small imperfection can cause leaks. If the discs are damaged, they will need to be replaced with a matching set. If the discs are in good condition, clean them thoroughly with a soft cloth or brush.
    Step 4: Reassemble the cartridge by placing the ceramic discs back into the housing in the correct orientation. Reinstall the cartridge housing into the faucet body, making sure it is tightened securely. Reattach the tap handle and turn on the water supply, checking for any signs of leaks.

Essential Tools for Tap Repair

To successfully carry out DIY tap repairs, it’s essential to have the right set of tools on hand. Some of the essential tools you’ll need include:

  • Adjustable wrenches: These versatile tools can be used to tighten or loosen various components of a tap, such as packing nuts, stems, and cartridge housings.
  • Pliers (slip-joint and needle-nose): Pliers are useful for gripping and manipulating small components, like washers and o-rings, during the repair process.
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips): Screwdrivers are often needed to remove tap handles or access hidden components.
  • Plumber’s tape: Also known as Teflon tape, this is essential for creating a tight, leak-proof seal on threaded connections.
  • Replacement washers, o-rings, and ceramic discs: Make sure to have the appropriate replacement parts specific to your tap type. Refer to the manufacturer’s specifications or consult with a hardware store professional to ensure you have the right components.

How to Fix Dripping Tap | Maintaining Your Taps

Proper maintenance is crucial to prevent future leaks and extend the lifespan of your taps. Regularly inspect your taps for signs of wear and tear, such as drips, loose handles, or reduced water flow. Clean the tap aerators and showerheads to prevent mineral buildup and ensure proper water flow. Additionally, consider replacing older taps with water-efficient models that can significantly reduce water consumption and help you save on your utility bills.

When to Call ESBAH Professional Plumbers

While many dripping tap issues can be resolved with DIY repairs, there are instances when calling ESBAH emergency plumber is advisable. If you’re uncomfortable with the repair process, have a more complex issue, or are dealing with a leak that persists despite your efforts, it’s best to seek our emergency plumbers help. Our skilled plumber can diagnose and address the problem efficiently, ensuring a long-lasting solution.

Our team of skilled plumbers, gas engineers, and Drainage professionals can provide reliable and efficient solutions for all your home repair needs. Contact Us Now

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