If your tap is constantly dripping and the water flow does not stop completely when it is closed, then the washer is likely to be damaged and will need to be replaced. In our guide, you can easily learn how to change a tap washer. However, before you get started, you will need some tools. Make sure you have a slot-head screwdriver, two adjustable pipe wrenches, a pack of washers and some cloths.
There are some rules and regulations in the UK when it comes to doing this, therefore be sure to check the government website to make sure you can legally DIY and replace your washers. Most of the time, this is a simple task, but it depends on the existing tap. Your tap’s hardware may be old and completely seized up, so you might be required to call an emergency plumber.
Before you start, you should check the tap hardware. Taps come in all sizes and shapes, but most of them have a washer, a body washer and an O-ring. These are the items that need to be replaced, so go to your local plumbing shop. It is always good to apply grease to the thread, so it is smooth when turned on and off.
Step 1: Turn off the water at your main water meter
Make sure the water is isolated by opening the hot and cold taps. When the water loses its pressure and finally stops, then you have achieved isolation. This may take a few minutes.
Step 2: Remove your tap
Each tap is unique in how it should be removed. The trick is to be patient and find the part that needs to be undone first. This shows that the next part that needs to be undone and so on. This usually starts with a small nut or screw and moves to the larger, shinier attachment, such as flanges or cover plates. Remember all the steps you take to remove the tap, as they will be helpful when reassembling it. Take pictures on your phone if you do not have a good memory.
Step 3: Replace the washer
After removing the taps, find the washer, body washer and O-ring and replace with new ones. Apply some grease to each thread as it will make the tap function to smooth, which will help the tear and wear.
Step 4: Now assemble the tapware
Now assemble the tapware. To do this, we reverse the second step and assemble each part of the tap. If you are stuck and do not remember the order, do not worry-look for online tutorials to help you along the way and you should be right. Once all the tapware has been replaced, the last step is to open the water and check that it functions well. Then turn off the water and see if the tap is leaking. Note that some air may come out of the tap because you have drained it, therefore allow the taps to run for a few minutes until the water flows freely.
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