Stop a dripping tap: step by step

Let's face it. Dripping taps cost money. Lots of money. Especially in Singapore where the water price is very high. Follow the tips below to stop pouring money down the drain.

If you have an irritating dripping tap, it's either because someone hasn't turned it off tight enough, or the washer inside it has wasted away to nothing. Is the tap dripping from the spout? If so, a washer has gone. Is the tap dripping from the top? If so, an O-ring needs replacing.

1. Turn off the  water at the isolation valve to your taps. 
2. Put the plug in the sink. This is to stop those tiny screws and bits that make up your tap falling down the plughole into the waste trap. 
3. Pop off the lid of the tap (often the bit that says 'H' for hot or 'C' for cold)
4. Unscrew the screw inside it. 
5. Expose the cartridge. This can be quite tricky, especially if you live in a hard-water area as lime scale may have built up on the cartridge. Use an adjustable spanner and a bit of brute force.
6. Pull the cartridge out. 
7. You will need to get a new washer to fit. There are MANY different kinds of washer and all your taps will have different ones. Take the cartridge to a plumbing store and show them the cartridge, this will save you time, effort and money in the long run. 
8. Unscrew or pop off the washer, place the new washer in place, and put your tap back together. 
9. first hand-tight, and then quarter turn with the spanner. 

Top tip: As you dissemble your tap, keep all the separate parts in the order in which they came out so that you can easily put them back again. Take a photo if you want to be super-certain. 

 If your tap is leaking from the top, then it's your O-ring that's the problem. Follow all the steps above, but instead of removing the washer, prise off the rubber ring further up the cartridge (see the photo). Then do step seven and get yourself to a plumbers' merchant, as above. 

Changing washers on a monobloc mixer tap

Monobloc mixer tap 

Often these taps aren't designed to be fiddled with , but it's worth having a go. 

1. You might be able to get into the tap through the red and blue dot indicating hot and cold. Prise it out. 
2. Use an allen key to unscrew the grub screw. 
3. Pull off the head of the tap. 
4. Remove the cartridge from the tap 
5. Take the cartridge to a plumbing store and show them the cartridge, this will save you time, effort and money in the long run. 
6. Fit the new cartridge and put the tap back together. Don't for get to put the grub screw back. 

 Once done, always make sure that the taps are fully put together before opening the isolation valve to your taps to turn the water back on.

If this sounds too complex, you can always use a Plumber.

Recommended Posts: