How to fix a dripping tap?
Before you start, it's important to identify the type of tap you have. There are two main types of taps: compression and ceramic disc. Compression taps have washers that press against a valve seat to control the flow of water, while ceramic disc taps have ceramic discs that move to control the flow. The method for fixing a dripping tap will depend on the type of tap you have.
Materials and Tools You'll Need
Phillips head screwdriver
Replacement washer or ceramic disc (depending on tap type)
Tap grease or silicone grease
Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Dripping Tap
Turn off the Water Supply
Before you start working on your tap, you'll need to turn off the water supply to the affected tap. You can usually do this by turning off the isolation valve located under the sink or basin.
Remove the Tap Head
Use a flathead screwdriver to gently pry off the cap on top of the tap head. If there's no cap, use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screw holding the tap head in place. Once you've removed the cap or screw, use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the tap head.
Check the Washer or Ceramic Disc
For compression taps, you'll need to remove the washer from the valve seat using pliers or your fingers. Inspect the washer for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or tears. If the washer is worn or damaged, you'll need to replace it with a new one of the same size and shape.
For ceramic disc taps, remove the ceramic disc cartridge by pulling it straight out. Inspect the ceramic discs for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or chips. If the ceramic discs are worn or damaged, you'll need to replace the cartridge with a new one of the same size and shape.
Apply Grease to the Washer or Ceramic Disc
Before reinstalling the washer or ceramic disc, apply a small amount of tap grease or silicone grease to the surface. This will help create a watertight seal and prevent future leaks.
Reassemble the Tap
Carefully reinsert the washer or ceramic disc back into the tap. For compression taps, use pliers or your fingers to press the washer back into place against the valve seat. For ceramic disc taps, simply slide the cartridge back into the tap until it clicks into place.
Reattach the tap head and tighten it with an adjustable wrench. Make sure not to over-tighten the tap head, as this can cause damage to the washer or ceramic disc.
Turn on the Water Supply
Once you've reassembled the tap, turn on the water supply and check for leaks. If there are no leaks, turn the tap on and off several times to ensure that it's working properly.
If there are still leaks, you may need to tighten the tap head further or replace the washer or ceramic disc again. Make sure to turn off the water supply before attempting any further repairs.
Preventing Future Dripping Taps
To prevent future dripping taps, it's important to maintain your taps properly. This includes cleaning them regularly to remove any dirt or debris that can cause build ups or debris.
Here are some additional tips to help prevent future dripping taps:
Regularly Clean Your Taps
One of the main causes of dripping taps is a buildup of dirt or debris on the washer or ceramic disc. To prevent this, it's important to clean your taps regularly. Use a soft cloth and mild soap to clean the tap and remove any dirt or debris. You can also use a toothbrush or cotton swab to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Don't Over-Tighten Taps
Over-tightening a tap can cause damage to the washer or ceramic disc, which can lead to leaks. When assembling your tap, make sure not to over-tighten the tap head. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the tap head until it's snug, but not too tight.
Replace Washers or Ceramic Discs When Needed
Over time, washers and ceramic discs can wear out or become damaged, leading to leaks. If you notice a leak, it's important to replace the washer or ceramic disc as soon as possible. This will prevent further damage to the tap and help prevent future leaks.
Consider Upgrading to Ceramic Disc Taps
If you have compression taps, consider upgrading to ceramic disc taps. Ceramic disc taps are more durable and longer-lasting than compression taps, and they're less likely to develop leaks. While they may be more expensive upfront, they can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs.
Check for Water Pressure Issues
High water pressure can cause damage to taps and lead to leaks. If you're experiencing frequent leaks, it may be worth checking your water pressure. You can do this using a water pressure gauge, which you can purchase at most hardware stores. If your water pressure is too high, you may need to install a pressure-reducing valve.
Call a Professional Plumber
If you're unsure about how to fix a dripping tap, or if you've tried to fix it yourself but the problem persists, it's best to call a professional plumber. A plumber can diagnose the issue and recommend the best course of action. They can also help with any other plumbing issues you may be experiencing.
In conclusion, fixing a dripping tap is a relatively simple task that can save you money on water bills and prevent damage to your sink or basin. By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking steps to prevent future dripping taps, you can ensure that your taps are functioning properly and efficiently.
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