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How to Change a Tap Washer in 12 Easy Steps

Learn how to change a tap washer and fix a leaking tap. Follow these simple steps or you could call your trusted plumber at Fixed Today

Plink…plink…plink… this is the sound of a dripping tap. The sound echoes through night and day, making you restless. A drip here and a drip there. It won’t stop ’drip, drip, drip, dripping’. Until the dripping comes in rhythm, it starts to become annoying. It can keep you awake all night. Or it can ruin a whole day, too.

Then, the worry comes.

Water is a valuable resource, and we should conserve it. And leaks, if left undone, will give you a bit of heartache and a lot of headaches. More so, when the leaking tap becomes worse, your water supply is hampered, and your water bill skyrockets.

In most cases, the only thing you need to do is change a tap washer with a few tools needed, even with zero plumbing experience.

But if you get to the bottom of this article and replacing a tap washer isn’t a walk in the park after all, and you don’t think ’Bob’s your uncle. Fixing a leaky tap is a piece of cake! You might want to call a plumber to fix your leaking tap instead.

Change Tap Washer

What is a tap washer?

A tap washer is a small disk that sits inside the tap to seal when turned off. They do wear over time, resulting in leaking taps. Your taps may be washerless, but these taps are far less likely to leak.

Tap washers are general wear and tear product. Replacing a washer should be done every 1-2 years. And if your taps are old, replacing them with newer ones can save on your water bill!

Learning how to change a water tap washer is a fantastic skill, so let’s go through the steps for changing it.

Step 1. Grab your tools

Got a toolkit in the shed with a few spanners, pliers, screwdrivers and a rag? You’re ready to go!

Step 2. Turn off the water supply

Whatever you do, don’t start messing with those pipes until you turn off the water at the mains. Unless you want an almighty mess to deal with, you’ll probably find the mains out front with the water meter. Turn this until the water supply has been successfully turned off.

Step 3. Empty the pipes

But even when the mains is off, you should still open that dripping tap up to empty the pipes that feed into it. If it stops pretty quickly, you’ve turned the mains off, and you’re ready to rumble. You can now continue changing the old washer without causing damage.

Step 4. Remove the tap button

Get the tap off so you can access that busted tap washer. The tap might have a button on the top that holds the handle on — it might be the part that identifies the ’hot’ or ’cold’ water. If it is round or inset, pop it off gently with a screwdriver. Otherwise, you may need a spanner.

Be gentle when taking this off to prevent damage to your kitchen or bathroom sink.

Step 5. Remove the handle

Take the tap handle off. Depending on the type of tap, it’ll be as simple as sliding or screwing it off to reveal the inner workings of the tap lying beneath. There are many types of taps often used in Sydney homes. The washer may be different depending on your tap.

Dirty Faucet Aerator

Step 6. Remove the tap skirt

If you see a metallic skirt or shroud on the tap, that will also be coming off. This could be where you need the pliers because some plumbers will have secured them with a sealant.

Step 7. Remove the tap bonnet

Unscrew the tap’s actual body (or headgear), which will reveal the plastic or brass jumper valve within. You’ll need a spanner or shifter for this.

Step 8. Remove the washer

Once this jumper valve is taken off, you’re all ready to remove that pesky rubber tap washer. If it’s out of reach, some pliers with a handy needle nose will work like a pair of tweezers. If it’s a typical washer problem, you might see a split.

Step 9. Replace the washer

Now you’ve got that washer in your hot little hands, it’s time for a trip to the hardware store for a new tap washer. If the jumper valve looks undamaged, you could get away with only replacing the broken washer. But make sure you take both parts to the shop to get the right ones.

Step 10. Put it back together

With the new washer and jumper valve in place, it’s time to put everything back together again! Screw the tap bonnet on and tighten with that spanner and then put the rest of the tap back together in the reverse order of how you took it apart.

Step 11. Get that water flowing

When back together, close the tap completely before turning the mains water back on. Test the tap a few times when the mains are back on and check that the leak is completely fixed. Turn the tap on for a couple of minutes to clear out any unwanted debris.

Step 12. Celebrate wildly

If everything has gone to plan, you’ve changed the tap washers and stopped the tap leaking. Well done, you’re a pretty handy DIY plumber, after all!

You can also replace the sink drain.

If you are experiencing no hot water, this may be a different issue.

Need a Plumbing Service?

If you tried to change a tap washer and it hasn’t gone smoothly, don’t beat yourself up — help is on the way.

Fixed Today are absolute experts in the field of leaking tap repairs and replacements. We can also help with leaky showers or taps that are noisy or hard to turn on or off.

All your Sydney plumbing problems can be Fixed Today! Get in touch on 1800 349 338 or send us an email today.

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