If you have a dripping water tap in your home or even at your workplace, there would be several reasons you want to fix it. Isn’t it? First of all, water is a scarce natural resource and there are many studies, organizations and influencers talking about how we should avoid the wastage. Water wastage being the primary reason for not letting the water keep dripping from the tap, there are more reasons as well.
The continuous noise of water drops or water stream (if the dripping is prolonged) is pretty annoying and the first thing you would want to achieve is a silent water tap when not functional. Thirdly, running water or dripping water also cause damage to the sanitary equipment. In case the dripping is serious, leakage of water may also cause heavy damage to the property as well.
Let’s have a detailed overview of how to fix a dripping tap, some basics to identify the extent of damage and then take measures accordingly. Before that, if the leakage is unnecessarily higher than usual dripping, you must seek professional plumbers help ASAP and should not try to attempt to fix it using your own knowledge. Some fixes may require technical understanding of the equipment, therefore before starting to make an honest judgement and proceed accordingly.
What do you need to get started on how to fix a dripping tap?
First of all, you need to check if you have all necessary tools in your toolkit at home. If not, get them first and ensure you have all the required equipment to fix the dripping tap. Majorly what you need is provided below:
- Screw driver
- An adjustable spanner
- Pipe wrench
- Replacement of damaged washer(s) or replacement of disc cartridge
It is better to keep some thread, tape or a consolidated kit nearby for any unexpected findings after you open the dripping tap.
Before you start to fix the dripping tap, make sure that the water supply to that particular tap or to the entire place is disconnected. Also, since you will still find some running water in the water supply pipe, make sure you have covered yourself and the equipment nearby for safety. In addition, also ensure that there are no electric wires or open sockets nearby the damaged or dripping tap.
Determine the water tap type
There are many types of water taps that are now-a-days available in the market and they vary on shape, structure and operating mechanism. A couple of common types that we can use here to guide you on how to fix a dripping tap are:
- Traditional water tap with two separate levers, one for cold water and one for hot water
- Monobloc water tap with one adjusting level, for both cold and hot water
If you have a traditional two level water tap, you can determine which side causing the dripping and open that end. Traditional water taps cause dripping mostly when rubber seal or washer is damaged. If you have the single adjustable lever, it will be fixed by replacing the ceramic cartridge beneath the lever.
Get started with how to fix a dripping tap
Step # 1 Remove the Screws
No matter what type of tap you have, first thing first you need to find the screws that have fixed the top cover of the tap or the lever of the tap. Depending upon the model the screw can be located either beneath hot/cold water levers or beneath the temperature indicator.
Once you find the screws, remove them and remove the water tap head. There may be additional parts before you can see the ceramic cartridge or the washer, in order to put them back in the same sequence make sure to align them in the same flow as you remove those.
Step # 2 Remove Washer or Remove the ceramic cartridge
Again, depending upon the water tap type, you either need to fix and replace the rubber seal or washer for traditional tap or ceramic cartridge for monobloc water tap.
Removing and replacing washer
If you have a traditional water tap, take an adjustable spanner and use that to hold the brass valve. Once you have established a firm grip, start rotating that and keep on rotating until it is loose enough to remove.
Remove the washer and inspect for possible next steps, either it is fully damaged to be replaced with a new one or it requires cleaning. Do the necessary fix and place the cleaned washer or new washer in place, following the same way that you used to remove it.
Removing and replacing O-Ring
Next for the traditional water tap dripping fix, you may need to replace the O-ring which exists beneath the spout and is slightly bigger than the washer. You may need a flat screwdriver to get it out or scissors to cut it off and put a new one in place.
Once the O-ring is removed and replaced, put back the remaining water tap components as you removed them.
Removing and replacing ceramic cartridge
Lastly, if you have a monobloc water tap it will require replacement of ceramic cartridges to fix the dripping tap. Take an adjustable spanner and remove the brass valve same as you did for removing the washer. Unscrew the damaged ceramic cartridge, pick the replacement and screw the new cartridge until you feel it is tight enough and cannot be moved further. Place back the water tap components as you removed them.
Once the fixed tap is in place, turn on the water supply and check if the issue is fixed. This is the basic guide that you can follow to fix a dripping tap anywhere in the house, out in the garage area or any other place. For better results, keep the removed parts either numbered or in a sequence of how you remove it and then perform the screwing back of components to the maximum level where you cannot move them further. Let us know if you know any key tips that our users must follow if you want to know how to fix a dripping tap.