Lets face it, a constantly dripping tap can be one of the most annoying sounds on earth, especially when we are wanting some quiet time at home to spend reading or studying. Not only that, but what about all that wasted water going down the plug-hole? What about a leaky tap that is causing water to accumulate on surrounding areas such as work surfaces? Leaving a leaky tap for too long can lead to water ingress and damage, especially to kitchen unit carcasses or bathroom tiles. Lets take a look at ways to remedy a dripping or leaking tap.
Buy the best taps you can afford
It’s sad but true, our domestic taps do not last for a lifetime! Eventually our bathroom or kitchen taps will need to be replaced, so it will pay you in the long-run to go for the best taps you can possibly afford. We would recommend opting for ceramic valve taps as these have a good lifespan of at least two to three years, but up to as much as ten years depending on your use and the water type within your area. Hard water areas will see their taps wear out a bit quicker than most.
When we are having a new kitchen or bathroom installed, we want to pull the whole look together with trendy or classic looking taps. There is so much choice these days as taps can come in a wide range of different styles, materials and colours. Unfortunately, not all taps are built to last so make sure you buy good quality taps that will last rather than something that catches your eye because they look good.
If you are looking for longevity, then you may consider choosing chromium-plated brass taps as these are one of the most durable types you can buy. Before you jump in and buy a set of taps, make sure that they will fit the size of holes in the basin or sink.
Repairing a Dripping Tap
The most common cause of a dripping tap is the tap washer needing to be replaced. If you have a mixer tap, then both tap washers should be replaced. This should be your first step in fixing a dripping tap, so once this has been replaced for a new one it should stop the tap dripping immediately if this was the cause. Should you find that a new washer doesn’t help, then it could be a damaged valve seating.
How to remove the Headgear
To get at the washers and valve seating you will need to take the tap apart. To remove the headgear follow these simple steps:
Turn off your water supply at the stop tap to at the service valve if you have one for your taps. Turn on your tap and put the plug into the plughole. This will stop any essential bits and pieces from falling down the drain and becoming lost.
Remove the cover of your tap by either unscrewing it or levering it off with a flat head screwdriver. This will give you access to the retaining screw beneath. Unscrew and remove the retaining screw – making sure you put this somewhere safe so it doesn’t get lost. You can then remove the head of the tap.
Undo the headgear nut – you may need to use a spanner to do this. Be careful not to use too much force to remove this as you could risk damaging the pipework that is attached to the tap. You will want to avoid causing any further leaks in which you would need to call out a plumber to fix.
Remove the washer – you may need to use a screwdriver to prise this off. There may be a small nut holding in place, but this can be removed with a small spanner. Replace the washer with a new one.
While you have the tap in pieces, you should inspect the valve seating to see if it is damaged in any way. Should it be worn or scuffed up then replacing the washer may not be enough to prevent water from leaking. If this is the case you can replace it with a new seating set from a hardware shop. Reassemble your tap and hopefully your will have solved your dripping tap problems!
Should you run into difficulties and need the help of a plumber, give our GPS London team a quick call. We will be happy to help!