It's no secret that hiring a plumber to come to your house and make repairs is very expensive indeed; usually a basic callout feel is charged before there is any sign of work being started and then you are charged by the hour after that. It's fair to say that there are a large amount of problems and tasks that only a qualified plumber would be able to handle, as they have experience and appropriate equipment to suit each job. But there are also certain 'cowboy' plumbers who are more than happy to tinker under a sink for 3 hours and charge you hundreds of pounds for what should have been a 45 minute job. Here we will look at some basic advice that could help you learn how to fix a leaking tap.
We've all heard the unbearable sound of a constantly dripping tap, anyone who has lived with one should know exactly how annoying it can become. Rather than waiting for days to find an available plumber there are basic checks and repairs you may want to do yourself. Keep in mind; this is basic information on how to fix a leaking tap, if you suspect the problem may be complex or serious then do not attempt to repair it yourself. You could cause further damage to the tap and result in a more costly overall repair.
The most common problem behind a leaking tap is a damaged/eroded rubber washer. If the tap in question is a mixer tap be sure to check and replace both rubber washer. If there is visible damage to the valve seating, do not attempt to repair it unless you are confident in your plumbing abilities and you have researched the repair properly.
Firstly when practicing how to fix a leaking tap, be sure to switch of the water supply (the mains are commonly located under the taps or under the main sink in the kitchen). If you begin to remove the headgear from your tap without shutting off the water supply you are very likely to flood the room. Once you have shut of the supply of water, drain your taps by leaving them all the way on and cover the plug/drain to prevent any small parts being lost.
Unscrew the tap cover and you will find the retaining screw underneath; once this is removed you are then able to take off the head of the tap. Using a suitable spanner to remove the headgear nut, (it is important not to force the headgear nut, applying too much pressure can cause serious damage to the tap) if you need extra leverage here use some oil on the joint and hold the tap in place as you twist.
Here you will find the rubber washer; if there is a small nut securing the washer in place then remove this before tackling the damaged washer. Replace the damaged rubber washer and if possible, lubricate the thread on each section of your tap before re-assembling.
So there you have it, some basic tips about how to fix a leaking tap yourself. Remember, if you do not feel 100% confident about disassembling your tap yourself, seek advice or professional help.
Written by Daniel Travis - Brown on behalf of Tapshop321 who are the original source of How to Fix a Leaking Tap. Follow him on Twitter @DanTravisBrown