The plumbing work in any building is vital since no building can operate without a water supply and drainage system. Appliances which are connected to the water system such as toilets and sinks are used a lot and are prone to wear and tear. When some of the components of these appliances become worn out, they begin to malfunction. Leaking taps are a common occurrence and you can end up losing a large amount of water through the leakage. It is therefore important to have leaking taps repaired as soon as possible to avoid wastage.
How Taps Leak
You will experience leaking taps when the o-ring, the washer or the valve has a problem. The washer can either be a ceramic disc, a rubber or a cartridge and they are all prone to wearing out. To know the type of tap that you have, all you need to do is turn the tap. A tap that will only make a quarter or a half turn is a ceramic disc tap. A tap which turns beyond a half turn is a rubber washer tap.
Replacing Worn Out Parts
The parts of the tap that are worn out can easily be replaced as they normally have standard sizes and there are many manufacturers who make these parts. However, there are ceramic cartridges which come from a certain company. The replacement therefore has to come from that specific company.
When repairing a leaking ceramic disk tap, the entire valve has to be replaced. However, when repairing a rubber washer tap, only the small washer needs to be replaced. Replacing the worn out O-rings on a washer will normally stop the tap from leaking. If the leaking continues, it is possible that the body of the valve also has worn out O-rings and seals which also need replacement.
Fixing Leaking Taps
When fixing a leaking tap, the plumber will first switch off the water supply. He will then switch on the tap to get rid of any water that is inside. The head of the tap is then removed so that the top of the valve is exposed. If the valve has a cover, this is removed by using an adjustable spanner to turn it. The ceramic valve is then removed and it is replaced with a new one. The tap is then put together and tested to see whether it is still leaking.
O-rings at the base of the tap spout can be replaced by removing the screw that is behind the pipe. The spout is lifted and the worn out O-ring is removed by cutting it or carefully pulling it off. A new O-ring is then fitted and the spout fixed in place.
Avoiding Leaking Taps
Rubber washers get easily worn out because of how the tap is used. Once you use a tap and switch it off, it will normally drip briefly and then stop. Most people end up tightening the tap too much and this causes it to wear very fast.
It is important to know that there are taps such as the rubber washers and compression valves which normally drip briefly when you turn them off. Gentle handling of taps will go a long way in ensuring that you do not experience leaking taps every now and then.
James Hasapis is part of a skilled and experienced team of plumbers at Pipe Masters. They offer a wide variety of plumbing services including the repair of leaking pipes.