You’ve got a super shiny and expensive tap fixed atop your modern sink that drips – isn’t that horrible? So why not fix it right away? A dripping tap isn’t only annoying; it can also leave permanent water stains on your sink that won’t go away easily.
Over time, the internal rubber seals or some washers inside the tap can get damaged, causing taps to drip constantly. Luckily, you can easily fix this if you know a handful of pro-advice from a professional.
So, if you think you can utilize your old plumbing skills, try out these DIY steps to stop water dripping from the tap.
Get the Plumbing Tools
Before you get started, you’ll need to have some of the necessary plumbing tools to make sure you’re well equipped beforehand.
- Flat-head and Phillips-head screwdrivers
- Adjustable spanner and wrench
- Teflon or Plumber’s tape
- Plumber’s putty
- Tap washer or O-ring (if you have a traditional tap)
- New cartridge (if you have a mixer tap)
Ways to Stop a Traditional Dripping Tap
1) - Turn off the Water Supply
Whatever the tap you’re using, the first step is to turn off the water supply to avoid wasting water while you fix it. To work safely, it’s better to put off the main stopcock valve of your house and then leave the tap open to drain what’s left inside.
2) - Undo the Cap
Some taps hide their screws inside a small cap at the top of the turning handle to make them look nice. You can simply undo the cap using a flat-head screwdriver to find a screw fixed inside.
3) - Unscrew the Handle
Now, depending upon the type of screw in your tap, you need to unscrew the handle using either a flat-head or a Phillips-head screwdriver. If your screw has caught rust or doesn’t seem to rotate due to damaged head, try lubricating it using any degreasers or rust removal product like WD40. This should loosen it up. Remember not to exert much pressure that can damage the opening.
4) - Detach the Spindle
A tap spindle is the yellow metal part that holds and releases water when you turn the knob. To detach the spindle, you need to hold it tight with the help of a pipe wrench in one hand while turning the hexagonal nut using a spanner in the counter-clockwise direction – that’s where most home-made plumbers fail and break the threads. Also, make sure to remember what parts you’re taking out from which place so that you don’t have an issue putting the whole system back together.
5) - Change the Washer
At the end of the spindle, from where water comes out, you should find a black, worn-out tap washer. Tap washers are designed to control water flow and prevent leakages. Damaged washers are the most common reason for dripping taps. If you notice your washers are damaged, change them and re-assemble the tap to check if it works fine.
6) - Change the O-Ring
A washer may not be the only reason for a dripping tap; thus, it’s good to check for another cause altogether. Sometimes, the problem lies with the O-ring, which is mainly used to block a path that might otherwise allow water to pass through. You can find the O-ring in the base of the spout that sits inside the spindle. Simply unscrew the spout using a pipe wrench and change the O-ring. Fix the whole assembly and check the tap.
Ways to Stop a Mixer Dripping Tap
Some households may not have a traditional water tap, but a modern monobloc or mixer tap that, unlike traditional taps, uses a cartridge to hold its two ceramic discs. One of the discs is for hot water, while the other is for cold water supply. The cartridge is relatively expensive; thus, it’s advisable to first check the type of cartridge used in your tap.
Now, follow these steps to change the cartridge of your mixer tap to prevent dripping:
1) - Turn off the Water Supply
Again, you should never forget to turn the water supply off. This may sound obvious but is mostly forgotten by seasoned home-plumbers. So, pay attention before you get to run mid-way to put off the water supply valve.
2) - Undo the Grub Screw
Just like the traditional tap, mixer taps have a screw that holds the assembly. To undo the grub screw or set screw, lift the handle like you would to turn on the tap. Now, in the middle, you should see a fancy opening that houses the screw. Unscrew it using either a flat-head or Phillips-head screwdriver and take off the assembly. The yellow-colored cartridge that you see now needs to be changed.
3) - Change the Cartridge
Now, simply change the old cartridge with a new one. If you have a twin or dual lever tap, make sure you know where to place the hot and cold cartridges without mistaking them. Usually, a hot-tap cartridge comes with a red groove around it, whereas a cold-tap cartridge will have a blue groove. Now that you’ve changed the cartridge, re-assemble the parts and don’t over-tighten the screws to avoid breakage. Turn on the water supply and check – your tap should have stopped dripping.
If the problem still persists, it means you need some professional plumbing services. Contact Mesa Plumbing Company that offers 24/7 plumbing service with no extra charges and provides 100% satisfied plumbing facilities across 12 cities in Arizona. So, don’t wait until your tank drains out all the water, get your dripping taps fixed by a professional plumber.