Changing a Tap Washer

Not only is a dripping tap annoying, it also wastes precious water. Water bylaws make households responsible for the maintenance of their own water systems. 

Tools Required:

-Step Ladder
-Small Screwdriver
-Sticky Tape

Before you start:

Taps usually leak due to a faulty washer or a worn seat against which the washer is compressed. There are several different types and sizes of tap washers. Don not start with the changing of the washer unless you know what type of washer you need.

Turning off the Water: 

This is very easy if you have a sevice valve fitted below each tap in modern installations. All you need to do is turn off the valve that that isolates the tap from the main water supply. If you do have servie valves, turn off the mains water supply. This stops water flowing to all taps. Do not forget to turn off your geyser.

Don't forget to place the plug in the sink waste and block the overflow. Both have a nasty habit of swallowing screws and other small parts.

Step One:

After cutting off the water supply, turn on the tap to allow the water to drain. Remove the capstan head retaining screw. This will be in the side of the capstan head or under the ap in its centre. The cap might unscrew or it may be prised out with a small screwdriver.

If the capstan will not pull off,  turn the tap on completely, slide a spanner over the spindle, and under the head, and gentlry tap the spanner upwards with a hammer. Protect the basin with towels incase the head flies off.


Step Two:

Remove the tap cover or shield. If the shield will not undo, wrap a strip of inner tube around it to protect the finish and and apply pressure using water pump pliers. Undo the lasrge hexagon nutand remove the body. Remove the old washer from the jumper, this may be held in place by a nut. Hold the jumper with pliers and undo the nut with a small spanner. Replace the washer.

Step Three:

Check the washer seating for pitting, which will stop the washer from making a perfect seal. If it is not perfectly smooth, it needs attention. A plastic grommet may be inserted to make a new seat. Push the grommet into the hole.

Reassemble the tap and screw the handle down. This will bed the grommet and make a new seat.