How to Change a Tap Washer

Prevent dripping taps from ruining your peace by learning how to replace a tap washer.

Your Tools

  • Shifting spanner
  • Small screwdriver
  • Small hammer
  • Plumbing pliers

Step 1 - Turn off the water

Whatever you do, don't start working on the tap until you cut off the main water supply.
This stops the flow of water to all the taps. Don't forget to shut the geyser off.
Next, you’re going to get the tap off so you can access that broken tap washer.
To remove the tap handle/capstan head, simply unscrew or prise it off with a small screwdriver.

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Step 2 - Remove the handle

Now you’re going to take the tap handle off, and this is as simple as screwing it off to reveal the inner workings of the tap.


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Step 3 - Remove the headgear and washer

Now you’re going to unscrew the actual body (or headgear) of the tap, which will reveal the jumper valve plate and the washer.
With the jumper valve plate uncovered, you're all set to replace the damaged washer.
Undo the large hexagonal nut. 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.

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Step 4 - Put it back together

With the new washer in place, it’s time to put everything back together again! Screw the body (or headgear) on and secure it with a spanner and proceed to put the rest of the tap back together in the reverse order to how you took it apart.

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Step 5 - Get the water flowing

Once everything is back together, close the tap completely before turning your main water supply back on. Once the water is back on, check the tap a few times to make sure the leak is fully repaired. Turn the geyser back on.