How to Fix a Leaky Tap in 5 Easy Steps


Having a leaky tap can turn into a real problem when all those drops of water start adding up, causing damage to your furniture and appliances, not to mention the added costs it may result in and the harm against the environment for all that wasted water. But do not panic, we have come up with 5 amazingly simple steps for you to follow and get rid of the problem quickly.

What you will need:
 Adjustable wrench; C wrench
 Phillips and/or flat-head screwdriver
 Penetrating oil, such as WD-40 or CRC
 Replacement washers and O-rings

Step 1: In case you don’t want your own Bellagio fountain in your kitchen, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you cut off the water supply by turning the knobs under the sink that control the main line.

Step 2: Continue by using a flat-head screwdriver to remove any decorative parts around your sink’s knobs. You will find a screw that attaches the handle to the stem right under each knob. Use you penetrating oil to easily unscrew it and use your flat head to remove the handle.

Step 3: Take your wrench and use it to loosen the packing nut, which will allow you to see the stem. At this point, depending on the tap, you will be able to pop the stem off, or twist it off from the valve. Make sure no damage is found on the parts you removed.

Step 4: If no damage is found, the problem might be in the valve seat. Check the O-ring and washer inside it. Replace the washer with a new one inside the seat.

To successfully replace these parts, first make sure the replacement washers and O-rings are and exact fit for your seat. Check the side of the seat to find out if it fits a cone-shaped or a flat washer or take your old O-ring to your hardware store and get assistance. If all else fails, you can buy a package that includes several O-rings in different sizes.

Step 5: All that is left to do now is reassemble the parts in reverse order of what you just did. First, insert washer/O-ring, place the stem back in, tighten the packing nut, then screw and put the handle back. Turn the main water supply back on, and carefully test the running water by slowly turning the handle.

If at this point you still notice leaks coming from your tap, then it may be the result of corrosion in the valve seat from not being cleaned in long periods of time. Other reasons may be deteriorated seals, parts that were left loose, or, worst-case scenario, there’s broken or damaged plumbing. If any of these is the case, a professional plumber might have to intervene.

Edinburgh Central Heating Services offer free estimates and range of skills. A 24-hour emergency plumbing service is also offered. For more information visit or telephone 0131 5102418