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How to Fix a Dripping Tap in 5 Quick Steps

Leaking or dripping taps can be a serious issue in daily life. Not only do they produce an annoying sound, but the leaking can also result in wastage of 3 gallons of water every day. One day, you’ll realise your water bills are rising and what you are paying for is simply draining out. Repairs might involve some up-front expenses but save you money in the long run. If you have some handyman skills, you can fix the dripping tap yourself. This blog post is for all of you who wish to fix this maintenance issue on their own.

Types of taps

  • Traditional taps. In traditional water tap types, the dripping is caused by a damaged washer that should be replaced.
  • Monobloc lever taps. In a Monobloc tap, leaking is probably caused by a damaged ceramic cartridge. Replacement is the ultimate solution.

Tools you’ll need

  • An adjustable spanner;
  • A cross-headed screwdriver;
  • Replacement cartridge;
  • Lubricant.

How to Fix a Dripping Tap

Dripping taps and faucets are the most common of household plumbing issues. Ignoring them will lead to future problems and a huge amount of water loss. Fortunately, the repair is easy if you have the right tools.

  • Cut off the water supply. To avoid any further mess, cut off the water supply coming from the mainline.
  • Remove the knobs. Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the decorative parts from the knobs.
  • Remove the stem. Use some lubricant to unscrew and take out the faucet handle off the stem. Use the spanner to loosen the packing nut and remove the stem. Depending on the type of the faucet, some stems pop out and others need to be twisted off from the valve.
  • Check out for any damages. If there is damage, replace the part. If there isn’t, inspect the O-ring and the washer. Loosened or damaged washer and O-rings can also cause leakage, so replace them with a new one. Make sure they are an exact fit.
  • Re-assemble all the parts and test. Once everything is in place, test if the tap is working properly.

How to Replace a Ceramic Disc Tap

Ceramic disc taps are different from conventional ones as they have a cartridge that houses two ceramic discs. A broken ceramic disc can cause the tap to leak and you’ll be forced to replace the whole cartridge.

  • Remove the cartridge, take it to the shop and buy the same one to replace it.
  • Cut off the water supply, unscrew the handles carefully and remove the decorative parts.
  • The entrance screw is often hidden behind a small grub screw (can be easily removed by a flat-head screwdriver) below the hot or cold indicator.
  • Remove the shroud and the ceramic disc with the help of an adjustable spanner. Check for damages and replace, if required.
  • Remove the cartridges. Remember which ones are for hot and cold water. Replace any damaged parts.
  • Flip off or twist open the washer from the tap seat. Look out for any damages and replace if required.
  • If the rubber seal is worn out, change it.
  • Make sure all the replacing parts are correctly sized and fit properly.
  • Reassemble everything.
  • Bring back the water supply by turning the knob gently.

Kitchen Tap and Showerheads Leaking

Damaged O-rings are often the cause of a leaking kitchen tap. The valve body includes seals, washers and O-rings. If after changing the old washer the tap is still leaking, check the O-rings. Remember to never over-tighten the taps during daily use. This could easily damage the O-ring and the washer and ultimately cause a leakage.

Often, shower head leaks right in its connection point. Other common places are the armour,  between the showerhead, body and swivel ball. If you have to replace a tap, go for brass taps plated with chromium.


  • In order to avoid a dripping tap, make sure that you have the right water pressure and never over-tighten the fixtures.
  • Most of the time, fixing a broken tap could lead to replacing the whole fixture.
  • Having second thoughts on DIY repairs? Then consider booking a professional tap repair service.

How to Fix a Dripping Tap in 5 Quick Steps

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