Deal to a drip­ping tap with­out de­lay

Matamata Chronicle - - Building -

Many taps are still the old-fash­ioned type with a rub­ber washer that even­tu­ally wears out. Leak­ing taps should be dealt with quickly as, over time, the tap can be ir­repara­bly dam­aged.

Mod­ern taps may have ceramic car­tridges rather than wash­ers, for ex­am­ple all sin­gle lever taps have ceramic car­tridges. If these are leak­ing, a re­place­ment car­tridge can be fit­ted by a plumber.

Mitre 10 stocks a wide range of wash­ers. The blue 15mm and 20mm wash­ers are suit­able for both hot and cold taps. (Basin taps are usu­ally 15mm and bath taps are usu­ally 20mm.) Red fi­bre wash­ers are good for sit­u­a­tions where water may reach ex­tremely high tem­per­a­tures.

Dome wash­ers are a good op­tion where the seat of a tap is a lit­tle dam­aged and some water con­tin­ues to drip.

If in doubt buy a mixed washer pack – it only costs a few dol­lars and may save you mak­ing an ex­tra trip for an­other washer.

Turn the water sup­ply off at the me­ter (usu­ally lo­cated near your front fence). If you need to drain a hot water cylin­der to work on a hot tap, make sure the heat­ing is turned off first.

Turn the leak­ing tap on to drain the pipes.

A tra­di­tional-style tap will have a cover that needs to be re­moved. The cover may ac­tu­ally be the han­dle or the han­dle may be sep­a­rate. There is usu­ally a small screw on the top of the han­dle, usu­ally un­der the plas­tic in­di­ca­tor buttons which lift off. (Al­ter­na­tively it may be a steel cap that un­screws).

Cross top taps will also have a shield be­neath the han­dle that needs to be re­moved. It should un­screw an­ti­clock­wise to re­veal the in­side of the tap. You should be able to un­screw this by hand but if you need to use pli­ers wrap a thick cloth around it first to pre­vent dam­age to the tap.

Un­screw the tap spin­dle from the body with an ad­justable wrench. This will re­veal the washer which is held on by a small nut. Undo this and at­tach a new washer. Then re­place the whole top assem­bly in the re­verse or­der that you re­moved it. Turn the tap off and turn the water back on at the me­ter.

Don’t waste water: Here are some tips on fix­ing a leak­ing tap.

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