A running or dripping tap can be a great annoyance and will waste a surprising amount of water over time. Fortunately, most running taps are fairly easy to repair, and this is a job that most homeowners can readily tackle themselves. If you are in a rental property, however, do check first with the owner to make sure they are happy for you to do the repair yourself, as some will prefer to have even minor matters dealt with by a plumber.
Start with the water supply
The first thing you will need to do is to turn off the water supply. This means turning off your water at the mains, and also turning off your hot water system if the tap in question is the hot tap. Once the water is turned off, turn the tap on to allow any water remaining in the pipes to run out. Let the sink empty, then put the plug in place to prevent any small parts falling down the sink while you’re working.
Check your washers
The most likely cause of your running tap is a washer which needs to be replaced, and this is a problem you can easily handle yourself. If you already know what size washers you need, you can purchase them in advance, but if you’re unsure, take your existing washers to the hardware store to make sure you get the correct replacements.
When you’re ready to begin, carefully unscrew and remove the tap handle you are working on. You should see two washers: one attached to the jumper valve, and an O-ring on the spindle. Carefully remove the old washers and replace them with new ones, then reassemble the tap. The real test will then come when you turn the water back on, let water run through the tap, then turn it off to see if the drip continues as it did before.
In most cases, replacing the washers will solve your problem. However, there are other things which can cause a running tap, and if you continue to experience problems after the new washers are installed, it’s probably time to call in a professional. PNG Solutions provide quality plumbing services carried out by fully licensed local plumbers, and we can use our expertise to quickly sort out your persistently dripping tap.