How To Change A Tap Washer At Home


That annoying ‘drip, drip, drip’ sound you hear is coming from a leaky tap and it’s a problem that won’t fix itself. Leaky taps are a major headache and, if left unresolved, can worsen and not only waste precious water and damage your home but cause your next water bill to skyrocket. Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix the problem and you can even do it yourself at home.

What Is A Tap Washer And What Causes It To Leak?

The tap washer is a small rubber or ceramic disc located inside the tap, close to the tap seat. When the tap is turned off, water pushes against the seat and creates a tight seal to prevent water from escaping. When a tap washer deteriorates over time, its seal will loosen and water will start to leak out. Read on for our top tips on how to change an old tap washer yourself.

1. Prepare Your Tools

You’ll need a variety of tools to get the job done. These include pliers, spanner, a flathead screwdriver, replacement washer and a rag.

2. Turn Off The Water

Next, shut off the water supply so that you don’t flood the bathroom or kitchen. This will either be the stop valve or the isolation valve. You can also turn off the mains. Make sure you empty the pipes of all water.

o ring and plumbing tools
Turn off mains water supply

3. Take Off The Tap Button

This is the button on top of the tap that reads hot or cold. Slide the screwdriver beneath it and pop it off.

4. Remove The Handle And Tap Skirt

Slide or screw off the tap handle. If there is a metal skirt on the tap, remove this as well with pliers.

5. Unscrew The Bonnet

This is the actual tap body. Use a spanner to take it off, revealing the jumper valve inside.

6. Remove The Tap Washer

Use a screwdriver to remove any screws and then grip the worn washer with pliers to lever it out of the tap.

7. Replace With A New Tap Washer

Replace the washer with a new washer that exactly matches the old one. Slide the new washer onto the tap stem and secure in place with a screw if needed. Clean any limescale inside the tap while you’re there!

8. Reassemble The Tap

Reverse the steps you took to dismantle the tap, making sure each part is in the correct order. Tighten any screws before turning on the water supply.

9. Contact A Professional Plumber

If you get stuck, call in the professionals. Barker Plumbing Services are Gold Coast plumbing  experts with over 30 years’ experience in stopping leaky taps in their tracks. We’ve got the right tools and know-how to quickly replace your tap washer or fix a leaking shower mixer and get your taps working like new again. Give us a call today to discuss how we can help you. 

How To Change A Tap Washer
Plumber removing wall tap cover