How to Fix a Dripping Tap? Guide with PICTURES

November 1, 2022

A leaking or dripping tap can be a real purgatory, especially when you are tired all day and ready for a good night’s sleep. Then you hear Drip, drip, drip, and it goes on and on. Now you are so frustrated and awake.

You get out of your bed and start thinking because your tap is dripping crazy. You also realize how much water got wasted drop by drop.

This is bad for nature as well as for your wallet.

Study shows a dripping tap can waste water up to 10, 000 liters per year (2642 gallons). As natural resources are depleting day by day, we can’t afford to waste them. 

Fixing a dripping tap is generally a DIY (Do it Yourself) job and you don’t need to call professionals.

This guide will give you all the knowledge and basic skills to do it all by yourself. You will be able to get rid of that annoying drip, drip sound quickly.

Table of Contents

How to Fix a Dripping Tap?
How to Fix a Dripping Tap?

Why a Tap Drips?

Mostly, the cause of a dripping tap is usually worn-out parts.

Traditional faucets will start to drip when the washer or seals get old or begin to wear down at the edges. Washers remain under constant water pressure which causes wear.

This is not the case with washer taps, washer-less taps can also show the same behavior eventually. Accumulation of sediment layers in inlet seals and loose nuts around the fixtures can also aid in leaking.

Also Read: Top Ten Plumbing Fixes You Can Do Yourself

What Tools are required?

Before getting your hands dirty, make sure to have all the tools and supplies needed on your hands to fix your dripping tap. The following tools are necessary for repair:

  • Cross-head screwdrivers and flathead
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Scissors
  • O-rings and replacement cartridges or assorted washers
  • Jumper valves
  • Shifting wrench
  • Tweezers
  • Some gaffer tapes
  • A cloth

Types of taps:

  • Traditional tap
  • Modern tap
  • Monobloc tap

Traditional Tap: Uses rubber washers and runs with a compression valve.

Modern Tap: Run with cartridges or disks.

Monobloc Tap: Run like modern taps but with specially designated ceramic cartridges or disks for a single tap.

Types of leaking:

Leaking origin determines the type of repair you need to make. Some of them are as follows:

  • If the water leaks from beneath the handle, the valve O-ring needs to be changed.
  • If the water is leaking from beneath the spout, then the spout O-ring needs changing.
  • If the water is leaking from the spout, then the washer needs to be changed.

Also Read: PEX Plumbing vs. Copper Plumbing Which is better for your home

How to Fix a Dripping Tap:

Dripping taps are the most common household plumbing issues. Turning a blind eye to them will lead to future problems and a huge amount of water loss. Luckily, repairing dripping taps is easy if you have the right tools.

Suspend the water supply:

To avoid further loss, cut off the water supply coming from the mainline.

Detach the knobs:

Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove the garnishing parts from the knobs.

Detach the Stem:

Use some oil to unscrew and take out faucet handle off the stem. Use the spanner to slacken the packing nut and detach the stem. Depending on the type of the faucet, some stems come out and others need to be twisted off from the valve.

Check for any damages:

If you see any damage, make sure to repair or replace it. If there is not any, inspect the O-ring and the washer. Vandalize or loosening the washer and O-ring can also cause leakage, therefore make sure to replace them with a new one.

Reedify all the parts:

Once everything is ready, run a test if the tap is working properly.

Also Read: How to unblock a Toilet? Here’re top 10 ways

Counsel for the Future:

Mind it all, almost every tap defaults at some point. The best way to avoid expensive repairs is to start with well-renowned brands. Of course, that’s not the only remedy. The type and class of taps also make a difference. Compression-style taps are commonly easy to repair. Cartridge and ball-style don’t have the same issues as a dripping tap. 

If you have tried your best to fix it and you could not figure out what’s wrong with the tap. Maybe now it’s time for you to call the professional plumbing service.  

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David Otanga

David is a homeowner DIY and a lifestyle expert and writer specializing in writing about different construction trades. His work has appeared in top-notch trade blogs. David also worked for, where he managed an international team of writers and experts.

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