Summary: Learn how to replace a washer on a non-rising spindle tap, replace a washer on a rising spindle tap, reseat a tap, clean or replace ceramic discs, fix a leaking spindle or spout, repack the gland, replace an O-ring on a shrouded-head tap, replace O-rings on a kitchen mixer tap and replace O-rings on a shower-diverter unit.
A dripping tap is usually an indication that the washer needs to be replaced. There are three basic tap designs: the rising spindle, the non-rising spindle and the mixer unit.
A non-rising spindle tap.
Using a spanner undo the headgear nut.
Remove the rubber washer by prising it off with the blade of a screwdriver.
A rising spindle tap.
At the same time you replace a washer it is a good idea to inspect the valve seat inside the body of the tap for scaling or grit, as this can cause a leak despite the new washer. There are two methods used to remedy this problem: use a tap reseating tool, which can be bought or hired, to grind the seat smooth; or buy a washer-and-seating set. To reseat a tap with a tap reseating tool:
To reseat a tap with a washer-and-seating set:
The valve seating.
Taps with ceramic discs at the base of the tap operate differently to conventional taps with washers and spindles. A cartridge is situated in the body of the tap that contains two ceramic discs, each with two holes in it. While one disc is in a fixed position, the second disc rotates when the handle of the tap is turned. When the holes in the discs line up the water flows through them. When the tap is turned off, the holes are no longer aligned, thus stopping the water flow.
Remove the ceramic discs and inspect them for damage and dirt.
Water leaking from around the spindle, at the base of a swivel spout or from around the diverter knob of a shower mixer tap could indicate a faulty gland nut or O-ring seal.
To adjust the gland it is not necessary to turn off the water supply
Using a spanner, tighten the gland nut by about half a turn.
Unscrew the gland nut and remove it.
Locate the O-ring at the top of the washer unit and cut it away with a penknife.
Make a note of the position of the O-rings and remove them with a penknife.
Remove all the old washers and O-rings at the base of the rod and plate and replace with new ones.
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