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    Changing a tap washer


    Summary: Learn how to change a washer, replace a washer on a tap, replace a washer on a non-rising spindle and replace a washer on a rising spindle tap.



    If you find your tap is leaking or dripping even when you have closed it suggests that either there is a loose connection or the washer is worn. A worn washer is probably the most common cause of a leaking tap. There are two main types of tap; a non-rising spindle and a rising spindle tap.


    Changing a washer on a non-rising spindle tap

    • You need to turn off the water supply to the tap at the stop valve. Drain any remaining water by turning the tap on.
    • It is advised that you insert the plug into the plug hole to avoid losing small parts during this DIY job.
    • Start by unscrewing the top plate on the tap. This will reveal the retaining screw, which needs to be unscrewed. The tap head can now be removed.
    • Now unscrew the headgear nut. Do this by gripping the body of the tap using a wrench, or if possible using your hand to prevent movement, and loosen the nut. If the nut doesn’t loosen easily, use penetrating oil on it and leave to settle for 10 minutes. The nut should unscrew easily after this.
    • The rubber washer now needs to be removed. This can be done by prising it off using a slot-headed screwdriver. If there is a nut holding the washer in place, unscrew it to get the washer free.
    • Finally fit the new washer and grease the base of the thread before reassembling the tap.

    A non-rising spindle tap. 

    Undo the headgear nut with a spanner.

    Using a screwdriver prise off the rubber washer.


    Changing a washer on a rising spindle tap

    • You need to turn off the water supply to the tap at the stop valve. Turn the tap on to drain any remaining water.
    • To avoid losing any small parts it is recommended that you insert the plug into the plug hole.
    • Unscrew the index disc on the top of the tap head to access the retaining screw. Unscrew this and remove the capstan head and the bell-shaped metal shroud.
    • Now unscrew the headgear nut. Do this by gripping the body of the tap using a wrench, or if possible using your hand to prevent movement, and loosen the nut. If the nut doesn’t loosen easily, use penetrating oil on it and leave to settle for 10 minutes. The nut should unscrew easily after this.
    • The rubber washer now needs to be removed. This can be done by prising it off using a slot-headed screwdriver. If there is a nut holding the washer in place, unscrew it to get the washer free.
    • Finally fit the new washer and grease the base of the thread before reassembling the tap.

    A rising spindle tap.




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