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How to Fix a Dripping Tap

Dripping taps can quickly become a daily inconvenience in the home. A leaking tap can waste up to 3 gallons of water per day, not to mention the annoying dripping sound that accompanies it. Nine times out of ten a leaking tap is not a long-term problem or a manufacturer fault. Usually, fixing a leaking tap is a case of following a few simple steps and before you know it, your dripping tap will be back working to its full potential.

You can follow along with our resident DIY expert who will show you step-by-step how to fix your dripping tap:


Why is my tap leaking?

During manufacture, many taps can end up with a small amount of grit or silt residue left inside, which is not always successfully removed when they are tested for performance. During the installation of your taps, your plumber should flush them through to eliminate any grit or silt that may be residing in the tap to prevent you having to fix a leaking tap later on. If this part of the installation process is missed, it can commonly cause a tap to form a slight drip.

The other scenario is that once your tap is installed and turned on, your water pipes can become disturbed or blocked. Blockages can form by small bits of grit becoming dislodged between two ceramic discs which are then unable to close properly, leaving you with a dripping tap. However, this is something that can be easily fixed by flushing through the tap with water.

The good news is, dripping taps can often be fixed without needing to call out a costly plumber. Follow these easy steps if you want to fix your leaking tap yourself at home…

What you’ll need to fix a leaking tap 

  • Duct tape;
  • Adjustable spanner;
  • Cross-headed and flat-headed screwdriver.

How to fix a leaking tap

  1. Find the isolation valves underneath the basin and turn the screws 90 degrees to seal off the valve. If you have a mixer tap, you may need to turn off both the hot and cold water supply to the tap. 
  2. Remove the taps’ head, and use your screwdriver to remove the grub screw holding the handle in place. If you’re struggling to remove the collar of the handle, avoid using any metal tools. Instead, you can use masking or duct tape which will protect the metal and help you get a good grip to remove the collar. 
  3. Loosen the cartridge nut with your spanner to remove it. Let your cartridge soak in a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water for 10 minutes.
  4. Give the cartridge a good clean! You can use some tissue paper or an old toothbrush before rinsing it off in water and drying it with a microfiber cloth. 
  5. Reinstall your cartridge back into your tap along with the taps’ head. Turn your isolation valves back on, checking for any leaks around the handle.

Ceramic disc cartridges are built to last for years, however on rare occasions they cannot be fixed and a new ceramic disc cartridge may be needed which can be supplied by the manufacturer. If you are using these steps on an older tap, please note that they may not fix it and it might be a case that the washer has worn or the ceramic disc cartridge may need replacing.  

At Tap Warehouse, we offer an extensive range of kitchen and bathroom taps at unbeatable prices from leading manufacturers including Crosswater, Butler & Rose, Rangemaster, Reginox, and Vellamo, all at heavily discounted prices.

We hope you found this guide useful in helping you find a quick way to fix your dripping tap. If you have any feedback or questions, contact our friendly team via live chat and we'll be happy to help.

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