How to fix a Leaky Tap

Whilst there are a variety of reasons your tap could be leaking, often the biggest task is not finding the problem, but fixing it. Whether it’s a damaged cartridge, mineral build ups or the O-Ring, we’ve identified what could be wrong with your tap, and how to fix it.

Things You Need:

• An adaptable spanner
• Screwdriver – Slot and cross-headed
• Replacement cartridges
• O – Rings to replace the one in your tap.
• Scissors

1. Turn the Water supply off

Before attempting to fix the tap, make sure you’ve turned the entire water supply off either at the stopcock or under the kitchen sink. Once you’ve turned the water off, keep the tap running until the water stops

2. Finding the Screw

The screw helps to hold the tap together. It is normally found underneath the cap at the top. Ideally, you will need to use a screwdriver (Cross-headed or slot-headed) to unscrew the cap, or if possible, you can unscrew it by hand.

3. Take the Tap apart

Including the head, the handle and the valve, which can be removed with the spanner. Unscrew the flange, then the tap bonnet and the spindle. Make sure that none of the parts has been damaged and then put them aside. You’ll need to remember what order you took them apart, as you’ll be building them back together once the job is done.

(It is worth noting that taps do differ in their designs. Please ensure that you search online for your specific tap and how to take it apart).

4. Substituting the O-Ring

If the tap is dripping where the spout meets the base of the tap, then usually a new set of O-Rings should fix the problem.

The O-Ring is a small rubber ring, installed at the bottom of the tap. Remove the ring with the screwdriver, or a pair of scissors, before replacing it with a new ring.
Tighten the screw on, and then put the tap back together and test it with the water supply on.
You will need to see if the replacement for the O-ring needs to be the exact same size as the original.

5. Swapping the Cartridge

If the problem involves a broken cartridge, this is what you’ll need to do.
Ceramic cartridges are located in the centre of the tap, below the valve. Use a spanner to grasp the valve until it’s moveable, and then put it with the other pieces so you can place the replacement cartridge inside.

Ensure that it’s fastened in and then reconstruct your tap to test it. It’s important that, when finding a replacement cartridge, you familiarize yourself with the name of the faucet’s manufacturer and model number.

6. Changing the Washer

Another problem could be the rubber washer, positioned beneath the ceramic disc. If this is the root of the leak, unscrew the valve, take out the broken washer, and replace with a new one. Reassemble the tap, turn the water back on and see if the problem has been solved.

Whilst working on fixing the tap, all parts will need cleaning. We recommend that you wash the tap with some limescale remover to prevent filth from breaking down the components. Other problems may come down to worn-out or broken parts, the pipes in your home or the water pressure.

If you can’t seem to identify the problem, or your tap just won’t stop leaking, enlist the help of a professional plumber.

If you’re in the Sheffield and South Yorkshire area, give us a call 07717724660.


We are work during this time & taking every precaution needed. Please feel free to call for free advice.