How to repair a dripping tap?

A dripping tap is incredibly annoying and wasteful

Before you call a plumber to come and fix your dripping tap, why don’t you give it a go yourself?

One of the most common misconceptions is that it is usually the washer that is causing the tap to drip. The reality is that most of the time it is not the washer, which is made out of rubber is usually in perfect condition, it is often the valve seat that is causing the trouble. The valve seat is what the washer sits on when the tap is closed and the pressure of the water eventually erodes the brass of the valve seat allowing the water to push past even when the tap is closed. Hard water exacerbates this problem.

To fix the valve seat, turn off the water at the main and drain the pipe to the tap (turn the tap on until no more water comes out). Then you need to dismantle the tap and find the valve seat. This is the depression that the washer sits in. The water will have grooved canals out of the seat so the way to fix this is to grind the rest of the valve seat down to the same level. You can buy a valve seat grinder from most hardware shops that will do this quickly and simply. Once you have removed the canals, put the tap back together and turn the water back on.

If you are unsure or don’t have the correct tools to reseat or replace the tap washer call your local plumber.