How to Change a Tap Washer

Everyone should know how to change a tap washer!  Not everyone wants to, but its a handy skill to have.

You will need a smallish shifting spanner, multi grips, long nose pliers,  flat and or Phillips head screwdriver and some washing up gloves.

You will need tap washers (most domestic taps are 1/2″ or 15mm), O-rings fibre washers and tap lubricant.

Where  does the water to your house, home, flat or property turn off?

Does the water turn off?  Try it! Shut down your water meter or control valve. Do not over tighten this valve! Open the taps you want to work on to see if the water has stopped. If the water has stopped, well done, you are on your way.

Ensure you put the plug in , just in case you drop any small bits and they fall down the waste and get stuck in the “S” bend.

Next, begin to dismantle the tap. This is where you can put on your washing up gloves, they make it easy to unscrew the dome shaped cover plates. Then, using a shifting spanner you should be able to undo the tap spindles, depending on the tap design; however, when using your tools take care not to scratch or damage the tile, basin or work surface.

Now the tap washer can be removed by hand. Use the long nose pliers if you can’t get the washer out. With the tap spindle out, separate the two parts of the tap spindle (hold the main body and screw the inner part of the spindle in). The inner part of the spindle has the O-ring. Very important: remove the O-ring then fit a new O-ring. Apply tap lubricant sparely. Then re-assemble the two parts of the spindle.

How are you going? Don’t panic, it is easy!

So, now insert a new washer into the spindle, add a fibre washer and re assemble the tap.

Make sure the spindle is in the open/on position.

Now put the complete spindle into the tap body. Tighten with your shifting spanner, firm, but not over tight. Now refit the cover plates/domes and handles. Then close the tap. You are nearly done; so….. don’t forget to breath!

Go to your water meter and turn it on say, 1 & 1/2 turns. Go in and check your tap. Open it and let the water run through it. Open it right up and then turn the handle back and forth to work the lubricant into the O-ring and threads. Gooooood.

OK. Now turn the meter on fully, then back a little.

You are finished. Now enjoy a nice cool drink or cup of tea with the lady of the house. Well done!

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