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How to Change Tap Washer- Simple Steps for Fixing a Dripping Faucet

Ubuy Team
  • Last updated on: February 16, 2024
  • 8 Mins Read
Change Tap Washer , Changing the tap washer , Tap washer

Fed up with the incessant drip-drip sound from your tap? Don’t fret! The solution is here. This article presents a step-by-step walkthrough to replace a tap washer and put an end to that irksome dripping. Crafted for DIY enthusiasts seeking a swift and efficient fix, this comprehensive guide ensures you’re covered. Let’s dive in and tackle this issue head-on!

To kick things off, gather the necessary tools and materials for the job. Grab your adjustable wrench, a screwdriver (flathead or Phillips), a fresh tap washer, a replacement O-ring (if needed), plumber’s tape, and a cleaning cloth. These components are vital for a successful tap washer replacement.

Why Change Tap Washer: Reasons for Fixing a Dripping Faucet

A dripping faucet is not just an annoyance; it can also lead to wasted water, higher utility bills, and potential damage to your fixtures. To address this common plumbing issue, changing the tap washer is often the solution. Let’s explore the reasons why you should consider changing the tap washer and the benefits it brings.

change tap washer

Eliminate the Annoying Drip

The primary reason to change a tap washer is to put an end to that irritating drip sound. The constant drip-drip can be a source of frustration and disturb your peace at home. By replacing the tap washer, you can restore tranquillity and enjoy a quiet, peaceful environment.

Save Water and Money

A dripping faucet has the potential to squander a considerable volume of water over time. As per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a solitary faucet that drips at a pace of one drop per second could lead to the wastage of up to 3,000 gallons (11,356 litres) of water annually. By replacing the tap washer and rectifying the drip, you contribute to water conservation and a reduction in your water bill.

Prevent Water Damage

Persistent dripping can lead to water damage in your fixtures and surrounding areas. The constant moisture can cause discoloration, staining, and even structural issues over time. By addressing the drip promptly and changing the tap washer, you can prevent potential water damage and avoid costly repairs or replacements in the future.

Extend the Lifespan of Your Faucet

A worn-out tap washer can put additional strain on the other components of your faucet, leading to premature wear and tear. By replacing the tap washer, you ensure that the faucet operates smoothly and efficiently. This helps extend its lifespan, saving you from the hassle and expense of replacing the entire fixture.

Promote Environmental Sustainability

Conserving water is not only beneficial for your wallet but also for the environment. Every drop of water saved contributes to the conservation of this precious resource. By changing the tap washer and fixing leaks, you play a role in promoting environmental sustainability and reducing water waste.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing a Tap Washer: A Fast Solution for Household Repairs

changing a tap washer

Fed up with the persistent faucet drip? It’s time to seize control and replace that tap washer. This comprehensive guide will lead you through the process, delivering a swift and efficient remedy to silence that irksome sound. Grab your tools and let’s dive in to get started!

Step 1- Turn Off the Water Supply

Before diving into the repair, locate the main water supply valve and turn it off. This important step ensures that no water flows to the tap while you work on it. By shutting off the water supply, you create a safe and controlled environment for the repair.

Step 2- Prepare the Work Area

To avoid any mishaps, it’s essential to prepare the work area. Place a plug in the sink’s drain or cover it with a cloth to prevent small parts from accidentally falling in. This precautionary measure will save you from the frustration of fishing out lost screws or washers.

Step 3- Remove the Tap Handle

Using a screwdriver, gently remove the tap handle. Look for a screw beneath the cap or cover, and unscrew it to detach the handle. In some cases, you may need to pull the handle directly. Set the handle aside in a safe place to avoid misplacing any components.

Step 4- Expose the Tap Spindle

With the handle removed, you’ll see the tap spindle. To expose the tap assembly, use an adjustable wrench to turn the spindle counterclockwise. Be careful to support the rest of the tap to prevent any strain on the connections.

Step 5- Remove the Old Tap Washer

Inspect the tap assembly and locate the old tap washer, usually positioned at the base. Depending on the design, you may need to unscrew a retaining nut or remove a screw to release the washer. Take your time and remove the old washer carefully. Dispose of it properly.

Step 6- Inspect the Tap Seat

Before installing the new tap washer, it’s crucial to inspect the tap seat. This is the surface against which the washer will sit. Look for any signs of damage, such as pitting or corrosion. If you notice any issues, consider using a reseating tool to restore the smoothness of the seat. If in doubt, consult a professional plumber for guidance.

Step 7- Install the New Tap Washer

Place the new tap washer in the same position as the old one. Ensure it fits snugly and aligns correctly. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions if necessary, as some tap washers may have specific installation requirements. Securely reassemble any retaining nuts or screws, being careful not to over-tighten them.

Step 8- Reassemble and Test

Carefully reassemble the tap in the reverse order, making sure all components are tightened properly. Attach the tap handle securely, aligning it with the spindle. Once everything is reassembled, turn on the water supply and test the tap for any leaks. If all is well, congratulations! You’ve successfully changed the tap washer and fixed that pesky drip.

Essential Do’s and Don’ts for Changing a Tap Washer

If you’re someone who enjoys handling household repairs and is seeking a quick solution to fix a dripping faucet, changing a tap washer might just be the answer. However, to ensure a successful outcome and avoid potential pitfalls, it’s essential to follow some important do’s and don’ts. By adhering to these guidelines, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the task effectively and achieve a satisfying result. Let’s explore the common do’s and don’ts for changing a tap washer.


Use the Right Tools and Materials

Securing the right tools and materials is essential for a seamless and trouble-free tap washer replacement. Make sure to have an adjustable wrench, an appropriate screwdriver (flathead or Phillips), a fresh tap washer, a potential replacement O-ring, plumber’s tape, and a cleaning cloth on hand. Utilising correct tools and compatible tap washers streamlines the process, ensuring a proper fit and ultimately leading to a more effective resolution.

Turn off the Water Supply Before Starting

Before embarking on any work, it’s imperative to shut off the water supply to the tap you’re going to work on. This precautionary step prevents any accidents or potential water damage. Locate the shut-off valve under the sink or near the water metre and ensure it is firmly closed. By cutting off the water supply, you create a safe environment to proceed with the tap washer replacement.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions, if Available

If your tap includes detailed instructions from the manufacturer, it’s strongly recommended to adhere to them meticulously. Manufacturers often offer valuable insights and tailored step-by-step directions for their products. By following these instructions, you can ensure the accurate completion of the replacement process and attain the best possible outcomes.

Inspect the Tap Seat for Any Damage

Before installing the new tap washer, take a moment to inspect the tap seat. Look for signs of wear, corrosion, or other damage. If you notice any issues, such as rough or uneven surfaces, it’s essential to address them before proceeding. Cleaning or repairing the tap seat as needed will help create a smooth and secure foundation for the new tap washer, ensuring a proper seal and preventing future leaks.

Tighten All Components Properly During Reassembly

As you reassemble the faucet after replacing the tap washer, pay close attention to tightening all components correctly. This includes screws, retaining nuts, and other fasteners. Ensuring that everything is securely tightened prevents loose connections that may lead to leaks. Take care not to overtighten, as this can damage the tap or its components. Striking the right balance is key to achieving a secure and leak-free faucet.


Overtighten or Force Any Part of the Tap

When removing or installing any part of the tap during the replacement process, avoid over tightening or using excessive force. Applying too much pressure can result in damaging the tap or its components, leading to more significant issues. Take a measured approach, applying enough force to secure the components without going beyond what is necessary.

Neglect Regular Maintenance of Your Taps

In addition to replacing the tap washer, it’s important to regularly inspect your taps for any signs of wear or leaks. By staying proactive with maintenance, you can identify potential issues early on and address them promptly. Regular cleaning, lubrication, and inspection can prevent more significant problems from arising, saving you time, effort, and potential expenses down the line.

Ignore Signs of Potential Underlying Issues

If you find yourself frequently dealing with dripping taps even after changing the washers, it’s crucial not to ignore these signs. Persistent leaks may indicate underlying issues with the tap mechanism or plumbing system. In such cases, it’s best to consult a professional plumber for a thorough evaluation. They can identify any hidden problems and provide appropriate solutions, ensuring a long-term resolution to your faucet troubles.


Changing a tap washer presents a straightforward yet impactful solution to rectify a leaky faucet. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can conserve water, eliminate bothersome drips, and regain mastery over your plumbing. Remember to gather the requisite tools, assess the tap washer, and adhere to the recommended practices to ensure a successful repair. Now equipped with the knowledge, confidently embark on the journey of tap washer replacement and revel in a faucet free from pesky drips.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if the tap washer needs to be replaced?

If your faucet is leaking or dripping even when fully closed, it’s a clear indication that the tap washer needs to be replaced. Inspect the washer for any signs of damage, such as cracks or tears.

What tools do I need to change a tap washer?

To change a tap washer, you’ll need an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver (flathead or Phillips), a new tap washer, a replacement O-ring (if necessary), a plumber’s tape, and a cleaning cloth.

Should I use any sealant or lubricant when installing the new tap washer?

In the majority of instances, applying sealant or lubricant isn’t necessary when fitting a new tap washer. Nevertheless, if your faucet’s guidelines suggest its use or if you come across specific requirements in the manufacturer’s manual, diligently follow those directives.

Are there any precautions I need to take while changing the tap washer?

Yes, before you start, always remember to shut off the water supply to the faucet. This will prevent any water flow and potential flooding. Additionally, handle the tools and materials carefully to avoid any injuries or damage to the faucet components.

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Ubuy Team

Ubuy content team consist of various writers specializing in different niches. They write blogs about different topics ranging from science, human relationships to the latest technology to share their thoughts, ideas and knowledge with the world.

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