So, if you’ve not got around to fixing that leaking tap, here’s an easy step-by-step guide to sorting it out – it’s an easy job that you can do yourself.
Before you start your repair, you’ll need to know which type of tap you have in order to replace the right part.
There are generally two types of tap:
Traditional taps leak due to perished rubber seals or washers while monobloc lever taps use a ceramic cartridge instead of a washer and will occasionally need replacing.
Slot or cross-head screwdriver
You need to take the tap apart to repair it, so you’ll need to find the screw that’s holding it together. On traditional taps it’s normally underneath the decorative hot/cold cap on top of the handles, while in a lever tap it’s often a tiny screw hidden under the hot and cold indicator.
These can often be unscrewed by hand, or by using a screwdriver or Allen key.
Once the screw’s out, you’ll need to take the handle off. Underneath you may find a metal cover (called a metal shroud) around the neck of the tap that’s protecting the valve, if you’ve got that, take it off as well.
Once the shroud’s out, you should be able to see a hexagonal nut – you’ll need to undo this using an adjustable spanner. Hold the spout (the bit the water comes out) while you undo the nut to stop the tap from twisting.
Lift out the tap stem and replace the washer that’s sitting underneath with a new one (you can buy a packet of different washers at hardware stores for relatively little money). For lever taps, it’s at this point you’ll replace the cartridge.
Make sure the main body of the tap and all the parts are clean before you put the tap back together. Turn the water back on at the stopcock and test out your handywork.