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Put an End to Drip-Drop Woes: A Quick Guide to Stop a Dripping Tap

Have you ever been kept awake at night by the incessant drip-drip of a leaking tap? Not only is it a frustrating sound, but a dripping tap can also waste water and increase your utility bills. The good news is that you don’t have to be a plumbing expert to fix this common household annoyance. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to stop a dripping tap and restore your peace of mind.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you start, make sure you have the following tools handy:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flathead, depending on your tap)
  • Replacement washer and O-ring (available at most hardware stores)
  • Towels or rags
  • Pipe thread tape (optional)

Step 2: Turn Off the Water Supply

Locate the water shut-off valve for the affected tap and turn it off. This step is crucial to prevent any accidental flooding while you work on the tap.

Step 3: Remove the Tap Handle

Use a screwdriver to carefully remove the handle of the tap. This might involve removing a screw or cap, depending on the type of tap you have. Set aside the handle and screw for reassembly.

Step 4: Access the Cartridge or Valve

Once you’ve removed the handle, you’ll likely find a cartridge or valve. This is the mechanism responsible for controlling the flow of water. Use an adjustable wrench to gently loosen and remove the cartridge or valve.

Step 5: Inspect and Replace the Washer and O-ring

The most common cause of a dripping tap is a worn-out washer or O-ring. Inspect the washer and O-ring for any signs of damage, cracks, or wear. If you notice any issues, it’s time to replace them with new ones.
Remove the old washer and O-ring and replace them with the new ones. Make sure they fit snugly and are properly positioned.

Step 6: Reassemble the Tap

Carefully reinsert the cartridge or valve back into the tap. Use the adjustable wrench to tighten it gently – be careful not to overtighten, as this can cause other issues.
Place the tap handle back onto the cartridge or valve and secure it with the screw. If your tap has a decorative cap, make sure to reattach it as well.

Step 7: Turn On the Water Supply

Once you’ve reassembled the tap, turn the water supply back on and slowly open the tap to check for any leaks. If you notice any dripping, tighten the cartridge or valve slightly until the leaking stops.

Step 8: Optional – Apply Pipe Thread Tape

If your tap was leaking from around the handle, applying pipe thread tape to the stem before reassembling the handle can help create a better seal and prevent future leaks.

And there you have it – a step-by-step guide to stopping a dripping tap. With a little patience and these simple instructions, you can save water, money, and enjoy a quieter night’s sleep. Remember, if you’re unsure about any step or encounter unexpected difficulties, it’s always a good idea to give Award Plumbing a call to get full advice.

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