Drip. Drip. Drip. There are a lot of irritating noises, but a leaking tap is one of the worst. Frustrating too is the knowledge that the money you’d like to spend on things other than your water bill is going down the drain – literally. A leaking faucet is bad for your budget (click here to find out more), the environment, and for your own peace of mind. It’s time to fix the problem.
Though there’s always the option to call a plumbing company in Tucson, fixing a tap is often a safe and easy task for any regular DIY home plumber. Lots of residents in Tucson prefer fixing up these kind of things by themselves. All you have to know is the tools you’ll need, and the following step-by-step instructions. Oh – and make sure you’re wearing some old clothes too.
Tools you’ll need
- Adjustable wrench
- Old cloth
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Penetrating oil
- Replacement washers
- Replacement O-rings
- Tap lubricant
You can buy these tools in any store with tools in Tucson.
Step 1: Turn off your water mainline
Your mainline will most likely be located outside your house in your front yard. If you’re an apartment dweller, have a look in the laundry and you’ll probably find it there.
Step 2: Plug up the sink
It’s easier than you think to lose something down there. Worst case scenario is your wedding ring – but even small items can get lost, and even create a bigger problem for you through creating a blockage in the pipe.
Step 3: Remove the faucet handle
Gently pry off any ornamental parts of the tap with a flat-head screwdriver. Using a spanner, gently unscrew the ‘cap’ from the top of the handle. If you’re finding it too tight, add a bit of penetrating oil.
Step 4: Remove the stem
Ease off the stem. Often you can do this by hand, but otherwise use a wrench.
Step 5: Replace the washer and O-Ring
More often than not, the cause of a leaky tap will be old, worn washers and O-rings. These sit in the valve seat. Before you toss them away however, make sure your new ones are the right fit. If this is your first time fixing a leaking tap, it’s a good idea to take these removed washers and O-rings to your hardware store so that you know what type they are, and can purchase the right ones. This is probably the most difficult step Tucson homeowners have to face to, when fixing up their leak.
Step 6: Lubricate the valve
Add a tiny dollop of tap lubricant to the valve seat to optimize the life of the new washer.
Step 7: Reassemble the faucet
Remember how you took apart the tap, and reverse the process: washer and O-ring, stem, handle and cap.
Step 8: Test the running faucet
Turn on the mainline again, and gently test the taps.
If the leak is still there, it could be you’re dealing with a corrosive valve seat or even more complex plumbing problems. At this point, best look up the number to a quality local plumber in Tucson. For an even more comprehensive, illustrated guide to fixing a leaking tap, find here a handy guide from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/21/how-to-mend-a-dripping-tap.