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How To Change A Tap Washer?


A leaky tap can lead to high water bills and cause the infurtirating sound that I am sure we are all aware of, dripping water. With water conservation being a top priority worldwide, it is vital for all property owners to contribute in our own little ways. When there’s a leaking water issue at your home or commercial property, it needs to be resolved quickly. Here at The Local Plumber, our Melbourne plumbers are going to provide you with some simple tips and tricks to save water and reduce your bills by changing old and faulty tap washers.. 

Is It Easy To Change a Tap Washer?

Yes, especially for those who know the ins and outs of how taps work and are confident enough that they can resolve the problem. The tap washer is a small disk responsible for sealing after turning off the tap. Due to wear and tear, it causes leaking when it is no longer capable of doing its job. Our Emergency plumbing service professionals recommend changing your tap washers every 2-3 years. Most taps as a unit will last 10 years before needing a tap replacement

Steps in Changing the Tap Washer

Having the correct tools and knowing the step-by-step process helps ensure proper tap washer replacement. Here is a step by step guide in how to successfully replace your tap washers

  1. Prepare the tools – Changing the tap washer requires a few spanners, pliers, screwdrivers and a rag.
  2. Turn off the water supply – Shutting off the water supply is the first thing to do when repairing fixtures and other components using the water supply. Failing to turn this off can result in unexpected water splashes and other disturbances.
  3. Empty the pipes – Most emergency plumbers only recommend turning off the water supply when dealing with pipes and other fixtures. However, it is also best to dry the pipes when working with faucets, showerheads and pipes. Emptying the pipes is recommended for those working on a hot water tap.  
  4. Remove the tap button – Removing the tap washer requires getting the tap off. First, you need to pop the tap button. This button usually indicates whether it is a cold or a hot tap. A screwdriver usually helps remove it. If it does not work, a spanner is the best tool.. Be gentle to prevent damage to the sink.
  5. Remove the handle – The process of taking off the tap handle depends on the type of tap installed. It could be as simple as sliding or screwing it off to reveal the tap’s inner workings. You should refer to your tap instruction manual, if you don’t have it, try searching online. 
  6. Remove the tap skirt – Using a plier, you should remove the metallic skirt or shroud on the tap. 
  7. Remove the tap bonnet – A spanner helps remove the actual body of the tap. It will reveal a plastic or brass jumper valve.
  8. Remove the washer – Before doing this DIY, it is a must to familiarise yourself with the inner workings of a modern tap. Modern tapware usually comes with ceramic cartridges, not the usual plastic ones. After removing the jumper valve, the rubber tap washer can now be removed. When it cannot be pulled out by hand, a plier with a handy nose helps.  
  9. Replace the washer – Usually found in most hardware stores, replacing the washer sometimes goes hand-in-hand with replacing the jumper valve. However, there are cases where there is no need to replace an undamaged jumper valve.
  10. Reassemble – After ensuring that the replacement tap washer and jumper valve are in place, it just needs to be placed back together. First, slide the tap washer into its place on the tap stem using a needle nose plier. Next, screw the tap bonnet and tighten it using a spanner and put the rest back together in the reverse order it was disassembled.
  11. Check water flow – Once put back together, ensure the tap is closed before turning on the water supply. We recommend testing the tap several times to confirm that it is no longer leaking or has a stiff handle or any other issues.

If this process seems to much to handle, give our local plumbers a buzz and we will be sure to send out a plumber to your Melbourne location within the same day!

Are All Tap Washers the Same?

No. Several taps are used in homes and commercial spaces across the country. Each of these taps offers a unique advantage over the other. The following are some common taps used in Australia:

  • Pillar taps – These taps are the most commonly used. They are usually marked “hot” or “cold,” most of the time in a bathroom.
  • Mixer taps – Buildings with a modern kitchen or bathroom usually have a mixer tap. It comes with a single nozzle that runs both cold and hot water. The user can manipulate how hot or cold the water that comes out by manipulating the handles.
  • Monobloc taps – Just like the mixer tap, it also allows the user to customise how warm or cold the water is when it comes out. The big difference is that only a single handle is used to manipulate water temperature. Usually, turning it left makes it hot and turning it right makes it colder.
  • Washer taps – Also known as compression washer tap, it is the type of tap that could be easily repaired, even by an untrained person.
  • Disc taps – These taps come with ceramic discs featuring holes that let the water in depending on how the handle is operated. This tap is super easy to turn on from nothing to full-blast. 
  • Ball taps – Ball taps are usually used in gardens. It comes with a round appearance due to the hollow ball inside controlling the temperature mix and the speed of water flow. It being prone to leaking is one of this tap’s biggest downsides.
  • Cartridge taps – The cartridge inside this tap is what sets it apart from other tap types. This tap allows temperature control by turning it left or right. Users can also adjust water flow by turning it up or down.

Contact Melbourne’s Most Preferred Plumber Today!

While an untrained individual can DIY his way into any plumbing problem, there are cases where it is best to leave the work in the hands of a professional. Locals looking for the most experienced and trained emergency plumber nearby can rely on us to show up on time and provide professional help. Our team members have all met the requirements set by the Plumbing Regulations Act 2018 and hold a plumbing licence from the Victorian Building Authority. We have spent over ten years helping locals with all plumbing needs, including pipe relining, blocked drain repair and hot water system installation. Contact The Local Plumber to have one of Melbourne’s top rated local plumbers on your premises today!

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