How Do You Stop a Tap from Leaking?

We like everything in our house to be neat and functional. Especially the tap since we use them every day. And then you hear a drop, a drop, a drop or worse, turn on the tap, and water leaks in all directions. One of the most annoying breakdowns is definitely tap leaking because it seems like it will never stop. In addition to annoying you, this kind of failure can lead to the consumption of large amounts of water, and also to a pretty big water bill. You can call a plumber to fix the tap, but you can also roll up your sleeves and take things in your hands. How can you stop a tap from leaking? 

To stop the tap from leaking you must first locate the leaking. Once you found out where the leaking is coming from, turn off the water supply and cover the sink with a cloth to prevent small parts from being lost. Each part of the tap works for itself, so it is necessary to repair or replace exactly the one causing the problems. 

How Do You Stop a Tap from Leaking
How Do You Stop a Tap from Leaking

The tap consists of several parts, and each part has its own function. There are various types of taps, the most famous being ball taps, cartridge taps, and ceramic disc taps. Ball taps are most prone to leaks, but any tap can have this problem. Depending on the type of tap, they will differ slightly in principle but they mostly have the same parts. If any of them have weakened, worn out, or cracked, they need to be repaired or replaced. There is no general solution that will allow you to repair a tap at once. In order to stop leaking, you need to know what is causing the leak and how we can prevent it.

What causes a tap to drip? 

The tap looks quite simple, but it hides many parts. To know how to repair a tap, it is important to know its parts and the malfunctions that can occur due to them. Your tap is leaking for one of the following reasons.

The cartridge is the most important part of the tap located under the handle. It is a valve that controls the flow and temperature of water into your tap. It may wear out, be damaged, or limescale may accumulate on it, resulting in a leak in your tap.

Leaking under the tap handle is probably caused by the O-Ring. Under the handle of the tap is a cartridge, and on it is the so-called O-Ring. It is a small disk attached to a stream screw that holds the handle of the tap in place. The reason for the leak under the handle is probably damaged, weared-out, or loosen O-Ring.

If it leaks at the tap and spout junction, there is probably a problem in the valve seat. The valve seat is just that, a blend between tap and spout. The constant inflow of water can lead to rusting of the valve seat causing it to rot and at one point it can no longer hold all the water and starts dripping. The same happens with inlet and outlet seals which can lead to dripping.

Spout can also be leaking due to washer problems. The washer is the part that relies on the valve seat. If it does not stand well or is the wrong size that can cause leaking. More often, however, leaking in that part is caused by a worn-out washer that needs to be replaced.

Water pressure can also be a possible reason for leaking. If the cause of the leak is water pressure, you will easily recognize it. Does the leak only occur at certain times of the day? If your answer is yes, it is probably water pressure in your household. Excessive pressure does not allow the tap enough time for water to leak out of it. The tap fills with water, and then there is no choice but to start leaking somewhere.

Is a dripping tap dangerous?

Dripping tap does not seem dangerous, but if it lasts a long time it can lead to health problems. If your tap is constantly leaking, over time it can lead to the formation of mold. Molds are types of fungi that can contain allergens and are so small that a person can inhale them without noticing them. Mold can lead to coughing, shortness of breath, shortness of breath, and allergic reactions. It is especially dangerous for people with asthma and people who have a weakened immune system.

One of the reasons for leaking taps is definitely rust. Small rust can spread quite quickly. If you don’t address it in time, it can lead to bigger problems. The more rust, the more often the tap will leak water. This can result in the pipe bursting causing you to consume huge amounts of water. Pipe repair can be very complex and expensive so get rid of rust on time.

Likewise, a dripping tap can lead to structural damage. Moisture that accumulates due to leaks can lead to damage to walls, floors, and even foundations. Water can do a lot of damage to a home and cause quite high costs so it is better to fix the dripping tap problem right away.

A dripping tap can also be dangerous for your wallet. A leaking tap can consume up to 20,000 gallons of water annually. Not only do we waste water unnecessarily this way, but you’ll be greeted by a pretty thick water bill every month. The longer you wait to repair the tap, the greater the chance that water will damage other parts of the tap, and you will eventually have to replace the entire tap system.

How do you stop a tap from leaking

To begin repairing the tap, first, locate where the water is probably leaking. This will greatly facilitate the rest of your work and help you understand which part is non-functional.

Once you have determined the source of the leak, turn off the water. The valves are separated into hot and cold water so close both valves. After closing them, turn on the tap to drain excess water. Plug the drain with a sink plug or cloth so that small parts of the tap do not go into the drain.

Now you are ready for a real job.

The first thing you need to do is remove the tap cover. The place where the tap cover is unscrewed is in different places depending on which tap it is.

If you have a pillar or mixer tap, you will most likely find the lid to open under the hot and cold sign. When you have removed the cover, loosen it with a screw to remove the tap opener. The monobloc tap does not have a lid, but you have to unscrew the spout under which you will see the other parts. Modern taps, such as ceramic ones, will open by finding a small hole located on the back of the tap. When you find it, open it with a screwdriver. Once you open them, the mechanism inside is pretty much the same.

Once you have removed the tap cover you will be able to see the first parts inside the tap. Use pliers to unscrew the packing nut and then the stem. If you see any damage to them, replace them immediately.

If you have done everything above, we can move on. Check the O-Ring. If the O-Ring does not fit properly, it is very likely to be the cause of the leak, so adjust it properly and replace it if it is damaged.

On the cartridge or cylinder, depending on whether you have a single handle tap or a double handle tap, the water scale can build up over time and cause a leak. Alkali the cartridge or cylinder and then spray it with an anti-scale agent. You can also soak the cartridge in a glass of vinegar or an anti-scale agent.

Reassemble the tap and check for leaks.

If there is a leak at the junction of the body and the spout, unscrew the spout and see if it is rusty. If it has rusted, replace it with a new one and check for leaks. When buying it is best to bring an old spout as the diameter will fit your tap.

If you have failed to repair the tap, it is time to call a plumber.

How do you fix a leaky tap handle? 

Your tap can have a single handle or a double handle. The repair, however, is not too different. If it is a single-handle tap, you will clean or replace the cartridge during the repair. If you have a double handle tap, you will replace the ceramic disk or simpler, cylinder, during the repair. Follow all the steps above and it will hopefully help you to repair your tap in both cases.


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Annika Vallgren

The old housewives, in general, were in charge of everything in a household. From doing budget deliberations, meal planning to implementing actions and everything in between, they are simply the right person for the job, period. A major portion of their time was spent doing laundry, cleaning, and feeding her hungry children, who would come home tired from school. I believe we have a lot to learn from her. So, here you will find old housewife tips mixed with modern life hacks, knowledge about washing and cleaning, and much more the modern housewife needs!

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