How to stop a dripping tap without a plumber

12 March 2018

It might not be the loudest but there’s no doubt that a dripping tap is one of the most annoying noises in human history.

How do you stop it though?  Well, here’s a small list of steps that can help you tackle that drip, drip, drip, that’s stopping you from concentrating on more pressing matters.

Get the right tools for the job

Before starting any type of work, you need to make sure that you’ve got all the components necessary for completing the task and stopping a dripping tap is no different.

Before you get ahead of yourself, make sure that you’ve got the following items:

  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Washers or replacement cartridge

Once you have, you’re ready to tackle your noise nuisance.

Turn the water off

Next on the list and arguably the most important, is to make sure that the water is turned off in your home.  If it’s not, you run the risk of uncoupling the tap and having to deal with a barrage of water flying all over your kitchen or bathroom.  Giving you a rather unexpected and most likely unwanted shower without the fancy new shower gel you received from Mum as a present.

In order to do this, you need to find the stop cock.  If you don’t know where it is, it’s important to find it, as in the event of a true water emergency it’s the only way to immediately stop the flow of water in your home.  It’s usually found on the pipes below the sink.  Once located, turn it off, grab your tools and prepare to stop the dripping.

How to stop a dripping tap using the stopcock

Find the Screw and don’t lose it!

The next part of the process is where the challenge begins.

After removing the decorative top of the tap, you’ll need to find the screw inside the tap handle.  Once you do, unscrew it and place it somewhere safe.  Ensure that it doesn’t fall down into the hole in the sink by sealing it up with the plug.

Once you’ve taken care of the screw, remove the head of the tap and any cover around its neck to reveal the spindle or valve.

If you have a Monoblock Lever Tap - where the adjustable taps at the side feed into a longer spout that stretches up from the middle - you might find the screw behind a grub screw on either side of the adjustable tap.  Remove the grub screw and then the normal screw behind it in order to get to the root of the problem.

Guide to fixing a dripping tap at home

Fit the Washers and Reassemble

Use a spanner to hold the central hexagonal nut and unscrew the spindle whilst bracing the spout of the tap with your other hand.  Once done, you’ll have access to both the top and bottom washers (shaped like an O-ring) and replace them accordingly. 

If you’re not sure what washers you require, take them to a local hardware store so you can buy exactly what you need.

You’ll then need to reassemble the tap back together, turn the water back on and test the tap to see if it runs normally and then if it drips.  If you’ve followed all the steps correctly and have screwed everything back tightly then you should have resolved your issue.

How to fix a dripping tap at home without a plumber

Enjoy the peace and quiet

That’s it.  A process that can take around five to ten minutes can give you long-lasting peace in your home.  Put the tools away, put your feet up and enjoy your new dripless home.


Tagged with:

  • DIY Tips
  • Plumbing
Author -
Content Writer Thomson Local

Away from his role as a Content Writer for Thomson Local, you’ll find Craig writing about either football or video games at a myriad of sites and publications. He’s had words featured in The Guardian, Eurogamer, Nutmeg and his own site Pause Resume. He’s also currently in the process of attaining a degree in Creative Writing with the Open University.

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