Troubleshooting: Leaking And Dripping Taps

Troubleshooting: Leaking And Dripping Taps

Dripping taps can drive you mad, as well as wasting water and staining your sink. Luckily sorting out your leaking taps is a easy job which you can do in an hour or so. This simple guide will show you how.

Step 1: Dripping spout

The modern style tap, one where you only turn the lever a quarter for full flow, is known as a ceramic disc tap. If this is dripping from the spout then the whole central cartridge will need to be looked at and possibly replaced.

The more common tap is a stem or pillar tap, the type where the headgear is turned several times to control the flow of water. If a pillar tap has a dripping spout then the washer will need replacing.

You can easily fix these problems yourself with the right tools. Have a look at 'How to repair a ceramic-disc tap' and 'How to replace a tap washer'.

Step 2: Leaking from the top

If you find water leaking from the top of the tap, it could be one of two problems. Both sound quite daunting with bizarre "plumber words" but are actually easily solved. Firstly, the gland nut which keeps the spindle in place may need tightening. Otherwise, the O-ring, which is the rubber seal that sits on the spindle, needs replacing.

Step 3: Leaks at the base

Swivel spouts in particular are prone to leaks at the base. This can be quickly fixed by removing the spout and replacing the seal.

Step 4: Leaks from below

If you find water leaking from the underside of the taps, or for that matter, anywhere else under the sink, don't try and fix it yourself. Instead, place a container under the leak to catch the water and call a professional.

Step 5: TOP TIP

If you are planning to tackle any of these problems by yourself, it is always best to attempt any plumbing projects early in the day. This gives you plenty of time, if needed, to get to your nearest DIY store to pick up replacement parts.


Now you know how to fix the leak, get it sorted ASAP to prevent any further damage, and don't forget that if you're still not sure about the whole thing - call a professional to sort it for you. Another job well done.