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How to Fix a Dripping Tap? (Traditional & Monobloc Lever)

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    How to Fix a Dripping Tap?

    Leaking or dripping taps can significantly impact the flow of our daily lives, encompassing the nuisance of persistent sound and wasteful water loss. According to research, a mere drip from a tap can lead to the wastage of as much as 3 gallons of water each day.

    Over time, this gradual loss can become apparent through rising water bills, as what you are essentially paying for is being drained away. Therefore, if a tap in your home is dripping, now is the time to learn how to fix a dripping tap and save water and bills.

    First, Understand the Types of Taps

    Typically, there are two types of taps, each with different fixes if water is dripping. Therefore, I will tell you about them along with the ideal fix for each.

    Traditional Taps

    Description: Common water tap type with separate hot and cold knobs

    Cause of Water Leak: Damaged washer

    Solution: Replace the washer

    Note: Since the traditional taps are fixable, I’ll introduce a step-by-step fixing process in the next section of this guide that you can follow to fix the issue. 

    Monobloc Lever Taps

    Description: Single lever tap controlling both temperature and flow

    Cause of Water Leak: Damaged ceramic cartridge

    Solution: Replace the ceramic cartridge

    Note: Like the traditional taps, the monobloc lever taps can be repaired, but the cartridge needs to be replaced completely if you have any issues. Therefore, in the second section below, I’ll give you a detailed guide to replacing the ceramic cartridge. 

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    Dripping Tap

    How to Fix a Dripping Tap?

    A dripping tap can be a real nuisance while being a reason for wasting water. If you have a dripping tap, you can do a few things to fix it yourself. But before doing anything, gather the following tools and review the provided tips.

    Here is a list of the tools you will need to fix a dripping tap:

    • Adjustable wrench or pliers
    • Screwdriver
    • New washer/ O-ring

    Once you have gathered all the tools and materials mentioned above, reviewing the essential tips and tricks to do the process carefully is time.

    • Be careful not to damage the tap. When removing the tap head, be careful not to scratch or chip the tap.
    • Use the right size washer. The washer you buy must be the exact size as the old washer.
    • Tighten all of the nuts or screws securely. When you are reassembling the tap, be sure to tighten all of the screws or nuts securely. This will help to deter the tap from dripping again.

    Now you have the essential tools and materials required, plus understand all the essential tips, let me start introducing you to the following process of fixing the dripping tap.

    • Isolate the Water Supply

    Before working on the tap, you need to isolate the water supply. This means turning off the main water valve for your home. You can usually find this valve under your sink or in a cupboard near your water heater.

    Once the water supply is turned off, you can start working on the tap without worrying about water dripping everywhere.

    • Remove the Tap Head

    You can remove the tap head once the water supply is turned off. This is usually accomplished by loosening a nut or screw that holds the head in place. Once the head is removed, you will be able to see the washer that is causing the leak.

    • Replace the Washer

    The washer is a tiny rubber ring that forms a seal between the tap and the spout. If the washer and/or O-ring is worn or damaged, it will not create a tight seal, and the tap will leak.

    To replace the washer, release the old washer while installing the new one in its place. Do the same thing for the O-ring if there is a problem with it.

    • Reassemble the Tap

    Once the new washer is installed, you can reassemble the tap. Don’t forget to tighten all of the nuts or screws firmly.

    • Turn on the Water Supply

    Once the tap is reassembled, you can turn on the water supply and test it to ensure it is no longer leaking.

    If you follow these steps, you can repair a dripping tap yourself. However, if you are uncomfortable working on taps or the leak is not caused by a worn or damaged washer, you should call a plumber.

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    How to Replace a Ceramic Cartridge?

    As I mentioned earlier, ceramic disc taps differ from conventional taps as they contain a cartridge with two ceramic discs. If a disc is broken, the entire cartridge must be replaced; keep reading to learn how to do this.

    But before that, gather the following tools and materials you’ll require.

    • Adjustable wrench or pliers
    • Screwdriver
    • Replacement cartridge

    Once you gather all these tools, here is the step-by-step process that you can follow to carefully complete the process.

    • Turn off the water supply

    Locate the main water valve in your house and shut it off to prevent water flow to the tap.

    • Remove the handles

    Using a flat-head screwdriver, carefully unscrew the handles of the tap. Look for any decorative parts and remove them as well.

    • Locate the entrance screw

    Typically, you’ll find this screw hidden beneath the hot or cold indicator, secured by a small grub screw. To access it, employ a flat-head screwdriver to remove the grub screw.

    • Remove the shroud and ceramic disc

    With the assistance of an adjustable spanner, carefully release the shroud and the ceramic disc. Inspect them for any damages and replace them if necessary.

    • Take out the cartridges

    Recognise which cartridges correspond to cold or hot water. Remove them from the tap; if you find any damaged parts, replace them accordingly.

    • Check the washer and tap the seat

    Twist open or flip off the washer from the tap seat. Examine both components for any damages and replace the washer if needed.

    • Inspect the rubber seal

    If the rubber seal is worn out, it needs to be replaced. Ensure you replace it with a new one to prevent any future leaks.

    • Verify proper sizing and fitting

    Before reassembling, ensure all the replacement parts are sized and fit properly. This step is crucial for the smooth operation of your tap.

    • Reassemble all the components

    Arrange everything back together, following the reverse order of how you disassembled them. Make sure each part is securely attached.

    • Restore the water supply

    Gradually open the main water valve to restore water flow to the tap. Take a moment to inspect for any leaks and ensure that everything is operating smoothly.