How to fix a dripping tap quickly and easily

Here's how to fix a dripping tap, regardless of its age or make

How to fix a dripping tap
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That 'drip, drip, drip' is pretty annoying right? Thankfully, you're in the right place if you need to know how to fix a dripping tap in a flash. 

Think of the dripping as a kind indication that your tap needs one of its component parts replacing, and fortunately, this can be an easy job as most taps – regardless of their age or brand – have a similar structure. 

What you'll need to stop a dipping tap:

You will need a spanner, a screwdriver and a new washer or cartridge, depending on the type of tap you have.

What you should know ahead of starting: 

You'll need to turn off your water at the mains in order to repair your tap. It's usually in the kitchen under the sink or behind the bathtub in older properties. 

Always put the plug in the sink before attempting to fix a dripping tap to ensure that you don't lose any screws to the plughole. 

Read our guide to bathroom plumbing for more comprehensive advice. 

Repairing a traditional tap that's dripping

You'll know if you have a traditional tap, because you'll have two of them. To fix this type pf tap, perform the following steps:

1. Unscrew the top handle of your tap, either by hand or with the help of a spanner if it's really right.

2. You will see a screw inside the top part of the tap. Unscrew this with a screwdriver to dismantle the tap. What you'll see under the tap cover is a three-part structure with a top washer that look like a plug, a spindle, and a bottom washer that's round in shape. It's best to replace both washers at once to eliminate any future drips. 

3. Reassemble the tap and turn the water back on. Check for any leaks.

How to fix a dripping mixer tap

Single lever taps, or mixer taps, often come with cartridges rather than washers. Most are standard and range between 35 and 45 millimetres diameter, but some are different. If your tap is bespoke or very old, you may need a bit of time to hunt down an appropriate sized cartridge. The repair process itself is still very simple, though. 

1. Dismantle the tap by first unscrewing the small screw located at the base of the lever. 

2. Remove the brass valve under the tap cover. You may need a spanner to do this. 

3. The cartridge is located inside the tap; remove and replace. Reassemble your tap.