Fixing a Leaky Tap

Leaky tapA leaky tap can be a real problem if it I not quickly addressed. The escaping water can cause moisture to begin building in wood work or masonry and the constant rhythmic tapping of falling water can keep you up till all hours of the morning.

The good news is that fixing a leaky tap is comparatively easy, especially if you are working with the simple compression type tap common in most bathroom sinks.

The following guide will cover some of the necessary procedures to fixing a leaky tap.

Locate the Issue
Is the water leaking from the tap, or maybe from the pipes and tubes that supply water to the tap? The first step will be to locate the source of the drip.

If the pipes are not connected properly, or damaged, they can easily spring a leak. Its best to look all around before immediately dismantling the whole tap.

Shut off the water
If you are confident the tap is the issue, shut the water off before beginning an inspection process. This can usually be done by closing the valves below the sink.

If you can’t find any solutions, shutting these valves can allow you to get back to sleep or postpone repairs till a replacement tap can be found.

Dismantle the Tap
Your tap handle may have decorative caps and pieces hiding screws and nuts. Take these off with a flat head screwdriver and inspect the condition of all moving parts you find. Remove the screw or nut holding the knob in place and remove the handle from the stem.

The Packing Nut
Once the stem is exposed you should see the large packing nut below the stem. Remove the stem carefully, sometimes the stem slides off other times it must be removed by twisting it from the valve.

Sometimes the leak is caused by a loosened valve and few turns of the nut will set it right. If this is not the case, the problem could lie with the washers or O-rings inside the valve seat.

In this case you will need to find a proper replacement at your local plumbers merchants.

If the washer seems to be in good conditions, it could be too small or not positioned correctly. You can sometimes find a package with an assortment of different O-rings, this makes it easier to apply a solution.

After you have effectively dismantled the tap down to the very valve it will be important to remember how to reassemble your sink’s functionality. One good idea is to take pictures of the apparatus as you go so that you remember how everything fit together.

Test Run
If at first you do succeed, act completely normal. But, if your fix-it attempt was not a success at first, maybe you have some further insights on what the problem is due to your improved perspective.

Remember that taps are not meant to last an eternity and the internal components such as cartridges may simply be damaged beyond repair. In this case shut off the valves under the sink once more and find a replacement for the tap at the next convenient moment.

Winter Plumbing Checklist

frozen tapAs winter approaches, home owners have to start preparing for the harsh weather and its effects on the plumbing on your property.

The low temperatures experienced during winter cause frozen pipes and flooding, in extreme cases, as these frozen pipes can burst.

To avoid the damage associated with frozen water pipes, and the resulting repair cost, it is recommended that you take the time to create a winter checklist, using the tips below as a guide to what you should focus on.

Keep Water Moving

The risk of frozen water pipes increases when water stops moving. To prevent this, it is recommended that you develop a habit of intentionally leaving taps located indoors dripping.

Although this practice is bound to cause your water bill to increase, the benefits outweigh the cost. You get to avoid frozen water pipes; and therefore eliminate the risk a burst water pipe due to freezing.

Protect Water Pipes From The Cold Winter Air

Water pipes usually freeze as a result of contact with cold air. To prevent this, take the time to identify any exposed water pipes, including those below sinks, in the basement or attic, and wrap them up with insulation. This will effectively protect them from the cold winter air.

Insulation is readily available, and covering water pipes with it involves a straightforward process; making this a simple DIY project.

Get Rid Of Pockets Of Cold Air

The pipes running through your home’s walls are protected from the low winter temperatures by the wall insulation. It is however worth mentioning that the pipes running behind your homes cabinets tend to be highly susceptible to freezing.

Find out which cabinets have water pipes running through them, and make sure that their doors remain open throughout. This helps circulate warm indoor air around this area, warming up the pipes as a result.

Don’t Forget Outdoor Pipes And Plumbing Fixtures

The pipes and plumbing fixtures located outdoors are exposed to harsh winter weather, and as such, should be properly prepared to minimise the risk of damage. All fixtures and taps should be drained and left open.

Water hoses should also be drained and stored away. Sprinklers, pipes and their water supply pipes should be drained and blown empty, preferably using a compressor, to clear out any water. This will help ensure that they serve you for as long as possible.

Seal Cracks In Exterior Walls And Foundation

Water pipes that run through exterior walls as well as those running through the foundation are also highly susceptible to freezing. Take the time to inspect exterior walls and the foundation for any cracks that expose these pipes to the cold winter air. Take steps to insulate these pipes as they are at risk of freezing due to contact with the cold outdoor air.

burst pipesVacant Homes

If you intend to be away from home throughout winter, you will not be able to carry out all the above steps; however, you can protect your home’s plumbing by shutting off water supply using the main gate valve.

Follow this up by opening all taps and allow them to completely drain the entire plumbing system.

With the above tips in mind, you will be able to compile and carryout a comprehensive winter plumbing checklist. If you don’t wish to do this yourself contact Assett Plumbing in Northampton and ask for their winter plumbing service check.

Our Blog

Welcome to the website of NW Cousins plumbing services.

We’ve been serving the residents of Northamptonshire for over 25 years.

Whether you have a leaky tap or a more urgent boiler issue, our experience, knowledge and fast service will get you back to normal as quickly as possible.

For boilers, we can repair, replace, install, service and maintain. Contact us for our boiler offers.

We have also completed many successful bathroom and kitchen renovation projects.

If you’d like to speak to one of our local project managers, then please give us a call.