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Does your home or office in Australia have a dripping tap? If ignored, a dripping tap can lead to massive water loss and damage to your property. Consequently, it’s vital to ensure that you contact a professional immediately to deal with the issue. This is critical if you want to avoid the problems resulting from your leaking taps.

Stopping a dripping tap isn’t hard. However, if you do not have any knowledge or skills in plumbing, you might not be able to do it effectively. This article guides you on how to stop a dripping tap in your home or office. Read on to find out more.

Major Causes Of Dripping Taps

Knowing the cause of that dripping shower tap or kitchen tap is essential. This way, you have an understanding of the best way to solve the problem. So, here are some prominent causes of dripping taps in your home or office. You can use the list to crosscheck potential causes of a dripping tap in your house.

A faulty cartridge

If you have a tap with two handles, one for hot water and the other handle for cold water, then you have a cartridge-style tap. These taps have a cartridge, which is a valve on both handles that regulates and controls water flow. If the cartridge in your tap is damaged, it might result in dripping.

Damaged washers

Another common cause of a dripping tap is damaged washers. Tap washers sit against the tap seat. With time, friction could cause the washers to wear out, leading to leaking taps. Additionally, if the washer in your tap is incorrectly sized or installed wrongly, it could also lead to dripping.

Excess water pressure

If you find that your bathroom or kitchen taps tend to drip at specific times or when your tap handle moves in a particular way, don’t worry. The issue might be that the water pressure in your home is in excess, causing the problem. You only need to contact a plumber near you to regulate the water pressure.

Dysfunctional O-ring

An O-ring is a small disc attached to the stem screw of a tap to handle it in place. As is the case with most fixtures, the O-ring gets loose or worn out with age. So, if your tap is dripping, the O-ring could be the issue, so it needs to be replaced.

Damaged valve seat

If your tap leaks from the spout, this points to a problem with the valve seat. The valve seat is a component that connects the tap to the spout. When sediment builds up and corrodes the seal, it might cause your tap to leak.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Fix Dripping Taps

Step One: Gather the tools listed below

Here are some of the most critical tools you will need to fix leaking taps within a few minutes.

  • An adjustable spanner
  • A screwdriver
  • New tap washer

Step Two: Turn off the main water supply

If you find a dripping tap, you should turn off the water from the main supply instantly. This is essential as it helps prevent more water loss and allows you to fix the issue more effectively.

To switch off the main water supply, you should look under the sink to determine if your pipe features an isolation ball valve. If the valve is there, it will be easier for you to fix the problem. Now turn the water supply off by turning the valve horizontally.

However, if there is no isolation ball valve, you must turn the water off at the mains. The mains looks like a regular tap, so all you need to do is turn it off as you do with all your other taps.

Step Three: Drain the metallic snake

Now that you have turned off the main water supply, drain the dripping tap by turning it on until it stops flowing.

Step Four: Identify the type of tap you are fixing

It’s possible to have different types of taps in your home or business. This means that you might have the regular old taps or the modern ceramic ones. Separate taps mean different techniques when fixing drips, so it’s essential to identify the type of tap you intend to fix.

For older style taps

Remove the twisty bit or tap head if you have an older style tap. You could do it using a flathead screwdriver. Then, remove the headgear nut using an adjustable spanner. At this point, be careful, as any excess water that did not drain might come out of the tap. If your tap is dripping because of a damaged washer, you’ll have to replace it.

With the headgear nut removed, proceed to remove the old rubber washer and put in a new like-for-like one. The size matters as there are different sizes of tap washers. As mentioned before, the dripping might result from a faulty tap seat where the washer sits when the tap isn’t running.

When it is in good condition, the seat creates a seal that closes your tap and ensures water doesn’t run. It’s easy to determine when it gets damaged by normal deterioration. In such an instance, it develops small canals eroded in the seat’s metal. You can feel these canals by running your finger inside the taps.

Luckily, you could quickly fix this issue with a seat grinder tool. You simply have to use it to grind the seat. This action removes the canals to create a smooth and flat seat for the tap washer to sit and seal the water flow. If the wear and tear are too much, you could also fix the problem by installing a new tap seat.

For modern ceramic taps

If you have a modern ceramic tap, remove the cap using a knife or flathead screwdriver. Then, remove the headgear to access the rubber seal, cartridge, or jumper valves beneath it. Now check the seal and cartridge and replace them if necessary, as dirt or grit might have gotten in, resulting in the dripping.

Proceed to remove the cartridge using a wrench carefully. A faulty cartridge is the most common cause of a dripping tap. Now replace the cartridge, rubber seal, or both depending on the situation.

Step Five: Reassemble the tap

Now that you have addressed and fixed the issue causing the dripping, you should reassemble the tap the same way you disassembled it.

Step Six: Turn on the water supply

Once you are done reassembling the tap, you can turn on the main water supply. Simply turn the isolation ball valve vertically or turn the water mains on. Now turn on the tap to test whether the water is running smoothly without dripping.

To be sure, turn it on and off several times to find out if it is still dripping. If the tap is still dripping, you should reach out to your plumber to determine the cause of the leaking tap and repair it.

How To Prevent Your Taps From Dripping

It’s better to prevent the tap from dripping than to deal with an already leaking tap. Here are some tips you could apply to prevent your taps from dripping.

Tighten all tap handles

This is the simplest way to prevent your tap from dripping. Ensure you always tighten the handle as loosely closed taps are bound to drip.

Buy high-quality tapware

Make sure you invest in high-quality tapware. A dripping tap is often caused by compromised tap features such as the cartridge, valve seat, and others. Though pricier, high-quality tapware will last many years without getting damaged, thus preventing tap leaks.

You should also consider investing in compression or disc-type taps. This is mainly because they are less prone to leaks than ball-type ones. Additionally, ensure you buy all your tapware from reputable manufacturers.

Perform regular tap inspections

Regular tap inspections play a huge part in the prevention of leaks. The inspection enables you to identify when a tap has an issue that requires immediate fixing before it can escalate and start dripping. This is a great way to ensure you don’t have to deal with dripping taps and prevent potential damage that might result.

Therefore, schedule regular inspections for your taps and other plumbing fixtures in your house with your plumber to ensure that your plumbing system is in good condition at all times.

Need Expert Help With Your Dripping Taps?

A dripping tap is undoubtedly a nuisance that could escalate and cause severe water damage to your property. Therefore, if you have dripping taps, you should hire the best plumbing company in your locality to get the best solutions. Professional plumbers can inspect your tap to identify the real cause of the leak.

This helps them offer a long-lasting solution to the problem. Experienced plumbers can also help you with all other issues, including dripping pipes and other problems with your plumbing system.


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I called Hero Plumbing to unblock a shower drain and was unable to get a quote over the phone, but Sam the owner was here same day. After his first try, he made quick work of the blockage. I opted to also get the acid cleaner stuff poured down. Sam had run out, but made a trip to go pick some up to finish the job. If you opt for this treatment make sure you can easily air the bathroom as it’s extremely strong and produces a lot of fumes. Great Service and Honest Pricing.

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Jared Evans

We've used Hero Plumbing previously. Both times reliable and flexible with changing times (helpful during covid ISO periods!)
Hayden was on time and explained the issue clearly, fixed it,then also did some extra checks on water pressure and taps to ensure there were no underlying issues.
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