How to replace tap washers

Written by patrice campbell
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Every time you turn the water on or off, the tap washer is used. When the washer is worn, it may cause a drip that is not only annoying but can cause staining. Over time a good deal of water can be wasted. Worn tap valves will chew a washer, further shortening its lifespan. Various quality replacement washers are available, making it possible to upgrade so the repair won't have to be made as often.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Replacement washer
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Shut off the water to the tap.

  2. 2

    Release water in the line by opening the tap.

  3. 3

    Gently pry off the insert on the top of the tap knob with a small screwdriver to reveal the screw.

  4. 4

    Loosen the screw with the proper screwdriver.

  5. 5

    Remove the screw and lift off the handle.

  6. 6

    Firmly hold the tap spout to keep it from turning and release the tap valve.

  7. 7

    Undo the valve and remove.

  8. 8

    Determine whether the valve has a washer retainer nut, and if so, remove it. If not, just pull the old washer over the central lug.

  9. 9

    Replace the washer by the same method it was removed.

  10. 10

    Reverse the steps to reassemble the tap.

Tips and warnings

  • Plug the sink before you start to keep parts from going down the drain.
  • If the faucet twists, the connection under the sink may become loose and leak.

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