How to Change Tap Washers

Written by patrick nelson
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Tap washer replacement is one of the simplest and most cost-effective forms of do-it-yourself tasks possible. For the price of a package of assorted washers, a couple of bucks and a few minutes of your time, you can save on the cost of a plumber’s call, which can run a hundred bucks easily. Plus, you are helping the environment by reducing leaks, and if the tap is in your en-suite bathroom, maybe even getting a better night's sleep.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Plumbers wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Washer kit

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  1. 1

    Turn off the water supply at the mains. Look around for the main water turn-off--it may be outside.

  2. 2

    Open the tap you are going to work on and allow any residual water to drain.

  3. 3

    Flip out any plastic cover on the tap handle. Use a screwdriver or knife to pry it off. Unscrew any screws you see.

  4. 4

    Remove the head. Wrench it off. You need to be careful here and maybe add some padding if the head is chrome, as the wrench might damage the chrome.

  5. 5

    Look for the washer and remove it or the broken pieces.

  6. 6

    Replace the washer. Match it up from your kit.

  7. 7

    Replace the head and any screws or plastic covers. Close the tap.

  8. 8

    Turn the water back on at the main inlet.

  9. 9

    Go back the work site and open the tap. Allow the water to flow for a bit.

  10. 10

    Close the tap and inspect for leaks.

  11. 11

    Repeat changing the washer slightly if you get any drips.

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