How to Change a Tap Washer? [2021]

Table of Contents

How to replace a tap washer? | How to change a washer in a tap? | Does running hot water break down tap washers? | Do I need to turn off the water to change a tap washer? | Are rubber washers common on taps in Australia? | How to fix a tap washer? | Is a leaking tap caused by a broken washer? | How often should you replace tap washers? | Is it easy to change a tap washer? | When should you call in plumbing experts to fix a tap washer?

A tap washer can be fiddly to change and may need some time in order for you to get it right. It’s also very dependent on the type of tap which you have, therefore the instructions are going to vary slightly depending upon your needs.

Typically for direct or indirect taps with screw-on handles (for the safety chain) you just need to remove the handle in order for you to see and access the tap washer.

After which, you should be able to unscrew it by hand (turning anti-clockwise) or alternatively get a spanner on it if the handle is tight. It may take some time because there will be water pressure behind it. If this happens, then wait until everything calms down before trying again.

Once that’s been done, replace the old tap washer with a new one ensuring that there are no gaps between any parts of your tap system and replacing the handle back on too. After which, turn your water supply back on at its main supply valve (often under your kitchen sink). This will then allow you to see if there are any leaks by running the tap whilst checking for any drips with a cloth or paper towel.

How to Replace a Tap Washer?

If you’ve seen that everything is in order then check the tap washer again, making sure that it’s nice and tight before finally turning off your water supply at its main switch (again often under your kitchen sink). You may want to give it some time before using it after all this so that the system can settle back down.

If there are still problems when changing a tap washer, then consult local plumbing services in Australia who will know what to do next. If you’re struggling to find where your main water supply isolation or jumper valve is, then look for a pipe that leads directly into your property from outside. This should be where the water is coming from but again it may be best to leave this to a local plumber.

How to Change a Washer in a Tap?

If you’ve spoken to a professional and cannot find where your tap washer or where the isolation valve is, then chances are it’s actually a ball washer that needs replacing. In this case, to access the old one you’re going to need to remove the handles on each individual tap (one by one). This will allow you to see and replace them separately if needed. Another option turns off the water supply at its main valve for all of your taps before removing them (not forgetting that any other fixtures like your washing machine might have their own valves too). Otherwise, consult someone who knows what they’re doing.

Afterwards, turn on any taps again after checking there are no leaks present with a cloth or paper towel. If there are still problems when changing a tap washer, then consult a professional who will know what to do next.

Depending on your needs, you may find it easier (and cheaper) if you were to change individual ball washers instead as they can be found individually in the same way as your tap washers. However, make sure that you have already turned off all of your water supply at its main valve either for all taps or just one by one to save yourself some time and trouble later on. Otherwise, drown yourself with an overflowing bath!

Does Running Hot Water Break Down Tap Washers?

So hot water is great but does it break down tap washers? Firstly we should point out that cold water tap washers have been more popular in the past up until recently. Especially before modern-day hot and cold taps became widely used.

However, today it all depends on what type of tap system you’ve got and what material it’s made from (plastic or metal). We’d say that there’s a chance that running hot water through your tap might be able to break down some materials but it’s unlikely to do any harm unless you leave it like that for an extended period of time.

Do I Need to Turn Off the Water to Change a Tap Washer?

It all depends on what’s causing the problem. A bad tap washer or a leak will need to be turned off as we’ve mentioned elsewhere. So if this is the case, then yes you do need to turn off your water supply to change a tap washer.

Some people may have seen something in their property that looks similar but they should be careful because it might have turned out not to be their tap washer after all. In which case, changing yours could just complicate matters even further for you (and create more problems).

The best thing is usually to try replacing your handle (the first part of your tap system) and see if that helps before looking for other solutions.

Are Rubber Washers Common on Taps in Australia?

There are two main types of tap washers and they’re plastic and metal. Some people may have rubber washers but these aren’t common in Australia since the 1980’s onwards. In fact, if you do find some rubber tap washers then it would be a good idea to arrange for them to get checked out by a local plumber.

How to Fix a Tap Washer?

changing a tap washer

You have to check that it’s actually the tap washer that needs replacing. And if this is the case, then changing it couldn’t be simpler with the right tools and skills (or by hiring someone who knows what they’re doing).

Firstly, make sure that you’ve turned off all other taps in your house or followed any instructions given for your particular model of bathroom sink tap. You can usually find them under your kitchen sink but sometimes they will be slightly hidden behind furniture to stop you from switching them on accidentally. A leaky tap whilst you’re trying to fix it could cause a monumental flood!

To access a ball washer inside your bath taps you will need some tools which you can get from a DIY hardware store like Bunnings or Mitre 10 such as needle-nose pliers and a Phillips or flathead screwdriver depending on your tap (most likely a flathead screwdriver). First, you want to remove the tap by unscrewing the handles on each one (one by one) before pulling them away to expose as much of the tap system as possible. You should be able to see your ball washer clearly once you’ve done this. If not, there may be other components or parts that will need removing first too before you can access it properly.

However, if it’s a metal tap (or a mix of both), then using the valve at its base might fix things instead of by turning off water flow from inside the body itself and not just from where your faucet spout or showerhead reaches out into your sink or bathtub (which is usually located near the wall).

That’s because these traditional types of taps have different types of valves hidden underneath them so that they can shut off their own water supply from inside without having to turn off the entire water supply to your whole property.

You should be able to lift up or unscrew the ball washer from underneath with a screwdriver (or pliers if that’s easier for you) and then inspect it. If there are any signs of damage, rust or cracks such as leaking tap threads, then it will need replacing. A new one can easily be fitted by reversing this process in reverse order but make sure you test them after you’ve finished and before putting everything back into place!

Is a Leaking Tap Caused by a Broken Washer?

A leaky tap can be caused by lots of things like a broken washer, or it could even be down to your pipes. Again, if you’re unsure then you should consider replacing the whole tap system (not just the washer). The only way to know for sure what’s causing a leak is to find and remove all of its components one by one until you uncover the cause.

When searching around for leaks in your home, you might want to check [this page] out which also features some handy tips for helping prevent them from happening again in the future too. What Causes Leaks on Taps? In most cases they are likely due to a lack of regular maintenance carried out regularly at home as we’ve already said above.

How Often Should You Replace Tap Washers?

Tap washers should ideally be replaced when they’re leaking (so not if it’s a simple case of bad handles that are causing you problems). However, this doesn’t always happen and they can remain in place for years without any problems. This is because tap washers are normally made from durable materials that can often withstand many years of use before giving up completely.

Moving on, the frequency at which you should replace them will depend on how much your water temperature varies. For example, if there’s a lot of fluctuation between hot and cold water then it could cause damage to your tap system over time.

We’ve already mentioned some cases where you’d want to change a tap washer as soon as possible but you also have to consider how long it takes for your tap washer to break down too. In fact, some people might find that a tap washer has broken down after only 3 months without them even noticing (and this is because they’ve been using the water at a high temperature).

Is It Easy to Change a Tap Washer?

Chances are that you’ve already got a good idea of the answer to this question if you’ve managed to get this far but we’re going to go through it anyway.

Yes, it really is easy to change a tap washer and all you need are some basic tools (and maybe a little spare time). Moving on, there’s always the option for you to replace your tap assembly too if you prefer instead of just changing your tap washers. This will help with any other problems that you might be having at the moment as well so it could be worth considering in some cases.

In addition, please remember not to run hot water through cold taps and vice versa.

When Should You Call in Plumbing Experts to Fix a Tap Washer?

In the end, it’s best to call in a plumbing expert if you can’t get your tap washer replaced within a few hours. This is because there could be more serious problems that are lying underneath that you might not know about (and this could be why you’re having problems with it in the first place).

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