How to replace a tap washer

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11 Dec 2012

As part of the Clicks for Bricks Challenge, in which you can help build a home for a family in need just by adding your click (visit www.clickforbricks.co.za), Property24 held a DIY workshop on Saturday, 23rd November. This workshop offered Habitat for Humanity beneficiaries the opportunity to learn DIY skills to better maintain their homes for years to come.

Stephen White demonstrates to Habitat for Humanity beneficiaries how to replace the washers in a kitchen tap.

One of the lessons learnt, with Stephen White from Call-out Crew, was how to change a tap washer. With general wear and tear, washers become damaged, allowing water to leak out the tap. Replacing these is a simple and inexpensive task once you know where to start.

Here is what you need to know:

  • The golden rule is to turn off the water supply at the mains before starting; this will avoid your kitchen being flooded when you unscrew the tap.
  • The most confusing part of this job is usually figuring out where to unscrew the tap, as most taps don’t have this clearly visible. The trick is to lift up the plastic tab (indicating whether it is a hot or cold tap with red or blue markings) with the tip of a screwdriver. Underneath it, you will see the screw that holds the tap in place.
  • Undo the screw and remove the tap handle
  • Undo the bolt that is now visible with a shifting spanner and remove this section, called the plunger.
  • At the bottom of this, you will see the washer which is held in place with a small nut. Undo this nut, remove the washer and replace it with the new one.
  • Make sure the small nut is then tightened to hold the washer in place before replacing the plunger to the tap base and tightening this with the shifting spanner.
  • Replace the tap handle, tightening the screw back into place before replacing the plastic cap to cover the screw.
  • Before you turn the water back on, make sure that the tap is in the ‘closed’ position.

 Tip: There are many different kinds and sizes of washers available. To make sure you buy the correct one, remove the old washer before going to the hardware store so that you can match the new one perfectly to make sure it will fit.

Watch Stephen’s demonstration of this process, from the DIY workshop.  

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