How to Change a Tap Washer: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Leaky taps are a common problem in households that can cause frustration and waste water. Luckily, changing a tap washer is a simple DIY task that can save you the expense of hiring a plumber. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to change a tap washer.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before starting the project, gather the necessary tools and materials:

  • Adjustable spanner
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement tap washer
  • Pliers (optional)
  • Cloth

Step 1: Turn off the Water Supply

The first step is to turn off the water supply to the tap that you want to fix. This can be done by turning off the isolation valve under the sink or at the main water supply. Turning off the water supply will prevent any water from flowing while you work on the tap.

Step 2: Remove the Tap Head

The next step is to remove the tap head. The tap head is part of the tap that you turn to control the flow of water. Depending on the type of tap you have, you may need to use a screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the tap head in place. Alternatively, the tap head may simply screw off.

Step 3: Remove the Tap Gland

Once the tap head is removed, you should see a tap gland. The tap gland is part of the tap that controls the flow of water. To remove the tap gland, use an adjustable spanner to unscrew the gland anticlockwise. If the gland is difficult to turn, you can use pliers to grip it tightly.

Step 4: Remove the Old Washer

With the tap gland removed, you should see the old washer. The washer is a small rubber disc that sits inside the tap gland and helps to create a watertight seal. Remove the old washer with your fingers or pliers.

Step 5: Replace the Washer

Once the old washer is removed, it’s time to replace it with a new one. Take the replacement washer and place it inside the tap gland. Make sure the washer is correctly aligned with the screw hole.

Step 6: Reassemble the Tap

With the new washer in place, reassemble the tap by reversing the steps you took to remove it. Screw the tap gland back into place using the adjustable spanner, making sure it’s tight enough to prevent leaks but not so tight that it damages the tap. Screw the tap head back onto the gland and tighten the screw with a screwdriver.

Step 7: Turn on the Water Supply

Once you have reassembled the tap, it’s time to turn the water supply back on. Slowly turn the isolation valve or main water supply back on and allow the water to flow through the tap for a few seconds to flush out any debris.

Step 8: Check for Leaks

After turning the water supply back on, check the tap for any leaks. If you notice any leaks, tighten the tap gland a little more with the adjustable spanner. Be careful not to over tighten the tap gland, as this can damage the tap.

Preventing Tap Washer Issues in the Future

Changing a tap washer is a simple task, but it’s always better to prevent tap washer issues in the first place. Here are some tips to help prevent tap washer issues:

  • Turn taps off gently – Avoid turning taps off too hard, as this can damage the washer.
  • Don’t use taps as levers – Avoid using taps to apply leverage or force, as this can damage the washer.
  • Regular maintenance – Regularly check your taps for leaks and tighten any loose parts to prevent damage to the washer.
  • Replace old taps – If your taps are old, they may be more prone to tap washer issues. Consider replacing them with newer, more reliable models.

Changing a tap washer is a relatively simple and cost-effective task that can save you a lot of money on water bills and prevent water damage to your home. By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to successfully change a tap washer on your own. However, if you encounter any issues or are not confident in your DIY skills, it’s always best to call a professional plumber to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to tap washer issues. By following some simple tips, you can help prevent tap washer problems and ensure your taps stay in good working condition for years to come. And if you do encounter any issues with your taps, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified plumbing professional for assistance. They have the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to resolve any tap-related issue and keep your plumbing system functioning smoothly.

If you follow these steps and take proper care of your taps, changing a tap washer should be a simple task that you can handle yourself. However, if you encounter any issues or are unsure about any of the steps, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional plumber.


In conclusion, changing a tap washer is a relatively easy DIY task that can save you money on expensive plumbing bills. With the right tools and a little bit of patience, you can have your taps functioning properly in no time. Remember to turn off the water supply and be cautious of any potential hazards before starting the job. If you’re ever unsure about any of the steps, don’t hesitate to call a professional for assistance.

Don’t let a leaky tap ruin your day, take action and fix the problem today. Not only will you save money on your water bill, but you’ll also be doing your part for the environment by conserving water. So roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and get to work – your taps will thank you for it!

If you need any assistance with changing a tap washer or any other plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to contact Need a Plumber Near Me, a professional plumbing company that offers a wide range of plumbing services. Our team of expert plumbers is available to assist you with all your plumbing needs, whether it’s a minor repair or a major installation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!


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