Simple Plumbing Tips to Repair a Leaking Tap & other Home Water Leakages

Date: 9-June,2021Last Updated: 26-September,2022
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Having troubles with a dripping faucet, low water pressure, clogged pipe or a leaking tap during the pandemic?

This could be a very frustrating situation as after having a long day of working from home, that long bath is what you need to feel refreshed and relaxed.

How can one think of their water pipe repair without having a fear of inviting the pandemic into their homes by hiring help?

Being a homeowner, usually one might not have the necessary skills for a plumbing job, and to make matters worse in the end, it could increase your cost in case there has been something done incorrectly. However, we have got you covered, so don't put your plumber on speed dial just yet!

Before we proceed to give you the necessary tips for fixing a leaking tap, understand that it is infact one of the top DIY Tips for Improving our Homes!

Here are the steps to fix or repair a leaking tap

Step 1 :

Begin by removing the handle and cover from the tap or the combined handle and cover, and then proceed to unscrew the tap headgear nut to remove the body of the tap from the fitting. Next, cover the nut with a cloth if it will be visible while the tap is in use to protect it from any scratches.

It is important to secure the spout of the tap while you unscrew the headgear in order to prevent the whole tap from turning around since this can damage the pipework or even crack the sink if not careful. This is a very important part of your bathroom leakage repair tips!

Get help to hold the tap very firmly by the spout or even hold it with your other hand while using oil or grease to loosen up the nut if stuck. Do not use extra force and destroy the ceramics or your bathroom tiles!

Step 2 :

After the body of the tap comes away, you can remove the old washer from the pin at the bottom, and it may just be pulled off using pliers.

Now you would be able to see the damage to the washer of the leaking tap. However, if the washer appears to be in good condition, then it is the valve seat inside the fitting may have worn down instead. This can be easily repaired at home (but it's best to call a plumber to get that fixed as special tools are needed to regrind the surface of the valve).

Step 3 :

Proceed to fit the new washer. It may seem to be a tight fit to get the washer over the pin, and if so, apply plumbing gel and use the pliers to push it down further.

Step 4 :

Finally, you can replace the headgear of the tap, hold the tap securely while tightening the nut. Now turn the water supply back and check if the tap is working properly again.

Now that we have you covered on how to easily fix a leaking tap, we have more help for you!

These 20 simple plumbing secrets every homeowner should know will eventually save you a costly visit from your local expert.

20 Bonus Tips for updating your entire plumbing system so that you never have to repair a leaking tap:

1. The internal cold water stopcock

A second cold water stopcock is found inside - commonly under the kitchen sink in the form of a large tap that you turn with your hand. When you find your stopcocks, it is a good time to check that you can turn them on and off. They may get blocked and stuck if not used or turned for years. And this is something you don't want to discover in the middle of an emergency!

Similarly, whenever you find a stuck tap, spray it with some plumbing oil or grease to loosen it. Always check if it works, otherwise be ready for a water pipe repair job.

2. The hot water stopcock

Most homes, especially in the urban regions, will also have a second internal stopcock for the hot water supply! And this will usually be found at the outlet of your boiler or hot water tank.

If you want to turn off the hot water, you can simply turn off the water heater at the same time too.

3. Other shut-off taps

Have you got taps that control individual parts of the water supply?

In traditional homes, baths, showers as well as sinks would have valves, with which you can isolate these independent fittings without turning off the whole or complete supply.

A constant drip from a leaking tap should be fixed as quickly as possible, especially if you pay for your water! Yes, it's an absolute must in every city. Even a single drip per second can add up to more than 80 litres of water per day! And that's a lot of money going down the drains, literally!

4. A drip from the spout

This is often caused by a worn-out washer which forms a seal to prevent water from the pipe below flowing out.

And most of us know "replacing the washer" is the simple solution for all this! But getting the same is the hard part; hence always keep an arsenal of plumbing tools and equipment such as these to avoid mishaps. And make sure they are at the right size and shape, also fits the thing.

5. Tools for replacing a washer

This act completely depends on the type of tap you have; you will require an adjustable spanner or 'monkey wrench', along with rag or cloth, even pliers and petroleum jelly, grease or oil spray to loosen up any stuck nut or screws.

6. Don't Pour Grease or Oil Down the Drain

Did you know, the same thing that happens when you eat greasy food happens when you dump grease or oil down the drain and eventually leading to the grease and oil building up. You won't notice it at first, and you will think it's totally fine, but as a liquid, it should go down the sink only little by little; otherwise, it will to serious water pipe repair problems.

All this can be prevented by simply waiting for the fat to solidify before throwing it in your compost bin.

7. Use A Strainer

Clogs being the most common plumbing problem in most shower or sink drain, and they can become gross and messy cleanup thanks to hair and soap residue.

You can simply avoid the icky in a simple as using a basket strainer which will help prevent a time-consuming as well as an unpleasant task in the future.

8. Watch What You Flush

Do not flush it down the drain even if it says it is 'flushable', and this includes hygiene products, prescription medications, and yes, even the unfortunate fish you TRIED to pet. But pleased do understand your flush is not a personal trash can!

If you have noticed that your toilet becomes clogged more and more frequently, these could be the root of your problem to your bathroom leakage repair issues.

This is the messiest home repair affair one could ever imagine. One should never use their toilets as a trash can! Flushing anything except toilet paper may lead to severe and nasty clogs, making your water pipe repair much harder later. Even those who say they are "flushable" baby wipes can, without any hesitation, back up the system!

9. Know Where Your Main Water Valve Is!

It is very important to know where your main water valve is and what to do if there is an be it a simple leaking tap or a major water piper repair related issue.

When pipes burst, turning off your main water valve will help minimize the damage and water pipe repair work later when you can get the help.

One of the most common places you'll likely find a leaking tap is in your flush valve seal. The toilet flush valve seal keeps water from flowing from the tank to the bowl of your toilet when it is not in flushing mode, so when you catch a leak in your valve seal early, check it once!

After a few drops in the tank, check back in a few hours, and if you find coloured water has found its way into your toilet bowl, that means you have a water leak repair pronto!

10. Make Sure Your Main Sewer Drain Is Accessible

It is really important that your main sewer drain is always free and clear since the plumbing drain is generally out of sight. That time in case of a sewage line blockage, we need to be able to move quickly and efficiently. Your drain access point should be uncovered, which means it must not have rugs or carpeting on it.

11. Prevent Your Plumbing From Freezing

If you stay in a warm region, this will not be a problem for you; however, once the winter rolls or during the winter season of the year, your plumbing will have an increased risk of freezing. How does this affect your water piper repair work?

Maintaining a minimum temperature of 16 degrees Celsius and insulating many of the outside wall plumbing lines as much as possible to avoid potential catastrophes in the future is a pro water pipe repair tip.

If you have a room that gets super cold in the fall and downright frigid in the winter, don't wait to look into options for better air circulation.

12. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

SAY NO TO CHEMICALS! Chemical drain cleaners are straight-up bad when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your water pipe repair, and yet most people tend to go for them since they are advertised as immediate effects granters. A homeowner must realize that this does more damage in the long run than good.

Using a natural bacterial, anti clogger will dissolve the organic matter without causing any harm to the inside of your pipes.

13. Consider Separate Shut Off Valves on Your Fixtures

It is time to come to terms that everyone's plumbing is going to need water pipe repair eventually as it's inevitable, and nothing is permanent with a lifelong warranty. No one ever wants there to come a day when you have to shut out all of your water off so that an expert can work upon water pipe repair.

This can simply be prevented by installing separate shut off valves on your fixtures which will eliminate all the water troubles because you'll be able to turn off the supply to different parts of the house and thus, if you have a problem with your toilet, you can still use the kitchen sink since they are separated with the valves.

14. Prolong Your Tap's Life

It is a quiet night, and you can hear the drip, drip, drip of the leaking tap; that's the money going down the drain each drip.

Some homeowners choose to ignore a leaking tap while others quickly go to tighten them much more and fail to realize that this is actually bad for your tap's seal as it wears out more quickly and easily because of the increased pressure it is experiencing every time it is turned too tight. One can avoid this by turn the tap until you feel the natural stopping point and not force it closed further beyond. Applying just the right amount of pressure will prevent future water pipe repair work errands to the hardware store.

15. Know the Location of Shut-Off Valves

Any new homeowner must be aware that before moving into a new home, they must take note of the location of the main shutoff valve or lever and drain and in some cases, the shut-off lever will be located outside the houses as they are essential for any further water pipe repair works in the future.

16. Don't Put Garbage Down the Drain

You must have heard your mum say this enough, but it is true!

Make it your mantra. Never dump food debris, vegetable peelings, or starchy foods down the drain, as it will be a very taxing water pipe repair method later. They will clog your drains, and reading the manufacturer's manual for your garbage disposal to know what, exactly, the unit can handle would be a wiser option to opt for.

17. Take the Plunge

Spending some money on high-quality plungers to clear clogs in toilets, sinks, and drains is a very good water pipe repair method. If you plan on cleaning sink traps, however, use a plunger to push most of the water out before removing the trap, then the task will be a lot less wet and messy of an affair.

18. Pull Out the Vacuum

Have you ever tried to dislodge a clog caused by a small, hard object, say a child's toy, toothbrush, or comb? Then pull out your wet-dry vacuum!

It's more efficient to suck the object out is a better water pipe repair method than a plunger as plungers only push it deeper into the drain, making it more difficult to remove the object.

19. Don't Ignore Leaking Tap

How does the money go down the drain? It is in the steady drip, drip, drip of a fixture. A leaking tap typically wastes up to eight gallons of water per day; on the other hand, a running toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. Tending to these bathroom leakage repairs immediately, even if it seems to be just a small leak initially before they become a big and costly affair, is wise.

20. Never Over-Tighten Fittings

While performing a DIY plumbing task, over-tightening fittings and connections, which leads to broken bolts and stripped screws, are a common plumbing mistake. Remember this adage which most plumbers do not know themselves: "hand-tight is just right" during your usual bathroom leakage repairs. Keep it in mind.

We hope now you know how to fix your leaking tap, and all these 30 tips were useful and have helped you save cost in both calling for a plumber for water pipe repair work and save you, in turn, save the planet from further water wastage.

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