How to change a tap washer

How to change a tap washer

The sound of “drip…drip…drip” is not the lullaby you want or need when lying in the comfort of your bed after a long day at work. If you find yourself in this predicament, it’s likely that your leaky tap is a result of a worn tap washer.

This article will help you change a faulty tap washer, but if you simply don’t have enough time to spare to do it yourself, our team of plumbers in London can assist with any of your plumbing needs. So if you’re in need of expert help to fix a leaking tap, install a waste disposal unit or unblock a sink, we’ve got someone for the job. Simply give our team a call on 0800 0 12 12 12 or request a quote by filling in our online booking form.

At the Handy Squad, we recommend that you seek assistance from a professional when undertaking any DIY work at your home or office. For further information, please read our disclaimer at the end of this article.


  • Towel
  • Plug
  • Flat-headed screwdriver
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Tap washer
  • Wire wool


1. Protect your bath or basin

Before starting any work, you’ll want to pop the plug in to prevent losing any small objects – e.g. screws or a wedding ring. It’s also ideal to put a towel in your bath or basin to protect it, in the event that you accidentally drop any tools inside of it – all you want to do is replace your tap washer, not fork out for a whole new bath or basin.


2. Turn the water off

Whether you need to access your mains water supply or simply use your isolation valve, you’re going to need to ensure that the water is turned off. We recommend that you also run your kitchen tap to ensure that any remaining water is drawn out of your plumbing system.


3. Take the tap apart

Using a flat-headed screwdriver, you’re going to remove the top of the tap – it’s likely that you’ll find a screw attached to the tap head. After loosening the screw, remove the head of the tap and expose the valve. Now, undo the valve using your spanner.

Note: If you’re struggling to undo it, you can always hold the tap spout for some extra assistance.


4. Replace the washer

After removing the valve, you’ll be able to see the worn washer – the culprit of all your troubles – in the flesh. Loosen the screw that’s keeping the old tap washer in place and dispose of it before you switch it for a nice shiny new washer of the same size.

5. Reassemble the tap

Now you’ve got your new washer installed, you need to put your tap back together. Replace the screw that keeps the tap washer attached to the stem of the tap. Also, if you wish, you can then wipe the taps interior and exterior down with some wire wool to scrub off any built up limescale.

To reassemble the tap, you need to insert the valve back into the seat of the tap and tighten it using your spanner. Then you can place and secure the head of the tap over the valve by twisting the head clockwise.


6. Put the water back on

Finally, all you need to do is turn your mains water supply on or twist the valve underneath the sink before you’re seconds away from washing any grubby hands or filling up the bath to cool down after a hot day.

If at any point you feel like you need a second pair of hands, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team. Just give us a call on 0800 0 12 12 12 or fill out our online booking form and we’ll be on the way to your London home in no time – all you need to do is look out for our unmissable yellow scooters.



At the Handy Squad we strongly advise that you always take safety precautions into consideration when undertaking a DIY project. We also strongly suggest that you closely read and follow the instructions, that are provided by the manufacturer, of any building materials, products or tools you use for your projects.

Our aim is to provide you with clear and correct instructions, so that you can easily complete any DIY project you desire. However, please note that the information we provide should only be used as a guideline and that some information within the text may not be entirely accurate.

When using our articles for information and advice, please note that it is your own responsibility to determine whether you are capable of undertaking and executing the task you wish to complete.

Before starting a DIY task, it is essential that you inform yourself of any existing building, gas, water and electrical works regulations. If you were to have any further concerns, we recommend that you complete additional research and/or contact the necessary professional body.

We also strongly recommend that a qualified tradesperson completes the relevant safety tests and checks on any DIY work you have completed. 

The post How to change a tap washer appeared first on Handy Squad Handyman London | Fast & Reliable London Handyman.

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