How to Change a Tap Washer

Cure dripping taps by learning how to change a washer – a simple diy skill that should take minutes. Replacing a tap washer is a quick DIY job, but you will need some tools before you begin. Make sure you have two adjustable pipe wrenches, a slot head screwdriver, some cloths and a pack of washers.

To start, turn off the mains water supply by turning the main stopcock off – a valve normally located under your kitchen sink – until your tap runs dry. If you are changing the washer on hot taps, you must also turn the immersion heater and boiler off.

Note that monobloc taps do not have washers. Instead, they have ceramic discs, which are very hard wearing. To replace a ceramic disc you would need to get a replacement cartridge from your tap manufacturer.

To change a washer, follow our simple guide.

The process of changing a tap washer

Put the plug into the plug-hole of the sink to prevent losing the washer or any tap components when dismantling it. Unscrew the top plate of the tap. If you can’t do this by hand, use a wrench and protect the tap with a cloth first.

Some taps have a body cover, which you will need to remove before you can unscrew the top section (or stem) of the tap to access the washer underneath.

Secure the tap with another wrench while you remove this section. The washer is underneath this and it will either be pressed into place or held in position with a nut. Use a screwdriver to release it then clean the stem before fitting the new washer. Reassemble the tap, take the plug out of the sink and turn on the water supply to test the tap. If your tap continues to drip its valve seating might be eroded. Repair this using a washing and seating set, which you can buy from a plumbers merchant.