How to Change Tap Washers

Tap washer replacement is one of the simplest and most cost-effective forms of do-it-yourself tasks possible.
Metal washersMetal washers
For the price of a package of assorted washers, a couple of bucks and a few minutes of your time, you can save on the cost of a plumber’s call, which can run a hundred bucks easily. Plus, you are helping the environment by reducing leaks, and if the tap is in your en-suite bathroom, maybe even getting a better night's sleep.

Step 1

Turn off the water supply at the mains. Look around for the main water turn-off--it may be outside.

Step 2

Open the tap you are going to work on and allow any residual water to drain.

Step 3

Flip out any plastic cover on the tap handle. Use a screwdriver or knife to pry it off. Unscrew any screws you see.

Step 4

Remove the head. Wrench it off. You need to be careful here and maybe add some padding if the head is chrome, as the wrench might damage the chrome.

Step 5

Look for the washer and remove it or the broken pieces.

Step 6

Replace the washer. Match it up from your kit.

Step 7

Replace the head and any screws or plastic covers. Close the tap.

Step 8

Turn the water back on at the main inlet.

Step 9

Go back the work site and open the tap. Allow the water to flow for a bit.

Step 10

Close the tap and inspect for leaks.

Step 11

Repeat changing the washer slightly if you get any drips.

Things You Will Need

  • Plumbers wrenches
  • Screwdrivers
  • Washer kit

About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.