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Changing a Tap Washer

A dripping tap can be the most annoying presence in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry. Over time, a dripping tap can also waste a considerable amount of water. Fortunately, anyone can learn to change a washer.


Gather the necessary tools: two adjustable pipe wrenches, a pack of new washers, some clothes or rags and a slot head screwdriver.

Changing the washer

Start with switching off the water supply by turning off the main stopcock. This is a valve that is usually found under the sink. When the stopcock is off, the tap will run dry. If the taps include a hot tap, turn off the boiler and the immersion heater.

Next, unscrew the top plate of the tap, either by hand or with a wrench. If using the wrench, cover the washer with a piece of cloth first. Remove the body cover if the washer has one. Use a screwdriver to loosen any screws before removing the washer.

Fix the new washer into position and reassemble the tap. Switch the water supply back on and test whether the tap is still dripping. If it still drips, there may be a problem with the valve seating, and you should call a licensed plumber to come and take a look.


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