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How To Change A Tap Washer

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To change a tap washer is useful to stop a leaking tap. Changing the tap washer can be performed by an Emergency Plumber or can be done by following simple steps. Here at Optimised Plumbing Services, we promise to help with all leaking taps. Our emergency plumbers can resolve dripping taps issues quickly which are often a result of tap washer issues. 

When the tap washer wears over-time it can cause a leaky tap and will need to be replaced. Leaving a leaky tap alone is highly encouraged as many negative issues can develop quickly. The general steps to change a tap washer are:

  1. Turn off the main water supply
  2. Remove the handle and retaining screw
  3. Unseal any scale through penetrating oil
  4. Remove the protective cover
  5. Unscrew the headgear nut
  6. Replace the tap washers

Steps to Change the Tap Washer

Tap washers are small disks which are inside the tap and create a seal when it is turned off. This type of system can experience plumbing problems and wear away over time. When this happens the chance of plumbing issues related to leaking taps increases. If the tap does not have a washer then they are less likely to experience leaks. 


The materials needed to change a tap washer are:

  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Penetrating oil
  • Replacement tap washers

These items can be bought from the local hardware store or found around the home. 


Follow these steps carefully even though they may seem simple. Working with plumbing should be taken seriously as faulty work can lead to further unwanted issues. Operate safely, at a comfortable work speed and ensure that all steps are performed correctly.

1 . Turn Off The Water

Turn off the water supply before proceeding to replace the tap washer. Also, drain out any leftover water through releasing the pressure or turning the tap.

2. Remove The Handle

Remove the handle through firstly taking off the retaining screw with the screwdriver. The type of tap will determine if this is on the top or the side of the tap. The handle might be sealed with scale buildup, therefore, use the penetrating oil to release it. After the releasing agent has been applied gently tap the handle to then remove it. If the tap has a protective cover then remove it through the adjustable spanner. 

3. Unscrew Headgear Nut

To unscrew the headgear nut use the adjustable spanner to perform this step. 

4. Replace Tap Washers

Once the headgear has been removed the tap washers are at the bottom and should be replaced. Local outlets can match up the exact washers, otherwise, you can purchase sets with the needed sizes and types.To replace the actual tap washer unscrew the retaining nut with the adjustable spanner. If the tap does not have a retaining nut then do not worry. Then slide in the new washer to replace the old one. 

5. Replace Jumper O-Rings If Needed

Some taps will need to replace the washer and also the jumper at the same time. To do this, exposing the jumper O-rings can be done by opening the tap. The washer seating location should also be cleaned as well.

6. Fasten New Headgear In Place

Fasten the headgear back into the pillar when the tap is in the open position. Place all parts back together and the leaking tap should be resolved. 

If wanting to rely on a professional to perform this job an emergency plumber is recommended. They will arrive as soon as possible to help change the tap washer immediately. As this process needs the correct tools and materials relying on the plumber can save more time and money. Optimised Plumbing Services offers 24 hour emergency plumbers to all of Sydney where we can help with tap washer jobs – contact us now on 02 8074 1475.

Why is it Important to Fix a Leaky Tap

It might not seem important to fix a leaky tap but there are many negatives with the issue. It is important that if the problem of a leaking tap is from a tap washer then changing it as soon as possible is advised. Here are the main negatives which come with a dripping tap:

Health Concerns and Hazards

When a tap leaks the chance of mould and mildew building up in structures increases. The buildup of water can lead to illnesses if people are exposed for too long. The mould and mildew can spread within the system and the issue might not be known for some time.

The mould can cause allergic reactions and other types of problems to people. With the buildup of water or stagnant water insects and bacteria are more likely to breed. 

Water Wastage

A leaking tap can cause up to 20,000L of water to be wasted if left untouched for a year. The wasted water will heavily influence the water bill and there will be an increase in costs. 

There can also be structural damage to plumbing systems while the water is wasted. These can add further repairs which will overall add to the negative costs of a leaking tap.  

Structural Damage

Water that escapes from a pipe or drainage can cause problems to the structure of the home. The walls, floors, ceilings and other foundations can experience issues from water exposure. A small leak can cause these issues which are costly to repair. The process of fixing structural damage caused by water is also lengthy and is a difficult job. 

For more information about water leaking through walls read our blog article full of useful advice. 

Emergency Plumbing Services – Tap Washer

Optimised Plumbing Services is here to help all of Sydney with leaking taps caused by tap washers. When it is time to change a tap washer our licensed plumbers will arrive quickly to help. We work efficiently and have the correct tap washer to replace the old one. Our team will stop the leak immediately and save a lot of time and money.

We also offer Blocked Drain support as well when people in Sydney need professional help. Our team, working on all types of jobs, is here for all of Sydney, including the Northern Beaches, Greater Western Sydney and Inner West

Regardless of the tap washer issue Optimised Plumbing Services is here to help – email us at!

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