How to Change a Tap Washer? [8 Steps To Follow]

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Tap washers are designed for use in almost all types of faucets, where its principal role is to help control the flow of water. They can also act to prevent leaks and contamination while a tap is turned off.

The basic function of a washer, regardless of its type or substance, is to press down on the seat or flow valve on the interior of a tap assembly, forming a closed-off seal that prevents water from flowing to the spout when the tap head is switched to the ‘off’ position.

They accomplish their goal by forming an unbreakable physical barrier between the tap seat and the spout.

Most tap washers’ material design also allows them to fill and smooth out any unevenly shaped spaces between different components of a tap fitting, thereby sealing off the tap spout from the valve.

Types of Tap Washers

  • Nylon Tap Washers: Tap washers made of nylon are a popular choice for closing tap valves. Nylon spacer washers provide a dependable seal on most types of taps due to their characteristics.
  • Rubber Tap Washer: Rubber is thought to share many of the features of nylon when it comes to longevity and function in tap washers; however it is a much softer and more pliant material overall. This can imply that it forms a more effective seal against harder materials or where there is more surface irregularity.
  • Fibre Tap Washers: Fibre washers, which are frequently used in many sectors of plumbing, are slightly simpler to compress than rubber or nylon ones.
    This may mean that they are in less immediate physical danger of harm from over-tightening, which may result in a longer life expectancy depending on the type of tap and how it is used.
  • Ceramic Tap Washers: Ceramic tap washers, also known as ceramic disc washers, are commonly seen on contemporary tap assemblies.
    They are most commonly found on ‘quarter-turn’ taps and monoblocks where the operating mechanism does not need turning the tap head through multiple revolutions to start or stop the water flow.

Applications of Tap Washer

  • Basin mixer tap washers
  • Bath taps washer replacement
  • Hot water tap washer
  • Kitchen tap washers
  • Lever tap washer replacement
  • Mixer tap washers
  • Outside tap washers
  • Pillar tap washers
  • Swan neck tap washers

How to Change a Tap Washer?

Step 1: Turn Off Your Water Supply

Make sure the water supply to the tap is shut off before changing the tap washer. You can cut off the water supply in two places:

  • The stop valve is positioned adjacent to your water metre.
  • Isolation valves can be found on the pipes beneath the affected basin or bath.

After that, turn on the water to let any surplus water out of the pipes. Following that, place the plugin in the sink or bath to prevent dirt from entering the drain while you are working.

Step 2: Remove the Tap Button

The tap button is normally located on the top of the tap. It frequently displays whether the tap provides hot or cold water. This tap button must be removed to gain access to the tap’s internal workings. With a flathead screwdriver, you can easily remove the tap button.

Search for an indentation beneath the tap button with the screwdriver. The depression can then be used to lever the button off the top of the tap with the screwdriver.

Step 3: Remove the Handle

A screw can be found beneath the tap button. Depending on the type of screw head, use a flathead or Phillips screwdriver to turn the screw counter-clockwise until it comes out. After you’ve removed the screw, you may raise the tap handle and remove it as well.

Step 4: Remove the Tap Skirt

A metal skirt may also be seen on the tap. Since it may have been fastened with a sealant, you must remove it using pliers.

Step 5: Remove the Tap Bonnet

The tap bonnet serves as the tap’s actual body. You must now remove it using a spanner. This will allow you to see the jumper valve inside the tap, which is constructed of brass or plastic. Remove this as well, and you’ll be able to get to the washer.

Step 6: Remove the Tap Washer

The tap washer may be difficult to reach and maybe secured with a small nut or screw. Remove it with a screwdriver, then grab the tap washer with tweezers or needle-nose pliers and pull it out.

Step 7: Replace the Tap Washer

Tap washers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so make sure the new washer is a perfect match for the old one. If you are unsure, take the worn tap washer to your local hardware store and let the specialists there help you choose the correct replacement washer.

Slide the new washer into position on the tap stem with your fingers, tweezers, or needle-nose pliers. Replace the tiny screw that was holding the old washer in place.

You can also use this time to remove any limescale that has accumulated on the inside of the faucet. This ensures that when you put it back together, it will be in better operating order.

Step 8: Reassemble Tap and Turn the Water Supply Back On

To reassemble the tap, follow the same methods you used to take it apart, making sure each piece is in the correct place and orderEnsure that all screws are snugly tightened.

Once the tap has been rebuilt, reconnect the water supply and your tap is ready to use.

Safety Tips       

  • If removing the washer does not cure the problem and the tap seat is the issue, you will most likely need to acquire a tap (or valve) seat grinder and grind down the seat in the faucet. Alternatively, you might just contact a plumber.
  • When taking off the faucet cover, use caution. You don’t want to leave any lasting traces on the borders of the plastic. If necessary, use a small and thin flat-head screwdriver instead of driving a thick screwdriver into the edge of the plastic.


They’re the go-to solution if a tap begins to dribble, leak, or become difficult to open or close. To learn how to change a tap washer accurately and painlessly, follow the procedures outlined above.

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Is it possible to replace a faucet washer without turning off the water?

No way, unless you’re incredibly fast. It’s difficult to accomplish this with a face full of water. Before removing the tap, turn it off. If there is no shut off valve under the sink, the entire house must be turned off.

How often should tap washers be replaced?

Washers are a product that suffers from regular wear and tear, and they should be replaced every 1-2 years.

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