How to Change a Washer on a Lever Tap?

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Tap washers are intended for use in practically all types of faucets, where their primary function is to aid in the control of water flow. They can also help to prevent leaks and contamination when a faucet is turned off.

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

The material design of most tap washers also allows them to fill and smooth away any irregularly formed areas between different components of a tap fitting, thereby sealing off the tap spout from the valve. They accomplish their goal by constructing an unbreakable physical barrier between the tap seat and the spout.

Types of Tap Washers

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Applications of Tap Washer

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

How to Change a Washer on a Lever Tap?

Step 1

Before you begin, insert the stopper into the basin waste to prevent small components such as screws from dropping down the drain.

Place cloth inside the basin or bath to protect it from damage caused by dropped items such as tools. This is critical since the last thing you want to do is go out and buy a new basin or bath.

Step 2

Switch off the water using the isolation valve beneath the tap or, if you don’t have one, turn off the mains water supply. If the water flow from the mains hasn’t been entirely stopped, you can turn on the kitchen faucet, which will divert water away from the bathroom tap upstairs.

Small amounts of water that are trapped in the pipes can be extracted by turning on the kitchen faucet until it stops.

Step 3

Remove the top of the tap with a flat-headed screwdriver. Unscrew the screw that is likely keeping the tap head in place, and then remove the tap head to expose the valve.

To remove this, take a spanner and undo the valve with it. If it’s still a little stiff, grab the tap spout for more leverage.

Step 4

After you’ve removed the valve, you’ll notice a washer behind it that’s held in place with a screw or nut.

Start removing the tap washer (and take a moment to inspect it and display the wear and tear to the person next to you as if you genuinely understand what you’re talking about) and replace it with one of the same sizes. If the washer is held in place by a nut or screw, loosen and remove it before changing the tap washer.

Step 5

It’s as simple as reversing the processes that got you here once you’ve replaced the tap washer. Screw the valve back into place – don’t tighten it too much because the rubber seal should hold it in place nicely, so simply pinch it up with your spanner. Fasten the tap body first, followed by the top. That is how you repair a leaky faucet caused by a faulty washer.

Safety Tips

  • Before using any tools or equipment, be sure they are suited for the job.
  • If removing the washer does not cure the problem and it is confirmed that the tap seat is the source of the problem, you will most likely need to acquire a tap seat grinder and grind down the seat in the faucet. You could also use the services of a plumber.
  • If you are doing the work yourself, we strongly recommend that you take proper safety precautions to avoid accidents or flooding.
  • When performing any work, read all directions and follow them exactly. When completing any work around the house, you must follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Read: How to Change a Washer on a Mixer Tap?


How to Change a Washer on a Lever Tap?

They are the go-to solution whenever a tap starts to dribble, leak, or become difficult to open or close. To learn how to change a washer on a lever tap effectively and painlessly, follow the procedures outlined above.


How long should tap washers be expected to last?

Ceramic tap washers can endure for years, but other types can only last a year or so, depending on how long they are used. Rubber degrades more quickly than nylon and vulcanised fibre, while hot water tap washers distort more quickly than cold water counterparts.

Why do washers wear out?

The mineral build-up, limescale, or rust in your pipes could be causing a change in pressure or irregular flow from your tap. It could also be caused to an obstruction. Unfortunately, ignoring, this in the long run, will not make it go away.

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