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DIY Tips to Fix a Dripping Faucet

A dripping faucet can seem like a small problem, but if you don’t deal with it, you could be wasting hundreds of litres of water and causing further damage to your tap as a whole. Turning the tap so tightly it only drips a little is not a great long-term solution, but luckily fixing a dripping faucet is usually a simple process that can be done by anyone. The most common reasons for a tap to drip are a leaking o-ring, worn out washer, or leaking tap valve. Replacing these items is inexpensive, so for the untrained eye it is easiest to replace all of them in one go.

What you need:

  • 12 mm (1/2”) washers (these are the most common washers. If you live in an older building, it might be worth checking what size you need before going to the hardware store)
  • O-ring
  • Jumper valve
  • Wrench /spanner or tap spanner set
  • ScrewdriverYou can also buy repair kits that include everything you need at some hardware stores.

What to do:

  1. Make sure you turn the water off first, or you’re going to have a much bigger problem than a dripping tap! For houses the water main is usually in the front yard, and for apartments check the bathroom or laundry.
  2. Once you have turned off the water, run the tap you are working on to get rid of any excess water.
  3. Remove the handle using your spanner, wrench and screwdriver as needed. Completely remove the headgear on the tap until you can see the O-ring, jumper valve and body washer. The jumper valve could fall out, so be ready and make sure you’ve covered the drain.
  4. Unscrew the stem and replace the washer and jumper valve.
  5. Pick up the stem and remove the O-ring (sometimes you will have to cut it out). Replace the O-ring by rolling it down over the stem.
  6. Put everything back on the way it was, making sure you tighten it gently with a spanner.
  7. Turn the tap off.
  8. Turn the water back on at the main and then test your tap to see if you have successfully fixed the leak!

Replacing the o-ring, washer and jumper valve will solve most dripping faucets, but sometimes this is not enough. If you have followed these instructions and the dripping persists, it is best to call the professionals to see if the problem is something more complicated.


Pascoe’s Gas, Water & Electrical have over 50 years’ experience in the local industry, and our plumbers can repair, replace and retrofit taps and faucets, as well as perform a range of other plumbing services like hot water systems, bathroom and kitchen renovations.

Pascoe’s plumbers also have same day service, no callout fees and no hourly rates for our work.

Call us on 1300 072 726 today for a free quote, or if you book online, you will receive 10% off your total bill price.


Please Note:

The information contained in this guide is general in nature.

Although every effort has been made to write this guide in an easy to understand format the accuracy of the information contained in this website is general in nature and may not take affect your individual home maintenance situation.

You should consult your local Government Agency and/or Safety Regulator before you are undertaking any work on your home. Plumbing, Gas & Electrical regulations may differ from State to State or Territory in Australia.

Pascoe’s Gas, Water and Electrical its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy in, or omission from the information contained on this website or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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Plumbing License PL298 
ABN: 78 937 385 349
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