how to save water

How to Change a Washer on a Leaky Faucet

That dripping tap isn’t just annoying, it’s costing you money and wasting water which is a valuable resource. While the rate at which your tap leaks will determine just how much water (and money) is going down the drain, a slow drip wastes 26-38 liters (7-10 gallons) of water per day. If it’s a hot water tap, you are also wasting about $33 a year in electricity.

Leaky faucets are usually a result of a broken or damaged washer. Luckily, this can be easily repaired. Here is a simple step-by-step you can follow to put an end to the drip, drip, drip.

  1. Turn off the water under the sink by turning the valve in an clockwise direction. (Righty=Tighty, Lefty=Loosey).
  2. Open the tap to let any residual water run out.
  3. Pop the plug into the drain. That way you can catch any parts you drop.
  4. Remove the tap handle by taking off the screw cover. Use a screwdriver or Allen wrench to remove the screw that holds the handle in place. The screw us usually under the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ water labels, but it can be on the side.
  5. Lift off the handle.
  6. Lift off the headgear. Look for the large body washer, the o-ring and the jumper valve. The jumper valve should just fall out. Take out each piece and lay them in the right order so you know how to reassemble it.
  7. Get replacements for all three parts. Apply waterproof lubricant to the o-ring, bonnet and spindle and fit them back into the tap in the right order. Be careful of over-tightening the nuts.
  8. Replace the handle and screw and secure in place. Replace the hot and cold water labels and turn the water back on. Test your handiwork to ensure the tap hasn’t stopped leaking.
  9. Congratulate yourself on being a home improvement genius and eco-friendly warrior.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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