How to Fix Leaking Tap by Yourself


Water wasted from a leaking tap might lead to higher utility bills. It is inefficient and expensive to lose gallons of water every day due to even a tiny drip. Resolving a leaky tap lowers costs and conserves water. Furthermore, taking care of the problem can stop future water damage to your house, including the formation of mould and structural deterioration from extended exposure to moisture. This article will walk you through the process of how to fix a leaking tap quickly and effectively. You can make sure your taps are working properly and save water by doing these simple steps.

How to Fix Leaking Tap by Yourself

  • Identifying the Type of Tap
  • Tools and Materials Needed
  • DIY Step-by-Step Repair Process
  • Additional Tips and Considerations

Identifying the Type of Tap

To effectively fix a leaking tap, you first need to identify what type of tap you are dealing with. Each type has a unique mechanism and requires a specific approach to repair.

Different Types of Taps

The most common types of taps include:


  1. Compression Taps – These are the oldest and most traditional types, recognizable by their two handles for hot and cold water, which you turn to control the flow. This tap usually has a decorative cap that you’ll need to unscrew to see the underlying mechanism.
  2. Ball Taps – These feature a single lever handle that rotates over a ball-shaped cap right above the base of the spout, controlling both temperature and flow.
  3. Cartridge Taps – Similar in appearance to ball taps, these have a single handle but operate with a cartridge that moves up and down to regulate water flow and temperature.
  4. Certry Taps – These taps are recognized for their strong build and utilize a pair of ceramic discs that move against each other to regulate water flow, commonly found in contemporary bathrooms and kitchens.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before beginning the repair on how to fix a leaking tap, it’s essential to have the right tools and materials on hand. This ensures that the job can be done efficiently and correctly.


Common Tools Required

For most tap repairs, you will need:

  • Adjustable Wrench: To loosen and tighten nuts and bolts.
  • Screwdriver: Needed for removing and attaching screws, especially in the handle.
  • Pliers: Useful for gripping and turning nuts or other small components.
  • Allen Wrench (Hex Key): Some taps, particularly modern ones, require an Allen wrench to remove the handle.

Necessary Materials for the Repair

The materials you may need will depend on the type of tap and the nature of the leak:

  • Replacement Washers and O-rings: These are often the reason behind dripping taps. Ensure you have the right size and type for your tap.
  • Plumber’s Tape: Also known as Teflon tape, it is used to secure the joints and prevent leaks after reassembly.
  • Cleaning Cloth: Useful for cleaning the parts once they are disassembled to ensure a snug fit when reassembled.

3 DIY Ways to Repair Leaking Pipe

Here are the do-it-yourself ways from WikiHow that you may rely on to learn how to fix leaking tap.

Temporary Fixes

  1. Turn Off Water: Shut off the main water supply and drain the pipes by opening the lowest faucet until it runs dry.
  2. Apply Epoxy Putty: Clean the leak area, knead a ball of epoxy putty to a uniform colour, and mould around the leak. Allow it to harden for about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Use Silicone Tape: Dry the pipe and start wrapping silicone tape tightly from one end of the leak, overlapping each layer. Cut the tape after covering.
  4. Install Repair Cast: Clean the pipe, apply epoxy putty, wrap soaked fibreglass tape around it, and let it harden.
  5. Attach Repair Sleeve: Place a rubber gasket over the hole, secure it with a clamp, and tighten it to seal.

Sealing Pipe Connections

  1. Tighten Coupling Nuts: Check and tighten any loose nuts with two wrenches to stop leaks at connections.
  2. Apply Plumber’s Tape: Shut off water and drain pipes. Wrap plumber’s tape around the exposed threading of the pipe, pulling tightly, then reassemble and check for leaks.
  3. Replace Rubber Washers: Turn off water, disassemble the connection, replace any damaged washers, and reassemble.
  4. Repair PEX Pipes: For damaged PEX pipes, cut out the faulty section, insert PEX fittings into the ends, secure with clamps, and tighten to ensure a good seal.

Permanently Fixing a Leaking Pipe

  1. Turn Off Water: Fix a leaking tap by shutting off the main water supply and opening the lowest faucet to drain the remaining water.
  2. Prepare the Pipe: Mark where the slip coupling will be placed on the pipe, ensuring it’s slightly shorter than the coupling.
  3. Cut the Pipe: Use a pipe cutter to remove the damaged section.
  4. Deburr the Pipe: Smooth out the cut edges inside and out with a deburring tool to prevent leaks.
  5. Install Slip Coupling: Slide the slip coupling over the pipe ends, ensuring a tight fit, and secure it with a wrench.

Additional Tips and Considerations

Dealing with Stubborn Taps

Taps can occasionally be difficult to disassemble because of residue accumulation or corrosion. Penetrating oil is a useful tool for releasing stubborn parts. Before attempting to disassemble the tap once more, apply the oil and let it absorb. This will simplify things without endangering the tap.

Knowing When to Get Expert Assistance

If you’ve tried how to fix a leaking tap and it’s still leaking, or if the repair seems too complex, it’s best to call in experts. Will’s Plumbing Adelaide offers reliable leaking tap services to tackle complicated plumbing issues effectively for Adelaide customers. By hiring a professional like them, you ensure your plumbing is managed securely and efficiently, preventing further damage and costly water loss.


Taking prompt action to fix a leaking tap is not only an important step towards conserving water, but it also helps in reducing your household utility bills. By addressing this issue, you can contribute to environmental conservation and prevent water wastage. Moreover, resolving leaks can prevent further structural and water damage to your home. Whether you decide to do the job yourself or seek professional help from services like Will’s Plumbing Adelaide, taking care of leaky taps is a practical and beneficial move. Make the effort today to ensure your taps are in good working condition for the sake of both your wallet and the planet.

About Us

We are an Adelaide based water and gas plumbing business covering most areas around Adelaide.

We have been helping our customers for over a decade with their blocked drains, hot water heaters, gas leaks, leaking taps, pipe relining and much more.

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