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Close up of a kitchen sink and white shelves filled with blue and white dinnerware.

Overview

Dripping taps are a nuisance – and why pay for a plumber when you can learn how to fix them yourself. With just a few tools, you can have the problem solved in no time.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

Steps

1Turn off the mains

Locate the mains valve at the front of your property, which is usually found inside a cover labelled “water meter”. If it’s elusive, check under the sink for an isolation tap. Once located, turn it off. Next, turn on the tap requiring repair to release any remaining water in the line.

A black water meter box on the ground, in the grass.

2Remove tap handles

Undo the tap handle using an adjustable wrench, turning the button anti-clockwise. If there’s no visible button, check for a hidden grub screw that may secure the handle. Once the tap handle is removed, undo the cover flange.

A silver wrench unscrewing a silver tap at a bathroom sink.

3Unscrew the tap bonnet

Use the tap spanner tool to unscrew the tap bonnet in an anti-clockwise direction. This will give you access to the components inside the tap

A tap being taken apart, now with the handles and parts removed.

4Replace worn-out parts

Replace the worn-out components: the O-ring, body washer and tap valve. Ensure you lubricate the O-ring and spindle before reassembly. This step is crucial for smooth operation and longevity.

An o-ring, body washer and tap valve laid on a white background.

5Reassemble the tap

Carefully screw the spindle back into the tap bonnet. Next, screw the tap bonnet back into the body with the tap spanner.

A hand screwing a spindle back into a tap bonnet.

6Secure the tap

Once the tap bonnet is in place, reattach the cover flange and then the tap handle. Secure the tap button tightly, making sure everything is aligned correctly.

A hand screwing a tap handle into its place.

7Turn the mains back on and flush the system

With the tap reassembled, turn the mains back on. Open the tap fully to flush out any trapped air in the system. This final step ensures your newly fixed tap is ready to deliver a steady, drip-free flow.

For more complex plumbing tasks, enlist the services of a licensed tradie.

A hand turning a tap on. Clean flowing water is coming out of the tap.

8Do your taps need a full upgrade?

Discover how to choose the right taps for your bathroom.

 

Photo Credit: Gap Interiors/Mark Scott

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.