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Kitchen Tap Leaks When Washing Machine Is On

Kitchen Tap Leaks When Washing Machine Is On

As any homeowner will attest, there's nothing quite like the frustration of a leaking tap – a silent assailant that can waste water, hike up utility bills, and cause significant damage over time.

This nuisance, however, takes on a new level of inconvenience when it only occurs when the washing machine is operating. It's a peculiar problem, seemingly unconnected, and yet your kitchen tap is dripping away each time the laundry is on.

In this post, we're going to delve into this issue, exploring its potential causes and offering practical solutions.

So, if your tap's decided to perform a water ballet the moment your washing machine whirs into action, you're in the right place to uncover the mystery.

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Kitchen Tap Leaks When Washing Machine Is On

A kitchen tap leaking while the washing machine is running can be a perplexing issue for any British homeowner.

This phenomenon can occur due to various reasons, ranging from water pressure changes to potential plumbing faults. Let's list down the possible culprits:

  1. Water Pressure Changes: When your washing machine fills up, it requires a significant amount of water, which can cause a temporary change in the water pressure throughout your home's plumbing system. If your tap is a bit worn or not fully closed, this pressure change might be enough to cause it to leak.
  2. Faulty Check Valve: Your home may have a check valve, a device designed to prevent backflow of water. If this valve is malfunctioning, the change in pressure caused by your washing machine could force water back up the pipe and cause your tap to leak.
  3. Incorrect Plumbing Installation: The washing machine and kitchen sink might share a common water supply pipe. If these pipes are incorrectly installed, running the washing machine could cause water to back up and leak from your kitchen tap.
  4. Pipe Hammering: Sometimes, when you turn a water appliance on or off, you might notice a loud thumping noise — this is known as water hammer. The violent change in water flow can lead to increased pressure causing leaks in weak points such as taps.
  5. Worn-Out Tap Washer: A worn-out or damaged tap washer might not be able to fully close off the water flow. When the washing machine operates, the change in water pressure could cause the faulty washer to leak.
  6. Loose or Damaged Plumbing Joints: If the joints connecting your kitchen tap to the water supply pipes are loose or damaged, changes in water pressure from using the washing machine may cause water to seep through these weak points.

Remember, it's important to contact a qualified plumber if you're unsure about any aspect of your home's plumbing.

They'll be able to properly diagnose and fix the problem, helping you avoid any costly water damage.

(Click here to view our kitchen sinks online).

How to Fix a Kitchen Tap That Leaks When Washing Machine Is On?

Understanding how to mend a kitchen tap that leaks every time your washing machine is on can save you from both unnecessary expenses and potential water damage.

Based on the possible causes we discussed earlier, here's a guide on how you might go about fixing each issue:

  1. Water Pressure Changes: You might be able to fix this issue by adjusting the valve on your water main to lower the overall water pressure in your home. If you're unsure about how to do this, or if it doesn't fix the problem, you may need to consult with a plumber.
  2. Faulty Check Valve: A defective check valve needs to be replaced. Depending on its location, this might require special tools or expertise, so it's generally best to let a professional plumber handle this task.
  3. Incorrect Plumbing Installation: If the plumbing installation is incorrect, the best course of action is to hire a professional plumber. They'll be able to identify and correct the error, whether it involves rerouting pipes, installing additional pipes, or making other necessary modifications.
  4. Pipe Hammering: You can fix this issue by installing a water hammer arrestor, a device that mitigates the change in water flow that causes the hammering. While it's possible to install this yourself, you may wish to hire a plumber to ensure it's done correctly.
  5. Worn-Out Tap Washer: For this, you'll need to replace the washer in your tap. First, turn off the water supply. Then, remove the handle of the tap and the packing nut, which will reveal the stem. Remove that as well and you'll find the washer. If it's damaged or worn out, take it to a hardware store and purchase an identical replacement. Then, reinstall everything in reverse order.
  6. Loose or Damaged Plumbing Joints: Tightening the joint might fix this problem if it's loose. If the joint is damaged, however, you'll likely need to replace it. Because both of these tasks involve the risk of further damage if done incorrectly, they're usually best left to a professional plumber.

It's worth noting that while these repairs are feasible as DIY tasks for those with a bit of plumbing know-how, it's always sensible to contact a professional if you're unsure.

The risk of exacerbating the issue is often not worth the cost saved.

Furthermore, if you have home insurance, check the terms of your policy, as some repairs might need to be undertaken by a certified professional to keep your cover valid.

Click this link if you are interested in our range of 1810 kitchen sink taps.

Some Advice from an Experienced Kitchen Fitter and Manufacturer

For a couple of decades now I have been working in the kitchen industry.

I have fitted hundreds of kitchens and manufactured hundreds more at my factory.

So, it’s fair to say I have some experience and expertise when it comes to repairing kitchens.

One the common calls outs our teams work on is bodged DIY attempts at plumbing!

So, unless you are very confident and competent at fixing leaks, I would suggest you call out a local plumber to fix your kitchen sink.

(Click here to see our complete range of kitchen taps for sale online).

Final Notes On Why Your Kitchen Tap Leaks When Your Washing Machine Is On

A kitchen tap that decides to leak when your washing machine is on is more than a mere annoyance; it's a potential source of water wastage and costly damage over time.

The problem could stem from a range of issues, from water pressure changes and faulty check valves to incorrect plumbing installation, pipe hammering, worn-out tap washers, or loose or damaged plumbing joints.

However, each of these problems is surmountable.

Water pressure can be adjusted, check valves replaced, and incorrect plumbing corrected.

Pipe hammering can be mitigated with the installation of a water hammer arrestor, and worn-out washers or problematic joints can be replaced.

Though some homeowners might feel comfortable carrying out these repairs themselves, many of these issues are best handled by a professional plumber to avoid the risk of inadvertently causing more damage.

Remember, when it comes to our homes, being proactive about potential problems can save a lot of heartache down the line.

If you notice your tap leaking when the washing machine is on, take it as an early warning sign and get the issue addressed promptly.

As always, a stitch in time saves nine – particularly when it comes to the plumbing in your home.

More Great Kitchen Advice From the JMT Trade Blog

 Phil Tuddenham

Author - Phil Tuddenham

Philip Tuddenham is the force behind JMT Trade Ltd. Philip stepped into the family business in 1998, and has taken JMT to new heights.

He has decades of expertise and experience in designing, manufacturing and installing kitchens, bathrooms, domestic and commercial furniture.

In 2007, Philip broadened JMT's horizons. Introducing new ranges and diversifying into new territories such as media walls and school furniture.

While embracing this innovation, JMT remained true to its origins, continuing to provide excellent bedrooms and bathrooms.

Under Philip's leadership, the company continues to uphold its long-standing tradition of exceptional customer service and high-quality products.