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Why Is My Kitchen Tap Leaking?

Why Is My Kitchen Tap Leaking?

Encountering a leaky kitchen tap is an all too common nuisance for homeowners across the UK.

It's not only an unwelcome interruption to your daily routine, but it can also lead to unnecessary water wastage if left unchecked.

In this post, we'll delve into the potential causes behind this annoying issue, equipping you with the necessary knowledge to either tackle the problem yourself or to be well-informed when calling a professional.

So, let's turn the flow of this situation around and discover why your kitchen tap might be leaking.

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Why Is My Kitchen Tap Leaking?

A kitchen tap that's sprung a leak can have various potential causes, all of which can be rather frustrating. Here are the most common reasons why your tap might be dripping:

  1. Worn Out Washer: The most common cause of a leaky tap is an old or damaged washer. Over time, the washer can deteriorate, resulting in a persistent drip.
  2. Damaged Valve or Cartridge: If your tap has a valve or cartridge instead of a washer, a leak could be a sign that these components need replacement.
  3. Faulty O-Ring: The O-ring is a small disc attached to the stem screw that holds your tap handle in place. If this becomes worn or breaks, it can cause your tap to leak from the handle.
  4. High Water Pressure: If your tap only leaks at certain times (e.g., at night), high water pressure could be the culprit. Excess pressure can prevent the water from flowing away, causing it to back up and leak out of your tap.
  5. Corroded Valve Seat: The valve seat is the part of the tap that connects the faucet and the spout. Over time, water can cause this to corrode, which can lead to leakage.
  6. Loose Parts: Sometimes, parts of your tap can become loose over time, especially with regular use. This can often result in a leak.
  7. Incorrectly Installed Washer: Even a new washer can cause a leak if it's not the right size or if it's not installed correctly.

While these are the most common reasons for a leaky kitchen tap, there could be other issues at play.

If you're unsure, it might be time to call in a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the issue.

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How to Fix a Leaking Tap

Let's look at how to fix each of those issues in order:

  1. Worn Out Washer: To fix this, you'll need to replace the old washer with a new one. 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, replace it and then reassemble the tap.
  2. Damaged Valve or Cartridge: The process is similar to replacing a washer. After removing the tap handle, you'll need to remove the cartridge or valve and replace it with a new one. Make sure to buy an identical replacement from a hardware store.
  3. Faulty O-Ring: If the leak is coming from the handle, you may need to replace the O-ring. Start by removing the handle, then the packing nut, which will reveal the O-ring. Replace it with a new one and then put everything back together.

  4. High Water Pressure: This can be a bit tricky to diagnose. If the tap leaks at certain times of the day, it might be due to high water pressure. You'll likely need to contact a plumber to assess and resolve this issue.

  5. Corroded Valve Seat: This is another situation where you might need to replace a part. A corroded valve seat can be replaced with a new one, or you can try cleaning it with a wire brush and vinegar to remove the corrosion.
  6. Loose Parts: If parts of your tap are loose, try tightening them with a wrench. If the tap continues to leak, it may be because of another issue, like a worn-out washer or damaged valve.

  7. Incorrectly Installed Washer: If the washer is new but the tap is still leaking, it may be the wrong size or not installed correctly. Try replacing it again, making sure it's the correct size and properly installed.

Remember to always turn off your water supply before attempting any repairs.

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Some Notes From an Expert Kitchen Fitter

In my years of experience working in the kitchen trade, I have found all sorts of reasons for leaky kitchen taps.

While some can be fixed by a competent DIY person most faults need a plumber to get to the bottom of the problem safely and effectively.

So, if you are not really confident in what you are doing, I suggest you speak to a qualified and well-reviewed local plumber.

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Final Notes On Why Your Kitchen Tap is Leaking?

The root cause of a leaking kitchen tap could be a variety of factors, including a worn-out washer, a damaged valve or cartridge, a faulty O-ring, high water pressure, a corroded valve seat, loose parts, or an incorrectly installed washer.

Each of these problems requires a specific method of repair, ranging from replacing worn-out parts to tightening loose components.

However, all repairs should begin with turning off your water supply to prevent further leaks and potential water damage.

If you're comfortable with a bit of DIY, you might be able to handle these fixes on your own.

But remember, if you're ever uncertain or uncomfortable carrying out these repairs, or if your attempt at fixing the tap doesn't stop the leak, there's no shame in calling in a professional.

Plumbers are trained to handle these issues efficiently and effectively, ensuring that your tap is back in top shape as quickly as possible.

After all, while understanding the ins and outs of your leaky tap can be empowering, knowing when to call in the experts is equally important.

At the end of the day, whether you decide to DIY or hire a professional, addressing a leaky tap promptly can save you from more significant water woes down the line.

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.