How Much Water Are You Wasting from Your Leaking Tap?

We must use water responsibly. Many people underestimate the impact of a leaking tap on their water consumption and finances. A tap leaking at a rate of one drip per second can waste up to 3000 gallons of water for a year.

It’s estimated that in households with leaking taps, up to 10% of the water usage can be attributed to these slow drips. Multiply that by the number of households globally, and water wastage becomes significant.

The energy and resources required to treat and distribute water to homes also contribute to environmental degradation. By allowing a tap to leak, we are squandering water and increasing our carbon footprint.

Aside from the environmental impact, a leaking tap can also directly impact your finances. Every drop wasted is an extra cost on your water bill. Even if the dripping seems insignificant daily, over time, it adds up.

By conserving water, we also contribute to preserving our ecosystems and the well-being of future generations. It’s up to each of us to take responsibility and make conscious choices to minimise waste and promote sustainability.

Identifying the Problem

A leaking tap can be a frustrating and wasteful problem, but before you can fix it, you need to identify the source of the leak. By carefully inspecting your tap and understanding the different components, you can pinpoint the exact source of the leak and take the necessary steps to fix it.

Worn-out Washer or Jumper Valve

A worn-out washer or jumper valve is often the primary cause of a dripping tap. These small rubber or plastic parts are inside the tap and can deteriorate over time due to regular use or mineral deposits in the water. If you notice water dripping from the spout, the washer or jumper valve likely needs to be replaced.

Faulty O-ring

O-rings are small rubber rings that provide a watertight seal between components. If the o-ring becomes damaged or worn, water can seep through, resulting in a leak. Inspect the areas where different parts of the tap connect, such as the spout or handle, to check for any signs of a faulty o-ring.

Worn Valve Seat

The valve seat is a brass or plastic part that connects the tap body to the spout. Over time, the valve seat can become worn or corroded, causing water to leak around the base of the spout. To identify if the valve seat is the issue, carefully examine the area where the spout meets the tap body for signs of damage or deterioration.

Damaged Tap Body

Although less common, a damaged tap body can also lead to leaks. Cracks or fractures in the tap body can allow water to escape and create a persistent drip. Thoroughly inspect the body of the tap, including all visible surfaces, to ensure there are no visible signs of damage.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin the repair, gather the necessary tools and materials. Depending on the tap type, you’ll typically need the following:

  • Shifting wrench
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Seat wrench
  • Replacement tap washers or jumper valves
  • Perhaps a replacement cartridge or ceramic disc

These items are readily available at your local hardware store.

Leaking tap repair with wrench

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Leaky Tap

  1. Turn off the water supply: Locate the isolation valve or turn off the main water supply to prevent any mishaps during the repair.
  2. Remove the tap handle: Use a screwdriver or an appropriate tool to remove the tap handle carefully. Set it aside.
  3. Access the tap bonnet: Remove the tap skirt or cover plate to access the tap bonnet. Depending on the tap design, you may need to remove a tap button or other attachments.
  4. Remove the tap bonnet: Use a wrench or pliers to unscrew the tap bonnet in a counterclockwise direction. This will expose the tap washer or jumper valve.
  5. Replace the broken washer and jumper valves: Remove the old one and replace it with a new washer and jumper valve of the correct size. Ensure a snug fit to prevent any water leakage.
  6. Reassemble the tap: Follow the above steps in reverse order to reassemble the tap, making sure all the rubber parts are correctly aligned.
  7. Turn on the water supply: Slowly turn on the water supply and check for any leaks. If the leak persists, further investigation or professional assistance may be required.

While needing to fix a leaking tap on your own is possible, hiring a professional plumber offers several advantages. Their expertise, experience, and access to quality materials ensure an accurate diagnosis and efficient leaking tap repair.

Additionally, plumbers can identify any underlying issues, address other plumbing problems such as hot water system installation and provide comprehensive solutions, saving you time and money in the long term.

So, if you prefer a hassle-free and reliable solution, enlisting the help of a professional plumber is a wise choice.


Fixing a leaking tap is an easy exercise to save money and conserve water. Remember, even a small leak can waste significant amounts of water over time, so don’t delay addressing this common plumbing problem.

Take action now and positively impact the environment, your water bill, and the future!

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

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