How to Fix a Leaky Laundry Tap or Mixer

Leaky laundry taps are a common issue that can lead to a large amount of water over time, while also driving your utilities bills up. Fixing this can be easier than you think, avoiding the costs of hiring a plumber. See below a couple of tips of what you can do to fix it by yourself.

Step One:

You should turn off the valves to your sink. Usually the handles can be under the sink, but if you are unable to find it or properly shut it off, then you’ll have to turn off the entire water supply to your home. After this, you should reopen your laundry mixer valves to relieve pressure and any excess water still in it.

Step Two: Identification and disassembly

Before you start disassembling your tap, plug your drain to avoid having any parts falling down it. Then, you should be able to identify what kind of laundry tap mechanism you have. There are three main types of tap mechanisms:

1- Pillar taps have separate valves for hot and cold. These can also have a cartridge or washer mechanism inside

2- Mixer taps, that have two valves joined in a single tap, mixing the water in between (hence the name)

3- Monobloc taps have a single valve that turns left and right to mix from cold to hot water. These can also have a ball or ceramic disk mechanism inside.

After identifying your laundry tap mechanism, you should then proceed to picking the correct tools to disassemble it. There are many detailed instructions on how each mechanism works and it can make it easier to specifically research it online.

For most laundry taps you will need a wrench, Phillips-Head and Flat head screw drivers, penetrating oil (for stuck parts) and thread seal tape (a.k.a. plumber’s tape). Start by removing the decorative caps if there are any, then remove the handle and the retaining nuts. Remember to take pictures with your cellphone as you take it apart to make the reassembly easier later on.

Check for any clearly cracked or broken parts, like washers, gaskets or o-rings. If you are in doubt or unable to disassemble a stuck piece, you can simply remove it entirely and take it to the nearest hardware store, along with any broken part you have found to get a replacement.

If you are dealing with an old laundry mixer, there can be dirt, rust and grime inside that reduces the water flow and makes the reassembly harder. This can be easily removed with steel wool or a wire brush.

Step Three: Reassembly

Putting a laundry tap back together shouldn’t be too hard if you have taken pictures of the parts, as you have disassembled them. Install the new parts, add the plumber’s tape to any threads and make sure you don’t have any pieces left before turning it back on. But sure not to overtighten any screws or washers, it should be just enough for it to stay firm.

Reassemble the handles and decorative caps, then turn the water back on very slowly to gradually increase the pressure in the fixed system, then let the water flow for a couple of minutes to see if there are still any leaks or flow issues in your laundry mixer.

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