As plumbers, one of the most common problems we fix is a leaking tap. Whether it’s a leaking kitchen tap, bathroom vanity tap or even a leaking shower, any form of a leak is annoying and more importantly can cost you dearly.
According to the Queensland Government’s website, ‘One slowly dripping tap can waste 9,000 litres of water a year, while a visibly leaking toilet can waste more than 60,000 litres.’ This waste equates to higher than usual water bills, which means money out of your pocket.
While I don’t want to do myself out of a job, I do like to assist wherever possible, which includes providing tips on how you can prevent your taps from leaking. Even if you don’t find a leaking tap annoying or mind paying higher water bills, a leaking tap can be a sign of a more severe problem or can lead to more serious damage.
If you’re looking to save some money on your water bills – and plumbing repair bills – then continue reading this article. I will share with you some great tips to help prevent your taps from leaking.
Tighten the tap handles/lever
It may seem obvious, but a tap will leak if the handles/lever is not turned off tightly. If one or both washers are worn, and the tap is not tightly turned off, the worn washer will cause the tap to leak. Tightening the tap handles/lever may reduce the leak, but this is only a temporary fix. The washers will need to be replaced to fix the leak.
Invest in quality tapware
A sure way to prevent taps from leaking is to invest in quality tapware. A leaking tap, in most cases, is caused by a problem with the tap itself. It may be that the washer has worn, the cartridge or valve seat is damaged, or it could even have something to do with the type of tap.
There are many different types of taps, and some a more prone to leaking than others. Ball-type taps; those that use a metal ball to control the water flow, are much more prone to leaks than compression or disc type taps. You’ll find that most modern mixer taps are of the disc cartridge type; meaning they relay on a disc and cartridge to control the water flow; and a little tip, look for those with a ceramic disc cartridge. They are of better quality and provide higher longevity.
Hire licensed plumbers
Plumbing installations, including installing taps, should only ever be done by a licensed plumber. They know how a tap operated and will ensure the tap and pipework is installed and connected correctly.
Granted, anyone can replace an existing tap if they put their mind to it. But for peace of mind and for leak prevention, it certainly pays to have a licensed plumber replace a tap too.
Conduct regular inspections
We don’t have a crystal ball that tells us when a tap is about to start leaking. Therefore, we won’t know when a tap is about to start leaking until it starts leaking. However, you can limit the water waste and any potential damage by being diligent and performing regular inspections of all taps in your home, any including outdoor taps.
You can go the extra step by having a licenced plumber, such as iSpecialise, perform a plumbing inspection on your premises to review and identify any potential problems, well beyond a simple leaking tap. In a plumbing inspection, we systematically review all aspects of your plumbing to identify any leaks, preforming pressure tests of the sewer system, inspect drains with CCTV cameras, identify pipework locations, amongst other things. You can find out more on our plumbing inspection here.
Leaking taps are nothing if not a pain in the backside. The constant drip, drip, drip, is annoying, the wasted water can be costly, and if not attended to, a leaking tap can lead to more serious plumbing issues.
There are preventive measures to help reduce the chances of a tap leaking or to catch the leak before it turns serious. Such measures include tightening the tap handles, investing in quality tapware, hiring licensed plumbers and conducting regular plumbing inspections.