Fix a bath tap

The tap turns but no water comes out.

This is a common fault in bath mixers. It is often associated with power showers. When we use a power shower we often turn the taps too hard and wear out a part of the tap unit. The good news is that to repair it is easy and the cost is negligible, (less than the cost of a drink in a bar).

If you want to fix a bath tap yourself, you can certainly give it a try. Just remember that water can ruin unprotected surfaces so think carefully before you act.

mixer tap
mixer tap

Instructions for fixing a bath tap

First you will need to switch off the water supply at the mains (usually under the kitchen sink; turn the valve anti-clockwise) or you will get wet when you take the tap apart. If the fault is with the hot tap, drain the hot tank (turn off the hot water at the thermostat and just let hot water run from the taps till it runs out).

Put the bath plug into the plughole to catch anything you accidentally drop (little screws falling down the drain are a nightmare).

Now you need to take the front off the tap itself. First remove the plastic ‘Hot’ or ‘Cold’ Label. Some of these labels flip off while others are unscrewed by hand. Remove it carefully. Beneath it you should find a cross headed screw which holds the handle on to the unit. Unscrew the little screw and the handle and little screw should come away with ease.

Now Unscrew the Chrome nut that holds the rest of the tap unit to the main part. Use padding in your grips to avoid scratching the bathroom chrome.

Now you should be able to see the inner workings of the tap. Unscrew this from the main pipes. You will see it comprises two parts. Take both of these, along with the tap and grub screw to a plumbers merchant who will sell you a replacement for around a fiver. If you intend to use the same tap, make sure the new unit fits (check both the spindle and grub screw) before you purchase it.

When putting it all back together, simply work in reverse, and never put pressure on when attempting to line up the threads or you could ruin the unit. Take it all slowly and carefully and you will have a working bath tap again.

Tools for fixing dripping taps

plumbers wrench


plumbers wrench
A plumbers’ wrench

Using an adjustable wrench, plumbers wrench (as shown above) or pliers, loosen the packing nut and remove the stem beneath. The rubber washer beneath this is probably the cause of the drip. They get old and inflexible and so they stop working. The answer is to replace it and new washers cost just a few pence from DIY shops.

We hope you found this information about how to fix a dripping tap useful.

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About the author

Loves to learn new things and make stuff...properly. Born and living in the Thames Valley west of London, England. I have an office job during the day, but evenings and weekends are all about making.

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