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Shower Tap Repair

The sight of a leaking tap or shower can be pretty unpleasant, let alone the annoying dripping sounds. Showers are an essential bathroom feature that should always be in good working condition to avoid unnecessary inconveniences. However, it is not necessary to worry if you have leaky showers or taps in your house.

You don’t always need a plumber nor a lot of money to change your shower taps and get them back into working condition. You only need to have enough time, a few tools, and new shower taps or tap washers from the hardware store. Supposing you have all these requirements, how then would you change a shower tap?

It is pretty simple. Once you are through reading this article, you’ll be good to go. Let’s dive right into it!

How To Change A Shower Tap

Do you have a leaky shower tap? If yes, you probably need to change it as soon as possible. Replacing a shower tap is quite simple, and you may not need to hire a plumber to do it for you. With the right tools, rest assured you can do it entirely by yourself! Below are the necessary steps in changing a shower tap.

Step One: Turn off the main water supply valve

Turn off the main water supply valve. You are likely to find the water supply valve near the water meter. After turning it off, you need to open the tap and wait until no more water comes out.

Step Two: Remove the shower tap

Remove the shower tap. To do this, first, loosen all the rosettes. Under the rosettes, you will notice S-shaped pipe fittings; you need to loosen the rings or the securing nuts on them. By doing this, you will have successfully removed the shower tap.

Step Three: Replace the old shower tap

After removing the old shower tap, you may need to replace it with a new one. For most shower taps, the fixing on the wall is done at the two water pipes. The two water pipes, hot and cold, are always 16cm apart. However, you can adjust this distance as you desire by using the S-shaped pipe fittings.

Step Four: Screw on the fittings

Screw the S-shaped pipe fittings into the threaded ends of the water supply pipes. After that, push the decorative rosettes over the S-shaped pipe fittings. Then, you can use the sealing body washers and the connecting nuts to fit the shower tap to the S-shaped pipe fittings. As you tighten the nuts, it is best to apply some Teflon tape around the screw threads.

Step Five: Tighten the nuts

Finally, tighten the tap’s fixing nuts using a wrench. While doing this, wrap a piece of cloth around the chrome nuts to avoid destroying them. Now open the main water supply and test your tap as you check for any water leaks.

NOTE: You should never unscrew a Teflon joint since it can cause significant water leaks.

How To Change A Shower Mixer Tap

A shower mixer tap releases both hot and cold water through the showerhead. Remember to take note of the following if you need to change your shower mixer:

  • First, begin by turning off the hot and cold water supplies of your shower mixer.
  • To remove the old shower mixer, you need a 30mm spanner and 30 Centimetre monkey pliers. Unscrew the flexible shower tube first to access the mixer’s two chrome nuts. Use the spanner to unscrew the chrome nuts. Once complete, you should be able to remove the old shower mixer tap.
  • You can now try your new mixer on the existing threads. If it fits perfectly in the same place you removed the old one, you simply need to tighten the nuts properly, and you are done.
  • To install the new shower mixer tap, unscrew the chrome covers and remove them entirely.
  • Then, compare the new mixer nuts to the current male threads. It is best to adjust each thread to ensure that the mixer is kept horizontally.
  • Once you are sure it’s a perfect match, plug in each water outlet and then open the tap to test for any water leaks. If you find none, it will help to thoroughly clean the wall outlets and spray an appropriate corrosion stopper.
  • Then clean the threads with a brass brush, and if any gasket remains, you can remove it with a cutter blade. Then seal the holes with silicon and apply some oil to the thread.
  • To fit the new tap, begin by trying the covers that came with the tap. If the space between the tap and the wall is perfect, then you can use these covers. However, if the space cannot fit, thoroughly clean the old covers and fit them back on. It would help to put the seals in the tap’s nuts before fixing and tightening them.
  • Once that is done, fix the adjustable shower and clean all the appliances with white vinegar.

How To Change A Tap Washer

Sometimes all you will have to do is to change the tap washer instead of changing the whole tap. A body washer is a small disk located inside the tap to create a seal when the tap is turned off. Once they wear out, you are highly likely to experience the problem of leaking taps.

However, not all taps have washers; those with no washers are less likely to leak. So how do you change a tap washer?

Let’s get into it!

Step One: Grab your tools

Arm yourself with a tool kit containing spanners, a screwdriver, pliers, and pieces of rags.

Step Two: Turn off the water supply

You must turn off the water supply at the mains. The mains are always located at the front with the water meters. It is best to work with the water supply completely turned off to avoid further losses.

Step Three: Check that all pipes are empty

The next step is ensuring that all the pipes are empty. Even though you have already turned off the mains, try to empty all the pipes feeding into it.

Step Four: Remove the tap button

Remove the tap button to access the damaged tap washer. Some taps have the tap button located at the top holding the handle, while others have it situated in the part that determines ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ water.

Once you discover it, use a spanner or a screwdriver to remove it, depending on how it was fitted. Remember to be gentle with the tap button to prevent damages.

Step Five: Remove the tap handle

Remove the tap handle. Depending on the type of tap, you would need to either screw it off or slide it to access the inner parts of the tap.

Step Six: Remove the tap skirt

Now you need to remove the tap skirt. You might need to use a pair of pliers here if the skirt was tightened with a sealant.

Step Seven: Remove the tap bonnet

Remove the tap bonnet. With the use of a screwdriver, unscrew the headgear of the tap to access the brass or plastic jumper valve inside.

Step Eight: Remove the tap washer

Remove the worn-out tap washer. If you cannot reach it with your hands, use pliers with a needle nose and a pair of tweezers.

Step Nine: Purchase replacement parts

For better results, carry both the jumper valve and the damaged tap washer to the hardware. Once you obtain new ones, carefully replace them with the old ones. After that, return every other thing to its initial place.

First, you need to screw the tap bonnet back and ensure that it is well tightened. Then you can put the rest of the tap back into place.

Step Ten: Switch the main water supply on

Finally, turn the mains back on and test your tap to ensure there are no more leaks. How about bath taps? Well, bath taps are a little bit different. Primarily, they have a second connection which allows the connection of a hand shower. Similarly, bath taps have control knobs that enable you to select the direction of the water flowing into the bath or through the shower. It is easier since you can constantly adjust the shower’s position on a riser rail.

Is It Expensive To Change A Shower Tap?

The simple answer is no. Compared to other plumbing activities, changing a shower tap is more economical. In most regards, you will only have to purchase a new tap or a tap washer where necessary. If there are any additional appliances you need, they would still not cost you a lot of money. So you see, there’s really no need to panic if you have leaky taps in your house.

Similarly, you do not necessarily need to hire a plumber to help with changing a shower tap or kitchen tap. These are simple plumbing practices that you can do by yourself. All you need is enough time, patience, and the right tools. This means that you do not have to incur any expenses for hiring a plumber.

However, it is essential to note that, similar to other DIY practices, changing a shower tap requires total concentration and strict adherence to the necessary procedures. Should you commit significant mistakes, you could cause further damages forcing you to spend a lot more money than you anticipated. As such, it would be best to hire a reputable plumber instead to get the job done right the first time.

Blueline Plumbers are your local specialist for all domestic plumbing and gas fitting needs.

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