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Repairing A Leaking Mixer Tap

Shower mixer taps are handy, which explains why many people use them. They conveniently connect both cold and hot water supplies and then combine the flow of water into an easy-to-control single spout. However, as dependable as these are, as with any plumbing fixture that is frequently used, even well-made shower mixer taps require repair at some point.

The most common issue with well-used mixer taps is that they start leaking water. All of us eventually have to deal with a leaky faucet. It's a highly bothersome plumbing issue that people often neglect until it's too late. Leaking taps can seriously harm your home and your bank account if they are ignored for an extended time.

The sooner you manage the problem, the less water and money you'll lose down the drain because of things like leaking water. Repairing leaking mixer taps is a pretty simple DIY operation that anyone can handle regardless of skill level.

The mixer tap is a common tapware

The mixer tap is the most common type of tapware in modern Australian houses. Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms traditionally had a three-piece tap set with separate hot and cold faucets and a spout. Users of a mixer tap can mix the temperature of their water and control the water flow with a single handle, thanks to their more streamlined and contemporary design.

Why mixer taps typically leak

Traditional three-piece faucets have an internal washer or rubber seal. This washer would eventually deteriorate and start to leak. Most contemporary faucets are made with a ceramic cartridge that is incredibly durable in place of a washer. A ceramic cartridge is made up of two discs that are stacked on top of one another.

When the handle is pulled, the upper disc rotates while the bottom disc stays still. The upper disc moves when the handle is switched on, allowing hot or cold water to flow through the mixer.

The ceramic disc stops the water flow while the handle is in the "off" position. Ceramic discs are significantly more sophisticated and robust than washers, but they are still susceptible to cracks and scratches that can lead to leaks.

How To Repair A Leaky Mixer Tap

Stop using the water supply

You should switch off your mixer tap's water supply before fixing a leaky mixer tap. You can stop water flow at a stop valve or an isolation valve. The isolation valve is on the supply pipes below your sink, and the stop valve is near your water metre. Turn your mixer on to remove any residual water in your pipes after you plug up your sink or basin to prevent pieces from falling down the drain.

Remove the plastic cap or cover

The cap that hides the grub screw must be found and removed to repair a leaky mixer tap. Most mixer handles have a hot/cold indicator button that this cap covers. To remove the cap, you can sometimes use your nails, but if you're having trouble, you can carefully lift the button with a knife.

Alternatively, you can pry it out with a tiny flat-head screwdriver. It is possible to damage the cap if you aren't careful, but most plumbing and hardware stores sell replacements easily.

Take out the grub screws and handle

If you have successfully removed the cap from your mixer, you will find a grub screw underneath the handle. Until you can pull the handle off the cartridge spindle, use your Allen key to loosen the grub screw. The grub screw sizes vary from tap to tap, but an Allen key measuring 2mm or 2.5mm usually does the trick.

A build-up of calcium carbonate, often called limescale, may occasionally cause the mixer handle to stick to the base. You can remove the mixer handle by immersing it in a combination of half water and half vinegar if limescale prevents you from doing so.

Remove the retaining nut and chrome dress ring

The chrome dress ring has to come off before you access the cartridge. Since this ring has no flat sides, you must use a pipe wrench. After removing the dress ring, you will find a brass holding nut.

The ceramic cartridge in your mixer can be found by unscrewing and removing it with a wrench. If you are particularly concerned about damaging the finish, you should place an old rag between your tools and the mixer.

Change out the cartridge

Once you have full access to the cartridge, carefully remove it and swap it out with a fresh one of the same model. Check that the cartridge's locator pins are lined up according to manufacturer-provided instructions.

Reassemble mixer and turn on water supply

After installing the replacement cartridge, reassemble your tap and switch on the water supply at the isolation or stop valve. The spout is the weak link in a mixer tap and can occasionally leak at the base. We recommend keeping towels nearby in case water leaks. You're finished when you've tested your mixer and are satisfied with the results.

When it comes to repairs, mixer taps fall into three different categories. The individual hot and cold-water controls on either side are fixed and maintained as separate taps.

Adverse Effects Of A Leaking Faucet

Dripping faucets are irritating

The 'drip-drip' sound produced by water drops can be annoying, especially if it prevents you from getting a good night's sleep.

Can cause floors to rot

If the leak is near your floor and it is constantly exposed to water for an extended time, it is prone to rot. A rotting floor is also hazardous to your health because it attracts pathogenic fungi and organisms.

Causes a slippery floor

When the leak is near your floor, it can become slippery, potentially causing a problem or a danger as long as the leaking mixer tap keeps wetting it. Some pests, such as termites and cockroaches, prefer wet surfaces because they provide a conducive environment for living and breeding.

Unwanted expenses

If you do not solve the problem quickly, you may have to spend more money to repair a faulty mixer tap. You may also incur a large water bill.

Removing The Common Spout From The Tap Mixer

A large snap ring can be closed and removed with a pair of pliers. It is positioned between the spout and body (this is typically concealed by a "skirt." This is either screwed down or is held in place using a tiny "grub" screw, usually at the back.

Some mixer spouts have no true fixing keeping them in. In certain situations, there is a small grub screw at the back that, when undone, will allow the spout to be pushed upward from the body.

This style lets you quickly release the spout from the seal's hold by pulling up on it. The seal is often located at the bottom of the spout.

Install a new seal

In some circumstances, the size of the replacement seal ring you need to use will depend on the brand and model of your mixer tap. Keeping the old one and visiting your neighbourhood merchants and requesting an exact replacement will ensure a proper fit. A plumber's repair kit is the fastest and most straightforward approach to acquiring an identical match replacement.

You must re-fit it once you have your replacement. Reposition it so that it rests nicely at the base inside the tap's neck. Re-fit the spout and fasten it after the seal ring is installed and you're finished.

You can purchase plumbing supplies in the form of a plumber's repair kit from various domestic stores or your neighbourhood home improvement store. That's pretty much it as far as fixing a mixer tap is concerned.

Fix A Leaking Thermostatic Bath Shower Mixer Tap

Replacing the entire tap is often quicker, less expensive, and less stressful than repairing the part that is causing the dripping from a shower or bath mixer. Before replacing, it is wise to determine what went wrong; if the item can be replaced, you are fortunate.

Typically, the rubber washers or seals will have worn out, or the ceramic discs may have failed due to corrosion. Maintaining a washer over the long run can be hard when you have hard water. If you have hard water on your premises, you may want to consider installing a water softener.

Once you have located the problematic component, you can decide whether to replace it. If you know the brand and model of the tap, it will be much easier for you to contact the manufacturer or find a store that sells it near you. You can still get in touch with the manufacturer if you know the maker but cannot discover the model.

Most of them have technical support lines that could be able to help you. If that doesn't work, you'll need to search online or take the part to your local retailer to get a replacement, which is why most plumbers advise just replacing the mixer tap as a whole.

Change And Reseat Washers To Repair Dripping Taps

A leaky tap is one of the most prevalent issues in the home, and it is also one of the most deceiving because the common fix is to "change the tap washer." A little-known fact: A dripping tap almost always has nothing to do with the rubber washer, which is still in excellent condition 99% of the time after installation.

Usually, the valve seat, where the washer rests when the tap is closed, is the issue. The water's pressure tries to push it under the washer, slowly eroding the cast brass used to make the seat. Small canals develop in the seat, allowing water to pass underneath the washer.

Indicator Of Tap Covers

The hot (red) and cold (blue) indicators are typically located on top of modern faucets. These often cover the screw holding the handle in place. The handle also serves as the valve's cover. Put the plug in the hole before you start to take apart the tap. You won't lose anything down the drain if you do this.

If you attentively examine the edge of most tap indicator covers, you will see a slight depression. Put the flat edge of a screwdriver into the recess, wiggle it under the lid, and pry it up. In some cases, there won't be a recess; therefore, to remove the indicator cover, carefully insert a tiny screwdriver beneath it while not harming it.

Need Help With A Leaking Mixer Tap?

Fixing a leaking mixer tap is a simple process, but a professional should do it as soon as possible to eliminate any problems occurring. It is always better not to delay the fixing process for a long time as it can cause various further issues. Check out our top DIY methods above to know how you can easily fix a leaking mixer tap and save yourself a lot of time and money. Alternatively, you could always opt to employ a professional plumber to ensure a quality job and a successfully repaired mixer tap leak should none of the methods above work.