Leaking Kitchen Tap? Here's How to Fix a Dripping Tap

Tom Volpe January 30, 2023

Ah, the dreaded leaking kitchen tap: a nuisance and an annoyance. Ever had to climb over the dish-laden sink to mop up a puddle of water beneath the leaky plumbing? It's frustrating not knowing how to find and fix this issue yourself without calling in a professional plumber - but don't worry! We've got your back.

In this blog post, we'll show you step-by-step exactly how to diagnose the cause of a dripping tap, plus our top tips for fixing it fast so that you can get your kitchen back up and running as soon as possible. So what are you waiting for? Read on to see just how easy it is to save time (and money!) by taking care of your own household DIY tasks!

dripping kitchen tap

What tools do you need to fix a leaking tap?

Fixing a leaking tap is a simple task that requires just a few essential tools. Here's a list of what you'll need:

  1. Adjustable wrench: To loosen the water supply line.
  2. Pliers or basin wrench: For removing and replacing the washer.
  3. Teflon tape, silicon, or plumber's putty: These materials help create a watertight seal.
  4. Phillips screwdriver: To loosen or tighten screws during the repair process.

It's important to pay close attention to the materials your leaking tap is made of, so you can choose the right supplies for your repair job. Taking your time and following each step carefully will help ensure proper control while fixing your leaking tap, making it a stress-free experience.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Identify the Leak and Shut Off the Water Supply

Knowing a dripping tap's source and how to shut off the water supply are important steps in fixing this common plumbing issue. To identify the leak, you first need to inspect your tap and check if it leaks from one of its components or is just running due to a loose connection. Tightening the connection will most likely solve the issue if it is only running.

However, if a component needs to be replaced, you will need to determine which one and replace it. Then, in order to efficiently fix the issue, turn off the water supply before removing any of the parts from your tap. It will ensure that no extra water passes through it while trying to repair it. Armed with those simple instructions and items, you're sure to be able to fix your dripping tap easily!

How can I tell if the leak is coming from the tap or from the pipes?

Figuring out where a leak is coming from can often be challenging, but you can use certain techniques to narrow it down. Here's how:

  1. Check the water pressure: If the water is weaker than usual, it could indicate a leak in the pipes.
  2. Listen for unusual sounds: Hissing or gurgling noises suggest leaks in the tap.
  3. Inspect the tap and pipe connections: Wet areas around the tap or pipe connection might reveal gaps in your taps.

If you notice water pooling around the base of a tap, it typically means that the tap is worn and needs replacing. On the other hand, if water is coming from a wall, ceiling, or near your water heater, it's likely originating from pipes behind them.

If you're unable to locate the source of the leak, consider calling in a professional who can identify where the problem lies. Pinpointing the exact source of your leak will ensure that any necessary repairs are made quickly and effectively.

2. Remove Decorative Pieces and Unscrew Faucet Nuts

Once you've located and identified the source of your leaking tap, you can start by removing any decorative pieces or handles from the leaking valve stem. Then, use an adjustable wrench to unscrew and remove any faucet nuts, washers, gaskets and O-rings that are located on either side of the leaking valve stem. When removing these parts, be sure to keep track of where each one goes as this will make it easier to put them back together in the correct order.

3. Inspect All Components for Wear, Tear and Damage

Before attempting to fix a dripping tap, one should inspect all components for wear, tear and damage. It includes everything from the metal internals of the tap to the rubber washers and O-rings, which provide a seal and prevent water from escaping. Checking for small rust particles within the valve seat, along with checking the condition of any gaskets or seals, is important in order to determine which parts might need replacing.

4. Replace Necessary Parts

A dripping tap can be a major annoyance in any household, but fixing the problem doesn't have to be. All it takes is replacing any necessary parts. Depending on your tap type, the replacement parts can vary from a washer or O-ring to ceramic discs and valve seats. If you are unsure about what type of tap you have, there is likely an information guide on the manufacturer's website to identify it quickly.

Once you know what part needs replacing, purchase the necessary part from your local hardware store and follow installation instructions carefully for a proper fix. With a few simple steps, a dripping tap won't waste water or keep you up at night anymore!

5. Reinstall All Components and Tighten Them Securely

It is essential to take the time and effort to properly reinstall all components and tighten them securely when attempting to repair a dripping tap. Without the proper tightening, you risk your tap continuing to leak and risk further damage or even flooding if it does not receive the necessary attention.

To properly fix a dripping tap and ensure it is secure, begin by loosening up any corroded valve seats with a wire brush. Then, go through each component of your tap, ensuring they are clean before finding the replacement parts you need.

Finally, use a wrench to slowly and carefully tighten everything back together in order to ensure that no water will accidentally seep out at the seams. Taking this extra time and care while fixing a dripping tap can save you from quite a headache.

6. Use New Gaskets, O-rings, and Washers as Needed

Fixing a dripping tap can be one of the most annoying plumbing problems to deal with. Thankfully, the solution is often simpler than most homeowners expect.

One of the best ways to fix a dripping tap is to use new gaskets, o-rings, and washers. These little pieces of hardware can dramatically reduce or even eliminate the leak altogether.

The key is choosing the right size and material for your particular setup to get a tight seal when installed correctly. Not replacing these components with new ones when repairing a dripping tap could lead to continued or further damage, resulting in much higher repair costs down the road.

7. Turn on the Water Supply Slowly

After you've taken the trouble to fix a dripping tap, the last thing you want is another mess! To help ensure this, it's wise to turn on the water supply slowly. By doing so, there will be less chance of sediment accumulating in plumbing fixtures and being forced through suddenly.

Not only will this lessen your clean-up time, but it will also mean you won't have to worry about rusty stains or unexpected splotches as much. Taking a few extra seconds when turning on the water supply can leave you with a sense of accomplishment from successfully completing your plumbing job—and healthier fixtures in the long run.

8. Check Pipe Connections for Further Leaks

Ensuring a faulty tap is completely fixed after an initial repair can be easier said than done. If a dripping tap is repaired, it's essential to check for further pipe connections for any accumulated leaks that may go unnoticed without thorough examination.

This careful inspection process should involve turning off the taps and water pressure inside the house, running water from the outside hose, and checking that all taps are functioning correctly.

Additionally, listening for any strange noises generated by the pipes, such as hissing, can identify more weak points in the system that need to be patched and tightened before any further damage is inflicted on your household plumbing system. All these steps will ensure you have nothing to worry about from a pesky dripping tap!

9. Test Out Your Tap by Running Hot and Cold Water Through it

After finding and fixing the source of a dripping tap, it is important to test that the repair has been successful. Running hot and cold water through the tap can often be the best way to do this; if the problem still lingers, it may be necessary to troubleshoot again.

It is easy to tell whether or not a tap is running properly; you should hear a flowing sound from clean water streams rather than a bubbling or dripping noise from one that isn't fixed correctly. With just a few taps of a wrench and the turn of several handles, you can quickly know whether your tapping restoration efforts have been successful.

10. Restore Decorative Pieces Back Onto the Tap (Optional)

After successfully solving the problem of a dripping tap, you can now restore any decorative pieces that had previously been removed. This could include handles, knobs, and spouts, among other pieces. Reattaching these elements can often involve and is best done with care.

It involves ensuring that the decorative pieces are lined up properly and that all connections are secure. Plus, all viable adjustments should be tested before finally securing the tap back together again. Once everything is in place, you can admire your accomplishment—a fixed tap and sparkling restored decorative pieces!

a matt black instant boiling water tap inside a kitchen

Common Causes of a Dripping Kitchen Tap

A dripping kitchen tap is a common plumbing issue that can drive people up the wall. The problem can be caused by various factors, including a damaged washer or a loose nut wearing away the threading. A blocked valve seat can also be found faulty and should be checked as soon as possible; this may necessitate the help of a qualified plumber.

In some cases, the leaking can be due to corrosion or an accumulation of debris inside the tap. The most common remedy for such problems usually involves replacing parts of the existing system, but in severe cases, it may even require buying a new tap.


Fixing a leaking kitchen tap is not as daunting a task as it may first seem. Taking the necessary steps to assess, repair and test the leaking tap will help you resolve the problem quickly and reap the rewards of having a functioning tap again!

With basic tools, knowledge and patience, anyone can become an expert plumber in no time. So, the next time you hear a leaking tap in your kitchen, remember these steps and start sorting out that dripping tap like a pro! Good luck!

Transform the way your kitchen looks and feels with a boiling water tap. Find out more about how a boiling water tap works today.