3 Common Causes Of A Leaking Tap

19 January 2021
 Categories: , Blog


The sound of a leaking tap can be irritating, and whether your tap has a light drip or a more significant leak, it's important you get to the bottom of the cause. Ignoring a leaking tap can cause corrosion within and around the tap, which could lead to a more costly repair. Leaks can occur for a number of reasons. Here are three common causes of a leaking tap for you to consider.

Dirt In The Cartridge

Taps have a cartridge located near the handles. The cartridge holds two ceramic discs, and one of the discs will rotate when you turn the handle. The rotation allows the holes in both discs to align and enables water to flow through. If there's a little dirt in the cartridge, the ceramic discs may not be able to move all the way back when you turn the tap off. This problem tends to occur when a tap was recently installed and the system wasn't flushed through to clear away debris before the new tap was secured into position. Cleaning the cartridge may be enough to stop the leak, but the ceramic discs can be scratched easily by debris, and damaged discs will need to be replaced.

Valve Seat Corrosion

The valve seat supports the tap valve and is located where the spout meets the main part of the tap. Both components should create a waterproof seal, but age and mineral build-up can cause the valve seat to become corroded and worn. Corrosion jeopardises the seal, so the valve seat will need to be replaced to stop a leak. When the valve seat is being replaced, it may be a good idea to also replace the valve, as this will likely have experienced some wear as a result of damage to the valve seat.

Damaged O-Ring

The O-ring is an important component of your tap, as it is positioned at the bottom of the spout where the spout connects to the main tap fitment. The O-ring creates a seal that prevents water from leaking around the base of the spout when the tap is turned on. If your tap is leaking at the point where the spout connects to the base of the tap, the O-ring is likely worn, which can happen due to the constant pressure on this part when the tap is on. Replacing the O-ring is a quick job that simply involves disconnecting the spout and fitting a new part, but it needs to be the specific size required for your tap to create a watertight seal.

If you need leaking tap repair help, ask a local plumber to have a look at it. Plumbers can usually diagnose and fix a leaking tap pretty quickly, so there's minimum inconvenience to you when having it repaired.