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how to fix a dripping bath shower mixer tap?

how to fix a dripping bath shower mixer tap

Introduction

Dealing with the persistent drip of a bath shower mixer tap can be both annoying and costly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to identify the issue and guide you in repairing your dripping tap. By the end, you’ll not only save on water bills but also regain the peaceful ambiance of a quiet bathroom.

If you don’t know what a bath shower tap is or are thinking of buying one, read my other blog  “What is a Thermostatic Shower Mixer.” It explains how the mixer works and provides useful information for your daily use. Before you buy or fix it, make sure to read the guide to avoid any troubles.

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Identifying the Issue

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s pinpoint the culprits behind a dripping bath shower mixer tap. Three usual suspects are often behind the scenes: worn washers, loose internal parts, and damaged cartridges. Understanding these culprits is the initial key to tackling the issue head-on.

1. Worn Washers

Worn washers, though small, play a crucial role in maintaining a watertight seal within your bath shower mixer tap. As these components age, regular use and friction can take a toll, causing them to deteriorate and lose their ability to form a secure seal.

Worn shower mixer wahser
(Worn shower mixer wahser)

2. Loose Internal Parts of Shower mixer

When the internal parts of your shower mixer become loose over time, it’s like the tap’s inner machinery isn’t as secure as it should be. Imagine the inside components gradually losing their grip, compromising the tap’s efficiency. This subtle loosening can create a gateway for leaks, disrupting the smooth operation of your shower mixer.

Loose Internal Parts of Shower mixer
(Loose Internal Parts of Shower mixer)

3. Damaged Cartridges

When the shower cartridge is damaged, it loses its ability to create a watertight seal. If it’s nicked, cracked, or worn, it can’t fully close the tap’s gateway, allowing water to escape even when turned off. This disruption leads to unwelcome leaks, like having a tiny gap in a dam where water seeps through.

Damaged Cartridges
(Damaged Cartridges)

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Before you start the repair process, ensure you have the following tools at hand:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Bath socket wrench
  • Handle puller
  • Seat wrench
  • Plumber’s grease
  • Stem
  • Replacement cartridge
  • Replacement washers or O-rings

Turning Off the Water Supply

Before you start fixing the issue, it’s crucial to cut off the water supply to the tap. This isn’t just a precaution; it’s a way to avoid potential water damage and ensure a safe environment for the repair work.

Turning Off the Water Supply

Dissecting the Mixer Tap

Before you can access the inner workings of your bath shower mixer tap, you need to remove the tap handle. This is a critical step in the repair process because it allows you to reach the components responsible for the tap’s operation. By following these steps, you’ll be able to uncover the source of the leak and proceed with the necessary repairs.

1. Locate the Handle Screw

This crucial piece keeps the tap handle secure. Find its position, typically beneath or on the side of the handle.

2. Unscrew the handle screw

Carefully turn the screw counterclockwise to release the handle. This action is akin to unlocking the door to the tap’s internals.

Unscrew the handle screw

Now that the tap handle is off, let’s dive into our investigation. We’re focusing on three main suspects here: worn washers, loose internal parts, and damaged cartridges.

3. Gently remove the handle

Once the screw is out, give the handle a slight wiggle and pull. If it resists, a touch of lubricant or some warm air from a hairdryer can ease its removal.

Gently remove the handle

Unscrewing the Packing Nut

Now that we’ve removed the tap handle, the next player in our investigation is the packing nut. This nut, usually located at the tap’s base near the water supply pipes, can reveal more about the leak’s origin.

1. Unscrewing the Packing Nut of shower tap

With your wrench or adjustable spanner, turn the packing nut counterclockwise to reveal the cartridge or valve. This step unveils the heart of the matter, allowing us to inspect and assess the condition of the internal components.

what is packing nuts

2. Revealing the Internal Components

As the packing nut gives way, the internal components come into view. Keep an eye out for any obvious signs of wear, corrosion, or damage. The goal here is to understand the state of these components and determine if they are contributing to the leak.

3. Inspecting the Cartridge or Valve

Once the packing nut is off, focus on the exposed cartridge or valve. Check for cracks, wear, or any visible damage. A damaged cartridge can be a major player in causing leaks. If it’s compromised, a replacement is in order to restore the efficient functionality of your bath shower mixer tap.

How to find out the exact cause of a leak?

Now, let’s give that removed cartridge a good once-over. Look for cracks, wear marks, or any visible damage. Also, inspect the valve seat for irregularities or signs of damage. If the cartridge is showing any of these signs, a replacement is the way to go to ensure a tight seal.

1. Worn Washers Inspection

Once you’ve got those washers out, take a good look. Check for any visible wear, cracks, or flattening. Also, inspect the surrounding area for mineral deposits or water residue, clear indicators of a leak’s origin. If the washers look worse for wear, it’s time to swap them out.

2. Loose Internal Parts Analysis

Now that the tap handle is off, let’s dive into our investigation. We’re focusing on three main suspects here: worn washers, loose internal parts, and damaged cartridges.

3. Damaged Cartridges Scrutiny

Now that the tap handle is off, let’s dive into our investigation. We’re focusing on three main suspects here: worn washers, loose internal parts, and damaged cartridges.

Repairing the Dripping Bath Shower Mixer Tap

In this section, I’ll cover how to fix leaks based on the area of damage. Note that sometimes multiple factors can contribute to a leak, and you’ll need to pinpoint the exact area of damage based on your inspection results in the previous step.

Replacing Worn Washers

When replacing worn washers in your bath shower mixer tap, the key lies in selecting high-quality replacements. Head to your local hardware store armed with the specifications of the original washers. 

Tips 1:Take the old washers with you to the hardware store for precise matching.

Tips 2: Choose washers made from durable materials like silicone or rubber.

1. Mindful Alignment

  • Pay meticulous attention to the alignment of the new washers during installation.
  • Proper alignment is fundamental for an effective seal and leak prevention.

2. Gentle Seating

  • Gently press the new washers into their designated slots.
  • Avoid excessive force, ensuring a secure but gentle seating for optimal performance.

3. Avoid Over-tightening

  • Exercise caution while reassembling tap components to avoid over-tightening screws.
  • Over-tightening may strain the washers, potentially compromising their effectiveness.

4. Confirm Cover Alignment

  • Verify that the cover, once reattached, is aligned correctly.
  • A well-aligned cover contributes to overall tap stability.

Tightening Loose Internal Parts

Consider Before Shopping

When shopping for new parts to replace any damaged components, keep the following considerations in mind

  • Ensure that the replacement parts are compatible with your specific bath shower mixer tap model.
  • Stainless steel, brass, or ceramic components are often preferred for their resilience.
  • Choose replacement parts that are user-friendly and come with clear installation instructions.

When dealing with loose internal parts, it’s crucial to use the right tools and follow a systematic approach:

1. Identification of Loose Parts

Before initiating the tightening process, pinpoint the specific components that have become loose. Utilize a wrench, pliers, or an allen key for this task.

2. Gentle Tightening Process

Secure the identified loose internal components with the appropriate tool, emphasizing gradual tightening to prevent unintended damage.

3. Assessing Tap Performance

Turn on the water supply after tightening and carefully observe the tap’s performance. Look for any persistent leaks or irregularities in water flow.

Installing a New Cartridge

The cartridge in your bath shower mixer tap serves as a critical component responsible for controlling the flow of hot and cold water. When this essential part becomes damaged, it can result in persistent leaks, necessitating its replacement.

1. Remove the Old Shower Cartridge

Begin by carefully unscrewing the packing nut and removing the old cartridge. Pay attention to its orientation and assess it for any signs of damage. This step serves as a crucial diagnostic, helping identify specific issues that require attention.

2. Acquire a Compatible Replacement

Before moving forward, emphasize the importance of selecting a replacement cartridge that aligns with your tap’s specifications. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional advice to ensure compatibility. This ensures a seamless replacement that not only fixes the issue but enhances overall performance.

  • Model Compatibility: Ensure the replacement is designed for your specific tap model.
  • Material Quality: Opt for cartridges made from durable and corrosion-resistant materials for longevity.
  • Brand Alignment: Choosing a replacement from the same brand can enhance compatibility.
  • Size and Dimensions: Verify that the new cartridge matches the size and dimensions of the original for a seamless fit.
  • Water Flow Rate: Match the water flow rate specifications to maintain consistent water pressure.

3. Install the New Cartridge

Insert the new cartridge into the faucet body with attention to orientation. Proper alignment is key for effective functioning. Secure the retaining clip to ensure the cartridge is firmly in place. This precise installation guarantees a restored and improved water flow.

4. Reassemble the Tap

Follow the reverse order of disassembly to reassemble the tap systematically. Attach the tap handle, screw in the packing nut, and secure all components tightly. This step ensures a cohesive and functional unit.

5. Testing for Success

Turn on the water supply by rotating the valve clockwise. Allow water to run for a minute and then turn off the supply by rotating the valve counterclockwise. Inspect the tap for any signs of leakage. If the tap is no longer dripping, the installation is successful, and the issue has been effectively addressed.

Summary

In this detailed guide, we’ve navigated the process of fixing a dripping bath shower mixer tap. From identifying common culprits like worn washers, loose internal parts, and damaged cartridges to the hands-on repair process, we’ve covered every step to ensure your tap operates optimally.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I stop my shower mixer tap from dripping?

To stop your shower mixer tap from dripping, consider replacing the cartridge or washers. If issues persist, consulting a professional plumber may be necessary.

2. Why is my mixer tap leaking from the joint?

Leakage from the joint may indicate a worn-out O-ring seal. Replacing the washer or rubber seal should resolve this issue quickly.

3. How to Fix a Loose Kitchen Faucet Spout?

Address a loose kitchen faucet spout by turning off the water supply, removing decorative caps or handles, and using a wrench or pliers to tighten the mounting nut beneath the countertop.

4. Can I fix a dripping bath shower mixer tap myself, or should I call a plumber?

Fixing a dripping bath shower mixer tap is usually straightforward with a step-by-step guide. If uncertain, consulting a professional plumber is recommended.

5.How can I prevent my bath shower mixer tap from dripping in the future?

Regular maintenance, including tightening loose parts and replacing worn washers or cartridges, is crucial for preventing future leaks.

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