Fixing Leaks in Kitchen Sinks and Taps Fixing Leaks in Kitchen Sinks and Taps

What You'll Need
Lubricating oil

If you have kitchen sinks and taps that are leaking or dripping, this can be a great problem, but there is an easy solution for it. The problem is most often the washer of the tap that needs to be replaced. It can also be that the ceramic cartridge or valve seating is not properly in place. In case the tap is a mixer, make sure that both washers are changed.

Step 1 - Close the Valve and Opening the Tap Knob

Most leaks can be solved by a simple changing and replacing of the washer, a small ring made of rubber that prevents leaks by opening and closing the flow of water only when the tap is open or closed respectively. To fix a tap, the first thing to do is closing the main valve to avoid flooding of the kitchen or bathroom. Then turn the knob of the tap anti-clockwise until it becomes loose, but sometimes you need to just pull it abruptly when it is already loosened.

Step 2 - Replace the Washer

Unscrew the nut that is holding the washer with a spanner and remove the washer to take it to the hardware store as a reference. Replace the old washer with a new one and put it in place just as you did to remove the old washer. Do not leave the pieces of the old washer in the seat of the tap before you put it back on and open the water flow again. Keep in mind to close the valve before starting any work.

Step 3 - Reseating the Tap

If the leaking persists even after replacing the washer, the tap then probably needs reseating, this might be because the seating is worn out. Older taps are made of brass and they might have cavities inside and therefore turn out to be porous as a consequence of this. In this case, the tap needs replacement.

Step 4 - Precautions

Do not leave the tools you are using to repair the tap in the basin because any small parts can be lost by falling into the drain. You can always put the plug in the plughole to prevent any parts to fall down. Put a towel around the sink so that the tools do not damage the sink.

Step 5 - Ceramic Cartridges

If the tap is using a ceramic cartridge, take off the hot-cold indicator or the lever of the tap. The ceramic cartridge is usually kept in place by a brass nut and an important thing is not to force the nut because it may damage the tap. Remove the retaining screw of the tap with a screwdriver, but it all depends on the type of tap and faucet. In case the brass nut that is keeping the ceramic cartridge is a bit too resistant to remove, try applying lubricating oil to it and leave it there for about ten minutes before trying again.


This process is needed not only for leakages in the taps of the kitchen, but also in those of the bathroom. Leaks must be fixed as soon as possible to avoid waste of water and stains in the basin of the kitchen sink or bath and the problem might grow and become worse.

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