Common household issue could be costing you money every year

While a dripping tap may not sound like a big issue, it’s likely adding money to your water bill.

According to experts, a leaky tap could add an extra £30 to your water bill each year if it’s left to drip.

Most of the time, a leaky tap can be fixed by simply tightening the spout, however, sometimes there are more serious issues such as cracks, corrosion and damage.

With this in mind, Jennifer Shaw, an expert at bathroom specialist Plumbworld, said a leaking tap could be wasting up to 5,500 litres of water annually.

Luckily, Jennifer said there’s a quick and easy way to fix the costly problem.

She said: “With the right equipment, mending a dripping tap should be very straightforward and I am urging homeowners to give it a go.

“The cost of a dripping tap might not seem huge, but with bills as high as they are at the moment, every little counts.

“First things first, you’ll need to assess why your tap is dripping. Most of the time this is down to general wear and tear, such as a dirty or broken ceramic disc cartridge.

“If you find it’s something more complicated, though, we recommend contacting a professional plumber for advice. But if you feel happy it’s a quick fix then all you need to do is follow the steps below.”

How to fix a dripping tap

1. First, find the stop tap to turn off your water supply. This is usually found under the kitchen sink.

2. Next, turn on the tap to allow residual water to run out. Make sure to plug the sink to prevent any screws from going missing when dismantling the tap.

3. Then, locate the small screw on the leaking tap. This is typically on the underside of the handle/lever but this will depend on the style of the tap so homeowners may need to do a quick check to find it.

4. Undo the screw with an Allen key or screwdriver and slowly remove the tap handle.

5. Remove the tap cartridge with an adjustable spanner. You will need to keep a cloth or old rag handy in case there’s any leakage.

6. Now is the time to remove any limescale from the cartridge using a descaling solution. If you don’t have a specific spray, use a solution of one part white vinegar to one part warm water and soak it for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse the cartridge and dry it with a cloth before refitting it. If the cartridge is beyond repair, fit a replacement cartridge.

7. To refit the cartridge, screw the cleaned or new cartridge back in using an adjustable spanner.

8. Some taps might have an additional screw that needs to be inserted with a standard screwdriver.

9. Reattach the tap handle/lever, ensuring it’s level before screwing in the small fitting screw (not too tightly). Turn the water back on to test your handiwork.

Jennifer added: “Eight times out of 10 this should solve the problem of a leaky tap. However, some taps have just seen better days and might need replacing completely.”

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