There is nothing more refreshing and comfortable than a hot shower before going to bed. However, there are times when minor plumbing problems happen when all you wanted was to enjoy your bath and get a sound sleep. A leaking mixer tap is one of these problems. But before you get disappointed, this is can easily be managed and fixed. Whether the leak is coming from the kitchen or the bathtub, fixing the problem is basically the same.
A Bit of Information on Mixer Taps
Invented by Thomas Campbell and patented in 1880, mixer taps control the flow of water and basically regulates the temperature of water coming from the faucet. There are two valves, for hot and cold, which are connected to the faucet. Another type is the single handle mixer where there is only one valve and the handle is moved up and down to regulate the flow and temperature.
Fixing the Sink with a Leaking Mixer Tap
Step 1: Turn off the shut valve for both taps under the sink and turn both the taps on to drain the remaining water from the pipe. For a single handle mixer, shut off the water valve that is connected to it.
Step 2: Remove the faucet handle by unscrewing it counter-clockwise. Locate the hex nut and with a hex wrench with the correct size, loosen the hex. Next, remove the cover head from the unit.
Step 3: Normally, you will see a plate-covering made from plastic material over the cartridge. You will have to remove it by turning it counter-clockwise. Do the same with the brass fitting securing the cartridge using an adjustable open-end wrench.
Step 4: Once it is loosened, unscrew it with your hand so you can pull the cartridge.
Step 5: Take the old cartridge and head to the plumbing supplies store to get the exact kit you will need.
Step 6: Insert the new cartridge and ensure the holes are fitted correctly to the opening.
Step 7: Replace the brass nut and tighten it securely but not too tight as well as the plastic plate covering of the cartridge.
Step 8: Replace the handle and tighten the hex nut with the proper hex wrench. Replace the handle and the cover as well if you previously removed one at the start of the repair.
Step 9: Turn on the shut valve under the sink and turn on the tap.
Step 10: Check if the leak has been repaired. If there is still leak, you might need to check the brass nut and tighten it a little bit more.
Replacing the Spout Base Seal
Leak might stem from the broken or worn seal ring on the base of the spout. If this is the case, replacing it can solve the problem. After you have removed the spout, check the seal ring found inside the neck of the spout. You can remove this using a flat head screwdriver. There are kits with washers and o-rings and seals you can purchase from the local hardware. Ensure that you get one that has exactly the same size as the old one. Put it inside the neck of the tap and make sure it is a perfect fit. Replace the spout and secure it tightly. Follow the steps above in replacing the spout.