My taps are hard to turn. Do they need to be replaced?

April 28, 2017

in Home

Are you struggling to get the taps to turn at the kitchen or bathroom sink? It's not the end of the world, in a plumbing sense, but is quite a nuisance. When you get tired of fighting with the taps, it's easy to just give up and think about replacing the fixtures. Is that necessary?

A busy plumber in Mosman has a few tips to share, since this is something that probably won't require a professional.

Chances are that your taps can be loosened up yourself without having to replace the overall fixture, presuming you are handy with some tools. It's not difficult. The basic plan is to take it apart, clean out the threads and put it back together.

So shut off the water, either at the main source or just at the sink, and gather up your tools. A couple of adjustable wrenches and a selection of screwdrivers should do it. Some plumbing lubricant would be a good idea too.

Take It Apart

While there are some common steps that apply to most taps, each one is a little different in construction. If you have any manuals or diagrams that came with your fixtures, hopefully you still have them. If not, you just have to experiment a bit to get all the pieces apart.

There is usually a cap on the top of the handle that can be popped off to reveal the main nut holding the handle in place. Loosen that, and the handle should slide off. Here is where it starts to vary. Take your time loosening bolts and screws, to dismantle the mechanism inside the tap.

Set everything aside in order, or you may have trouble remembering which parts go where later on.

Clean It Up

Mineral deposits can start to clog the handle threads over time, which is the most common cause for a tight tap. You just need to clean them off. Soak any crusty parts in vinegar and give everything a thorough scrubbing with a stiff brush to free the threads.

Once the deposits are cleaned off, add a little lubricant to the main handle threads to loosen up the movements. If there were no minerals in the mechanism, then just add the grease and that should still make a big difference.

While you have everything apart, you might want to replace the washers. Stiff or brittle washers will lead to drips rather than turning difficulties, but it's still a handy bit of maintenance you can do since the work is already done.

Put It Back Together

Once cleaned and lubricated, you just have to put all the pieces back together in reverse order you took them apart. With all the components back in place, you should be able to turn the main water back on and give it a try.

All things considered, this is a pretty easy job and should be doable in an hour or so. Once your taps are turning smoother, that will be one less annoyance to deal with.



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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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