I have been unable to find out how to measure the correct hardness (resilience) for a typical pillar basin/bath tap - there appears to be no easy way to find data or detailed information on this aspect of tap maintenance. I have had issues with dripping taps in my house from new (2004), i.e. all the taps were prone to dripping from the very first day. The only way to ensure they did not drip was to wrench them firmly tight, making them, as a result, too tight for youngsters (grandchildren) to undo. The children, In turn, were not able to close them tight enough to prevent them dripping, Changing the washers was the obvious action, but this was not as successful as I was expecting as three of the six taps still showed a tendency to drip unless screwed down hard. Yes I did check the seats and no obvious surface damage was apparent. I am also in a relatively soft water area. I then chanced to be given a pair of identical taps by a relative - same make and model (and roughly same age) - and these were a quite different "animal" that is, they worked smoothly and shut off softly and completely without the need to screw them down hard - as the construction was the same as my original taps the only variant remaining was the washer, but without a means of testing the two washers - the ones that did not close unless screwed really tight and the ones on the taps from my relative. Visual inspection gave no clue i.e. there were no obvious marks to determine if the washers were different or not. They were, for all intents and purposes, identical, but the fact is they did not perform the same: the alternative taps performed very much better. The washers I purchase from B&Q seemed perfectly OK to look at, but clearly from a performance point of view, they must be made to a different hardness spec. The thing is if I could guarantee to get better performing washers I am confident all my dripping taps will be history. My son-in- law tells me rubber washers are made to a hardness scale, but you need to know which so you can buy the right ones......'simples' when you know, but that's my issue.
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