Mixer taps comprise of three seperate areas when it comes to repair. The individual water controls (hot and cold) on either side are repaired and serviced as individual taps and repair information for leaks and failure here can be found in our repairing a dripping tap project. When it comes to repairing a mixer tap, the spout is the weak link and can sometimes leak at the base. This can be repaired quite easily and details are covered below.
Remove The Mixer Spout From The Tap
Mixer spouts are held on in three ways, either there is a large snap ring between the spout and the body (this is normally hidden by a "skirt" which either screws down or is held in position with a very small "grub" screw, normally at the back) which can be closed and removed with a pair of pliers.
In some cases there is a small grub screw at the back, which when undone will allow the spout to be pulled upward from the body and finally, some mixer spouts have no actual fixing holding them in.
This type allows you to simply pull up on the spout and release it from the grip of the seal which is generally on the bottom of the spout.
Replace The Seal At The Base Of The Spout
The first two mentioned above have normally got a seal ring within the base. This seal ring, over time, will wear and cause leaks, usually from the base of the spout.
As you may imagine from the above, to resolve any leaks of this kind you will need to replace the seal ring. Once you have removed the spout, look down inside the neck and locate the seal ring. In some cases you will be able to hook the seal out with your finger but if you are unable to use a small flat edge screwdriver to hook the seal out.
Replace The Old Seal With a New One
Depending on the make and model of your mixer tap will in some cases depend on the size of replacement seal ring you will need to use. The quickest and easiest way to get an exact match replacement is to keep the old one and take a trip down to your local plumbers merchants and ask them for an exact replacement or a plumbers repair kit (seen below).
You may be lucky enough to have a selection of washers, O-rings, seals etc… in the form of a plumbers repair kit. If so have a look through and see if you can find a replacement. If not, then you will have to resort to a trip to your local plumbers merchants.
Once you have your replacement you will need to re-fit it. Drop it back down inside the neck of the tap and make sure it sits neatly at the base. Once the seal ring is in place re-fit the spout and secure it and you’re done.
A box of washers in the form of a plumbers repair kit can be bought from most plumbers merchants or your local DIY store. In terms of repairing a mixer tap that’s pretty much it. As commented above, if it is your taps that are leaking visit our how to repair a dripping tap project for more information.
We have made every effort, under copyright law, to find the owner of some of the pictures above. If you have information which may help, please contact Diy Doctor.
Additional Fourth Type Of Mixer Tap
Thanks to Anthony Rudge for the following information…….
I have found a fourth type of mixer tap which requires a different method of repair.
The spout is secured to the body of the mixer by a ‘key’ which runs in a groove in the body allowing the spout to rotate from side to side. To disengage the key and thus remove the spout, it is necessary to push the spout to the left (as you are facing the sink) and line it up with the body of the mixer. Lift, wiggle, and it comes away quite easily. There is a keyway in the body at the centre back which must be lined up with the key in the spout before removal can be effected.
Another reader, Lance, had a leak under the tap.
He replaced everything, eventually including the tap but any water splashed on to where the tap was seated resulted in drips underneath. Eventually he found that water was passing the ‘O’ ring supplied for the base of the tap.
He solved the problem by removing and then re-fixing the tap, ensuring that the tap and ‘O’ ring were aligned properly around the hole in the sink. One to watch out for – thanks, Lance!
Stopping a Drip from a Thermostatic Bath Shower Mixer Tap
Dripping from a mixer shower or bath tap will almost always be caused by a part failure within the tap, and as there are so many different types, makes and models, it is often quicker, cheaper and less stressful to simply replace the whole tap.
Before you do replace it is worth seeing what has failed and if you can replace the part then you are lucky.
Typically it will be the ceramic discs which have failed due to corrosion or the rubber washers or seals that will have perished.
This is more likely to occur in a hard water area so you might consider investing in a water softener as this will increase the life of these sorts of parts and other appliances too.
When you have identified the part at fault, then you can see if you can replace it.
If you have the make and model of the tape this will be much easier as you can contact the manufacture or tell your local plumbers merchant.
If you cannot find the model, but know the make, you can still contact the manufacturer. Most have technical helplines than might be able to assist you.
Failing that it is a case of taking the part to your local merchant or trawling the web to find a replacement, which is why most plumbers recommend simply swapping the whole mixer tap.