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20 March 2012

Don't be a drip

A dripping tap can waste 30-60 litres per day or even more, and according to several bylaws it's illegal not to fix obvious leaks.

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A dripping tap can waste 30-60 litres per day or even more, and according to several bylaws it's illegal not to fix obvious leaks.

This World Water Day (22 March), check all your taps, showerheads and toilets for leaks. Mouldy walls and oddly green spots in the garden may be a sign of leaking pipes too. You can fix many leaks yourself, just by installing new washers.

How to fit a new washer on a tap:

  • Turn off the water mains.
  • Open the tap as far as it can go.
  • Wrap a cloth around the cover and unscrew it
  • Unscrew the spindle.
  • Unscrew the washer-retaining nut and remove the washer.
  • Fit a new washer: make sure you use the correct washer size for the tap.
  • Replace the nut. 
  • Replace the spindle and screw down the cover.
  • Close the tap, open the water supply slowly and check for leaks again.  
  • Don't overtighten the tap, as you can damage the new washer.  

But if you're a first-time plumber, rather watch this step-by-step How To video.

 - Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, March 2012 

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