Leaking tap - please help!

18 Feb 2021
Reaction score
United Kingdom

Hi. I’m a complete beginner. I have a leaking bathroom tap. I’ve watched videos online about how to take it apart and replace the washer. The problem is I’m struggling to get the top off. I watched someone remove the bit at the top that says cold to expose a screw underneath. I can’t get that top bit off. It’s so tight and I can’t slip a Stanley blade round it. Am I right to be trying to take it off? And if so and advice as to how?

I have attached pictures. Thanks so much.
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No need to with that one.....turn the water off, support the tap body and undo the big hexagon just above the body.
The insert will then come out for you to access the washer.
John :)
Thank you! I’ve just tried and for the life of me can’t turn that big hexagon. I’ve tried gripping under the tap and also just using my hands to support it. I’ve put WD40 over it but it still won’t budge! I can twist the small hexagon further up the top but just not this big one. Any ideas what I can try? Thanks.
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I have a huge adjustable spanner which I use to grip the tap spout - and another smaller one which will undo the hexagon.....it will free up all of a sudden. A dosing of very hot water may help to allow the thing to expand a little.
You really don't want the tap to turn as you may interfere with the pipework below but at the end of the day it is sometimes necessary to remove the supply pipes and undo the tap back nut - then you can hold the tap in the vice. :eek:
John :)
Be lucky.....the top hexagon is the gland nut and doesn’t need touching here - unless water leaks between it and the tap stem.
John :)
I have just replaced washers on some Bristan taps. Perhaps I was lucky that it wasn't too difficult to loosen the nut and didn't need to use the hot water trick.
It does help, though, if you have a long spanner (more leverage). An equally long lever to oppose movement of the tap body as well would be an advantage of course.

If in doubt, call a plumber. Changing a washer can't cost an arm and a leg!

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