How to Reseat a Leaking Tap

This post was last updated on Sunday, August 9th 2020

Reseating a tap is pretty easy once you have been shown. Its a simple process and I’m going to tell you exactly how to reseat a leaking tap in this post.

It’s not hard to do, and with my step by step guide here you’ll know exactly how to reseat a leaking tap and be all done in under 15 minutes.

There are a few things you will need

While you have the water off and doing a reseat you might as well do the job right once and for all.

I will explain step by step here and down below you will find a short video of me if that works better for you.

How to reseat a leaking tap… Your step by step guide

First up I am going to assume you know how to turn the water off. If you live in a complex you might rather rethink going alone with this as you may have to shut the entire complex down.

Secondly, I am a plumber in Australia even tho the concept is the same we use different lingo, so you might find things a little different.

So assuming you got the water off here are the steps

  1. Turn the outside tap on or the hot and cold water bath taps as they are normally the lowest to help the lines drain.
  2. We are going to work with just basic handles and buttons here. It doesn’t matter if you are doing a shower, bath kitchen sink, basin, the principle is all the same.
  3. Un-screw the button which is where the H or C label is.
  4. Do them both, not worth just doing the one tap while got the water off
  5. Once they are off, turn the taps on like you would normally. This releases the pressure off the seat.
  6. Remove the flanges, springs if on a wall like a shower or bath. Basins don’t have springs under the flanges.
  7. On a basin, you should have easy access to the hex nut at the base of the spindle body.
  8. un-screw it the same way as you turn the tap on and remove it from the breach housing.
  9. Some water may come out, just soak it up with a towel.
  10. Holding on to the body of the spindle with one hand, screw the spindle shaft which is what the handle sits on and wind it like you are turning the tap off.
  11. The shaft should wind out from the bottom of the spindle body where you get access to the o-ring.
  12. Rip the o-ring off the best you can, cut it or use pointy nose pliers. Whichever way just get it off and throw it away.
  13. More than likely the tap washer is still sitting in on the seat inside the breach. Grab that with your pliers as well and throw that away in the bin too.
  14. Remove the body washer, it’s the red fiber washer on the body of the spindle. Chuck that away too.
  15. Now just reverse pretty much what you did.
  16. Install the red fiber washer.
  17. Roll a new o-ring from the bottom of the spindle shaft, not the thread end. Some have two depending on the brand.
  18. Dry off the thread on the shaft and lube with tap lube or vaseline if no tap lube will do.
  19. Don’t be to shy with it, and place a little dollop on the end where the tap washer sits. Helps hold the washer in place and not fall out when holding it upside down.
  20. Wind the shaft all the way out/on so the entire thread gets a nice coating of lube.
  21. Do this to both taps either at the same time or do one side than the other.
  22. Grab your re-seater and give the seats a tickle up. You need to have a nice shiny smooth brass finish. No lines, cracks or splits in the seat. If the seat is pitted it will leak.
  23. Once you are happy, install the spindles and tighten up firm.
  24. Turn the taps off but here be careful. Only just close the taps off with NO force. We want a little bit of water to flow out when we turn the water on to wash out any of the brass filings that will be present. If you turn the tap off to tight you run the risk of brass filings getting lodged under the rubber of the valve and then you need to replace it again.
  25. Turn the water on, close any other taps you may have open and bleed the line from any air in it.
  26. What I do now place the towel over the basin, covering the outlet and turn the tap of slowly on bleed the air fully out. Do this to both hot and cold. The towel stops water spirting everywhere.
  27. Once you get all the air out, turn the tap on flat out. 1 at a time. This washes any of the brass filings away.
  28. Once you have done it to both you should good to go.

That my friends is a no-nonsense step by step how-to guide on how to reseat a leaking tap that I do as plumber do when I am fixing a leaking tap.

Since you have the water off it’s silly not to do both taps or all of them even.

Got a shower that has low pressure? This could be why.

Check out the video below of all the steps that are mentioned above on how to reseat a leaking tap