How to Change a 
Tap Washer on a Mixer Tap
10 Simple Steps

The persistent 'drip...drip...drip' of a tap can be more than just a simple annoyance; it signifies an underlying issue in your plumbing system. Beyond the auditory irritation, it's the unsettling knowledge that water – one of our most precious resources – is going to waste. Every drop counts, and a tap left unchecked can lead to an inflated water bill and potential damage.
Off senior & pensioners
Off Online bookings
Conditions apply*
Request a quote
Get in contact with us today for all your plumbing needs
Contact Us
Now Open!

Leaking tap?
Get it fixed today!

FOr Fast assistance
1300 375 325
%0 Finance 
Abhishek ShahiAbhishek Shahi
21:12 20 Feb 24
Chris Junior was very prompt and completed the work quite swiftly. He also explained the problem quite well that gave us comfort and trust on his ability to help fix the problem
Baljeet SinghBaljeet Singh
05:26 20 Feb 24
Professional and courteous.Happy with the work.
Kenneth LaiKenneth Lai
06:27 16 Feb 24
Chris and Michael have done an amazing job to repair the blocked drainage. Strongly recommend to anyone who's looking for a reliable plumber.
Sarina CancinoSarina Cancino
20:55 13 Feb 24
Excellent service by Chris Jr and Michael. Response time was quick and they were friendly and quick to resolve the issue. 100% would call again and would recommend!
Kiri VanderHeidenKiri VanderHeiden
03:40 13 Feb 24
Thanks for your fast service and great work. I’ll be recommending you to others - good communication and friendly service 🤩
Michelle SharpMichelle Sharp
06:05 12 Feb 24
Dealing with Dr leak was a very easy process. From dealing with reception, and Sam who was very friendly, helpful and thorough. The job all done! Highly recommended.
Bozica, Boyana TrkuljaBozica, Boyana Trkulja
23:36 11 Feb 24
Daniel SmithDaniel Smith
03:51 10 Feb 24
Prompt on time workers , great workmanship, very professional and price was as quoted with no surprises
Samantha AshfordSamantha Ashford
02:02 08 Feb 24
Dr Leak are fast, efficient, clean & tidy. Absolute pleasure to deal with the entire team from start to finish, with special mention to Marley who went that extra mile.
Bernadette FrancisBernadette Francis
00:18 08 Feb 24
I recommend dr leak our hot water system died so I called dr leak plumbing had Chris come out he gave me a quote and the next day they installed our new hot water system mitch was very friendly a great customer service to
Judith MetcalfJudith Metcalf
01:50 07 Feb 24
Great customer service from my initial enquiry, Jack coming out to quote and Mitch doing the repair of my leaking toilet. Could not fault anything. Really liked the communication from texting me on approach to getting the quote and invoice promptly by text. I would not hesitate to recommend. Great work.
Michel AzarMichel Azar
04:47 06 Feb 24
Attentive and super friendly customer service. It’s a whole team working to get the service/job done. Very high standards and professional.
Harlow GornallHarlow Gornall
10:50 05 Feb 24
Marley came out and gave me a reasonable price and was very efficient with the job, highly recommend
Arabela TupkovicArabela Tupkovic
10:48 05 Feb 24
Marley came out and installed new gutters around my whole house. And I cannot get enough of the amazing job he did. Dr leak definitely deserve to be no.1

Replacing Your  
Mixer Tap's Washer

By Chris Provenzale | August 2023

  • Founder / Director of Dr Leak Plumbing
  • License No. 368473C
  • Certificate IV in Plumbing & Services
  • Certificate III in Roof Plumbing
  • Kitchen, Bathroom & Laundry Renovation (KBLR) Licenced


Often, the culprit behind such leaks is a worn-out tap washer. Over time and with regular usage, these washers tend to degrade, losing their effectiveness. The good news? Most homeowners, even those with minimal plumbing experience, can change a tap washer. Initially, it might sound like a daunting task, but with the right guidance and tools, it's a straightforward DIY fix.


However, if you feel it's a task better left to the professionals by the end of this guide, never hesitate to seek expert help. After all, there's an art to plumbing, honed over years of experience. Here, we'll provide a step-by-step process to help you change a tap washer on a mixer tap, ensuring you're equipped to address the leak head-on.


What is a Tap Washer?

A tap washer, often a staple in many plumbing toolboxes, is a small, disc-like component crucial to the functionality of most taps. Its primary role? To ensure that when you turn off your tap, the water does precisely that - it stops flowing.


Essentially, a tap washer acts as the last line of defence, sealing the tap from unwanted drips or leaks. Positioned between the tap seat and spout, it forms a tight barrier, preventing water from seeping through. Their design often incorporates materials that are easy to compress, ensuring a watertight seal every time the tap is turned off. This compressed nature aids in efficiently blocking the valve opening, ensuring no unexpected water flow.


Their types can range from the ones used in kitchen settings to those suitable for basin mixers and even outdoor taps. With time, tap washers experience wear and tear, just like any other tool. This wear can lead to those annoying drips we all dread. On average, checking or replacing these washers every couple of years is a good practice, ensuring smooth tap operation. And if you're noticing a persistent leak, sometimes upgrading to a newer tap model might just be the solution to save on those rising water bills.


Contact a plumber

How Does a Mixer Tap Work?

Mixer taps, now a common sight in many Australian households, offer a sleek and practical solution to water access. Characterised by a solitary faucet and a unified tap handle, these taps streamline both hot and cold water delivery through a single spout. This blend, or 'mix', of water temperatures gives the mixer tap its name.


The design variations are diverse, ranging from the contemporary single-lever models to the elegant wall-mounted ones and even the versatile pull-out versions. No matter the style, the core function remains the same. Whether in your kitchen, basin or even your shower, mixer taps provide a seamless water experience.


At the heart of the mixer tap's functionality lies the ceramic cartridge. This isn't your traditional tap washer. Consisting of two ceramic discs, the upper one is mobile, moving with the handle, while the lower one remains static. This precise movement between the discs allows water to flow seamlessly. The ceramic material is renowned for its durability, outlasting the more common rubber washers. That said, even these sturdy ceramic discs aren't immune to wear and can develop leaks or even slight cracks over time.


Before diving deeper, let's walk through the steps to replace one, ensuring your taps remain drip-free and efficient.



👈 Watch the Most Trusted
Plumbing Company in Action.
Book Now
1300 375 325

Ultimate Guide: 
Changing A Tap Washer 
On A Mixer Tap in 10 Steps

Step 1: Gather Essential Tools and Materials

Before commencing any repair work, it's essential to be well-prepared. For this procedure, gather the following tools:


  • A flathead screwdriver:

This will be handy for prying off caps and unscrewing parts.

  • An adjustable spanner or wrench:

Ideal for tightening and loosening parts of the tap.

  • Needle-nose pliers:

Useful for gripping small components.

  • A cloth or towel:

Lay this down beneath the tap to catch any drips or small parts you might drop, ensuring a mess-free workspace.

  • Replacement tap washer:

Ensure it matches the specifications of the old one for a seamless fit.


Step 2: Turn Off The Water Supply

Safety first! Locate your home's main water valve, typically located under the kitchen sink or outside near the water meter. Turning this off ensures you won't have unexpected water spurting out while working. This step is crucial to prevent any water wastage or mess.


Step 3: Empty The Pipes

Even after the main water supply is shut off, residual water remains in the pipes. Open the mixer tap to let this water drain out. It ensures a dry workspace and confirms that the water supply is genuinely off.


Step 4: Dismantle The Tap

Most mixer taps have a decorative cap on the handle, indicating 'hot' or 'cold'. With your flathead screwdriver, gently pry this cap off. Directly beneath, you'll find a screw. By unscrewing this, you will be able to remove the tap's headgear or handle, granting you access to the internal parts.


Step 5: Remove the Spout from the Mixer Tap

Now, focus on the base of the spout. It may be secured with a snap ring or even a small screw, hidden from plain sight. If it's a snap ring, use your pliers to handle it. If it's a screw, your trusty screwdriver will do the job. Once the securing element is addressed, gently pull the spout upwards and off the tap.


Step 6: Unseal & Locate The Washer

Peek inside the tap's neck, where the spout used to be. Here lies the seal or washer, responsible for maintaining a watertight fit at the tap's base. Over time, this component wears out, leading to those pesky drips.


Step 7: Remove The Old Washer

Employing the flat edge of your screwdriver or your needle-nose pliers, gently extract the old washer. Remember, this step requires patience; you wouldn't want to damage any surrounding parts inadvertently.


Step 8: Install The New Washer

With the old washer out, it's time for its replacement. Place the new washer in the same spot, ensuring it's seated correctly. This fresh washer will provide an effective seal, preventing any future leaks from the same area.


Step 9: Reassemble The Tap

Begin the reassembly process by retracing your steps in reverse order. Firstly, secure the headgear back in place, followed by the handle. Once these are firmly in place, snap or screw the decorative cap back onto the handle.


Step 10: Restore Water Flow & Test

Reinstate the water flow by turning the main valve back on. Then, operate the mixer tap, allowing the water to run for a few moments. This action serves two purposes: it ensures no leaks and helps flush out any debris that might have found its way into the tap during the repair process. If you observe a steady flow with no drips, pat yourself on the back for a job expertly executed!


With over 15 years of plumbing experience we are the go-to people 

Give us a call

Reach out to our dedicated team today via phone or email to explain your plumbing situation and secure in a plumber. Contact us before 2pm for same day service.

Same day service

Upon arrival Dr Leak will thoroughly inspect the plumbing that needs to be done. After inspection, we report and provide the best options for you to choose from.

No job too big or small

Professional and reliable, at Dr Leak Plumbing Services we complete any plumbing job that comes our way.

Currently busy? Request a call back

Types Of 
Washers for Mixer Taps

Mixer tap washers form the crucial link in ensuring that water flow remains consistent and leak-free. Though small, the choice of material for these washers plays a massive role in the longevity and performance of a tap. Let's delve into the primary materials used in these washers and their distinct characteristics.


The Reliability of Nylon Washers

One of the most trusted materials in the world of tap washers, nylon offers durability and resilience against wear. These washers stand out for their inherent internal lubrication, reducing friction and enhancing their lifespan. Their non-reactivity ensures they remain unscathed when coming into contact with various substances, and their ability to withstand high temperatures makes them suitable for both cold and hot water taps.


Rubber and Polythene Washers: Pros and Cons

A common sight in showers, baths, and basins, these washers are revered for their adaptability to hard materials, owing to their softer nature when compared to nylon. However, their malleability is a double-edged sword: it ensures a good seal but also means they can deform over time, especially when exposed to frequent compressions. Over time, the natural degradation process might lead them to split or crack, requiring replacements to prevent drips.


The Unique Traits of Fibre Washers

Often known as vulcanised fibre washers, these are treated with sulphur at elevated temperatures, granting them a unique hardness. Their distinguishing feature is the ability to expand when wet, providing an optimal seal. Moreover, they can be compressed more easily than rubber or nylon counterparts, ensuring they stay resilient even if overtightened accidentally.


The Strength of Ceramic Washers

Crafted from fire-hardened ceramics, these are arguably the most robust washers available. With one disc stationary and the other mobile, they offer precise control, are less prone to wear due to their erosion-resistant nature, and ensure smooth tap operations.



Identifying the Perfect 
Washer for Your Tap

Choosing an ideal washer isn't just about identifying the material; it's about understanding its compatibility with your mixer tap. Always ensure the replacement washer mirrors the dimensions of the original: Utilise callipers or a measuring tape for precision. Factors like the washer's longevity, adaptability, and price point should be considered.


Investing in quality guarantees reduced frequent replacements, ultimately leading to cost savings. Lastly, purchase your washers from a trusted plumbing supplier to guarantee that you're fitting your taps with the best available.


Don't wait to get your leaking tap fixed  

Residential & Commercial Leak Solutions

Drain CCTV camera inspection & sewer location
Outdoor drain excavation
Drain Repair, Replacement, Installation, cleaning & maintenance services
1300 375 325

Replacing Your Mixer Tap  
with a New Washer

With the knowledge you've garnered, you're on your way to becoming a deft hand at DIY plumbing tasks, having successfully replaced those tap washers and put an end to the dreaded dripping. Impressive! Your newfound skills don’t stop there; venturing into sink drain replacement is now well within your grasp. However, if you find that the hot water remains elusive or your tap washer replacement didn’t pan out as hoped, there's no reason for dismay.


Enter our team at Dr Leak Plumbing, the quintessential specialist in addressing leaking tap woes. Our expertise spans wide from mending leaky showers and clearing obstructed shower drains to tackle noisy taps. When your laundry taps call for a touch-up, whether it’s washer replacements, spindle cleaning, or mixer tap cartridge substitutions, we've got it covered. And for those taps that have seen better days, bearing the brunt of time, rust, or damage, we stand ready to provide impeccable replacements, offering an extensive range of popular taps catering to all preferences.


Let Dr Leak Plumbing be your ultimate plumbing solution. Reach out to our adept plumbing professionals at 1300 375 325 or email Let's ensure your plumbing sings a tune of perfection!


Dr Leak plumbing services, the shower leak specialists you can count on.

We present up front pricing, arrive equipped with the latest tools and guarantee lifetime warranty on all workmanship. Operating 24 hours 7 days a week, we are ready for your call.
1300 375 325

Up Front pricing

Pricing is provided before the work is commenced. We offer payment plans and options to help fit within our customers budget.

State Of The Art Equipment

Using only the most reliable tools and advanced technology to achieve the best result and longevity.

Lifetime Warranty

We pride ourselves in our quality of work and strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Any plumbing done by Dr Leak comes with Lifetime warranty on all workmanship.

24/7 Emergency Plumbing

Emergencies don't wait for business hours, which is why our team at Dr Leak are available 24/7 for all your emergency plumbing.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my mixer tap dripping even after I've turned it off?

This is typically a sign that the washer in the mixer tap has worn out. Over time, with regular usage, washers can degrade, losing their ability to form a tight seal and thus causing drips.

Do all mixer taps use the same type of washer?

No, there are different types of washers, including nylon, rubber, polythene, fibre, and ceramic. It's essential to identify the right kind for your mixer tap to ensure a proper fit and optimal functionality.

What tools will I need to change the washer in my mixer tap?

Basic tools like a flathead screwdriver, adjustable spanner or wrench, needle-nose pliers, and a cloth or towel are commonly needed. Additionally, ensure you have a replacement washer that matches the specifications of your mixer tap.

How often should I change the washer in my mixer tap?

On average, it's a good practice to check or replace these washers every couple of years. However, if you notice persistent drips or leaks, it might be time to inspect and potentially replace the washer sooner.

Can I replace the washer in my mixer tap myself, or do I need a professional?

Replacing a washer in a mixer tap is a manageable DIY task for most homeowners with the right tools and guidance. However, if you're unsure or encounter complications, it's always recommended to seek professional assistance.

If I replace the washer and the tap still drips, what could be the issue?

If you've replaced the washer and still encounter drips, the issue could be with the ceramic cartridge, especially if you have a modern mixer tap. Over time, ceramic discs can wear or develop minor cracks. It might be best to seek professional advice in such cases.

What some of our customers say

Quick response, sorted out a new gas outlet in the house, friendly team
Leichhardt, NSW
Chris arrived promptly, fixed my leaky toilet and went above and beyond by replacing some extra components to ensure a more secure cistern in the future, while staying within the agreed budget. Highly recommend. Meegan, Dee Why
Dee Why, NSW
Dr Leak Plumbing were fantastic. They quickly assessed the issue with our roof and fixed it effectively and provided advice and additional tasks at the same time.
Randwick, NSW

Book a tap repair online today

Call us today on 1300 375 325 or simply complete the form below & we’ll get back to you as soon as possible
Contact Us 2
Kids With Cancer Foundation
$1 donated for every paying customer
Book Now
1300 375 325

Some of our Clients 

Anytime Fitness
Macquarie Shopping Centre
Orangetheory Fitness
Raine & Horne
First National Real Estate

Copyright© 2023. Dr Leak Plumbing Services. All Rights Reserved.