Quick and Easy DIY Fixture Repairs: Fixing Leaky Taps and Dripping Toilets

Leaking toilet fixed in Glen Iris

Our team received a report from a Glen Iris homeowner about a malfunctioning toilet cistern, which occasionally overflowed into the pan. We promptly conducted an inspection to identify the issue.

Upon assessment, we discovered faults with the water inlet valve. To rectify this, we replaced the old valve with a new Geberit inlet valve. Additionally, we found that the rubber in the outlet valve had deteriorated over time, so we replaced it with new rubbers.

Following these repairs, we are pleased to confirm that the toilet is now in excellent working order. Our commitment to resolving the issue swiftly and effectively ensures the homeowner’s peace of mind.

Drip, drip, drip. The incessant sound of a leaky tap or a dripping toilet can be incredibly annoying, not to mention the water wastage and potential damage it can cause. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a plumbing expert to tackle these common household issues. With a few basic tools and a bit of know-how, you can easily fix these problems yourself. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to repair leaky taps and dripping toilets, saving you both water and money.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before we dive into the repairs, it’s a good idea to gather the necessary tools and materials:

For Repairing Leaky Taps:

  1. Adjustable wrench
  2. Replacement washers and O-rings
  3. Screwdriver (usually Phillips or flathead) or can be an Allen Key (depending on tap handle type)
  4. Plumber’s tape (Teflon tape)
  5. Towels or rags
  6. Small container or bowl

For Fixing Dripping Toilets:

  1. Adjustable wrench
  2. Screwdriver or allen key
  3. Toilet inlet valve replacement kit (optional)
  4. Toilet tank repair kit (optional)
  5. Bucket or large container
  6. Rubber gloves

Now that you have your tools and materials ready, let’s get started with the repairs.

Fixing a Leaky Tap

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

Locate the shutoff valves if any under the sink and/or turn off the water supply to the tap you’re going to repair. If there are no individual shutoff valves, you may need to turn off the main water supply to your home temporarily. If you have separate taps for hot and cold water (mixer), make sure to turn off both supplies.

Step 2: Prepare Your Work Area

Place towels or rags under the sink to catch any water that may spill during the repair. It’s a good idea to have a small container or bowl handy to collect small parts like screws and washers.

Step 3: Remove the Handle

Use a screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the tap handle in place. Once the screw is removed, carefully take off the handle.

Step 4: Access the Cartridge or Tap Spindle

Depending on your tap’s design, you’ll either find a cartridge, tap spindle, or mixer cartridge. Use your adjustable spanner to loosen and remove it. If replacing mixer cartridge, remove cartridge retaining nut, remove cartridge, install new cartridge, reinstate tap handles. Be cautious not to damage the threads during removal.

Step 5: Replace Washers and O-rings

Inspect the washers and O-rings for signs of wear, cracks, or damage. If you see any issues, replace them with new ones from your replacement kit. Apply plumber’s tape to the threads of the tap spindle or cartridge for a better seal.

Step 6: Reassemble the Tap

Carefully reassemble the tap components in the reverse order you removed them. Make sure everything is snug but not over-tightened.

Step 7: Turn On the Water Supply

Turn the water supply back on slowly and check for any leaks. If everything looks good, give the tap(s) a few turns to ensure all is functioning properly.

Fixing a Dripping Toilet

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

Locate the toilet’s shutoff valve, usually located behind or beneath the toilet cistern near the floor. Turn it clockwise to shut off the water supply.

Step 2: Empty the Tank

Remove the toilet tank lid and flush the toilet to empty the tank. Use a sponge or towel to soak up any remaining water in the tank and bowl.

Step 3: Identify the Cause

There are typically two common causes of a dripping toilet: outlet or inlet valve.
Let’s address both scenarios.

For an Inlet Valve Issue

  • Check the inlet valve for any visible signs of damage or wear.
  • If the inlet valve is old or damaged, consider replacing it with a new one from a toilet tank repair kit or cistern inlet valve.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the new inlet valve.

For an Outlet Valve Issue:

  • Lift the flush valve seal to unhook it from the flush lever.
  • Remove the old flush valve seal and replace it with a new one from your replacement kit.
  • Reattach the seal to the flush lever, ensuring it has enough slack to allow proper sealing when not in use.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the new fill valve.

Step 4: Turn On the Water Supply

Turn the shutoff valve counterclockwise to gradually restore the water supply to the toilet tank.

Step 5: Check for Leaks

Allow the tank to fill, and keep an eye out for any leaks around the inlet fill or outlet valves. If you notice any leaks, adjust the valve as needed.

Step 6: Test the Toilet

Flush the toilet several times to ensure it’s working correctly and that there are no more drips.

  • If you’re unsure about any step or encounter unexpected difficulties, it’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific tap or toilet model.
  • If the issue persists after attempting these DIY repairs, or if you’re uncomfortable with the process, don’t hesitate to call the professional plumbers at Doherty’s. Some plumbing problems may require more advanced troubleshooting and repair.
  • Regular maintenance and addressing issues promptly can save you money on water bills and prevent further damage to your fixtures and plumbing system.

Our team of skilled and licensed plumbers are ready to fix urgent or recurring plumbing issues that DIY methods haven’t solved. Get the plumbing problem fixed right the first time because on-going issues can result in much bigger and serious problems.

Don’t hesitate. Call today!

Check out our various locations in Melbourne right here: [Click here]


Discover the full range of our offerings right here: [Explore them now]


Reach out to chat with our friendly team at Doherty Plumbing Solutions today.


(03) 9877 5775

0417 577 432

Book Online

DD slash MM slash YYYY
Drop files here or
Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, Max. file size: 4 MB, Max. files: 3.
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
    Doherty's installed a tap in our warehouse. It was a particularly fiddly job and they delivered on time at a competitive price. Their staff were polite, professional and helpful.
    Kerrie King Avatar
    Kerrie King
    I was very impressed with the service. From the time I made the phone call and all the costs were advised until I received a text message advising Tim would be at my place within 9 minutes. Tim was very professional and I will use your Company in future if I have any plumbing work to be done.
    Noel Harvey Avatar
    Noel Harvey
    I called Doherty with a problem that was causing me all sorts of issues. They sorted it out quickly and efficiently and got the job done without any fuss, on time, with courtesy and professionalism and at a reasonable price. I will use Doherty again!
    Christine Salau Avatar
    Christine Salau
    For reliable plumbing services, call 03 9877 5775 or 0417 577 432