BEFORE YOU START
Taps usually leak due to a faulty washer or a worn seat against which the washer is compressed. There are several different types and sizes of tap washers. Do not start with the changing of the washer unless you know what type of washer you need.
TURNING OFF THE WATER
This is very easy if you have a service valve fitted below each tap in modern installations. All you need to do is turn off the valve that isolates the tap from the water supply. If you do not have service valves, turn off the main water supply. This stops water flowing to all taps. Do not forget to turn off your geyser.
PLACE THE PLUG IN THE SINK WASTE AND BLOCK THE OVERFLOW. BOTH HAVE A NASTY HABIT OF SWALLOWING SCREWS AND OTHER SMALL PARTS.
After cutting off water supply, turn on tap to allow the water to drain. Remove the capstan head retaining screw. This will be in the side of the capstan head or under the cap in its centre. This cap might unscrew or it may be prised out with a small screwdriver.
If the capstan will not pull off, turn the tap fully on, slide a spanner over the spindle and under the head and gently tap the spanner upwards with a hammer. Protect the basin with towels in case the head flies off.
Remove the tap cover or shield. If the shield will not undo, wrap a strip of inner tube round it to protect the finish and apply pressure using water pump pliers. Undo the large hexagon nut and remove the body. Remove the old washer from the jumper, this may be held in place by a nut. Hold the jumper with pliers and undo the nut with a small spanner. Replace the washer.
Check the washer seating for pitting, which will stop the washer making a perfect seal. If it is not perfectly smooth, it needs attention. A plastic grommet may be inserted to make a seat. Push the grommet into the hole. Reassemble the tap and screw the handle down. This will bed the grommet and create a new seat.