If your tap won’t turn off, it is important to address the issue promptly to avoid water wastage and potential damage to your plumbing system and property.
Reasons why your tap isn’t turning off
There are several potential reasons preventing you from turning off your tap. The most common causes tend to be:
- The tap handle is stuck or corroded.
- The tap needs a new washer.
- The valve or tap body is broken.
Stay calm! Don’t panic
A running tap that won’t turn off can send homeowners into immediate panic. Try to assess the situation calmly to figure out if you can resolve the issue yourself or if you need to call a professional plumber.
Turn off the water supply
There are two options here, you can either locate and turn off your main water stop valve, which is typically located near the water meter or where the main water pipe enters your home, or you can locate and turn off the isolation valve. Turning off the main valve will stop the flow of water and prevent further wastage, but it will also turn off the water supply to your entire home.
We usually recommend closing the isolation valve connected to the troublesome tap so that you only shut off the water supply to the tap in question. This will ensure you can continue using all the other taps in your home whilst you resolve the problem.
Release the handle
Once you have isolated the water supply, you could try to release the handle. If the handle is stuck, you could try gently turning it backwards and forwards. Avoid using excess force when doing this, as the handle could break and exasperate the problem. After all, if water is running from a tap spout into a basin/bath, it may be a huge waste of water, but the water is still draining away. The water is contained enough to avoid flooding your property. However, if you start playing around too forcefully with the tap and it breaks, it could potentially create a situation where the water sprays from the tap body, landing outside the sink or bath and causing property damage.