7 clever tips for maintaining taps and showerheads

Thanks to modern plumbing, running water comes flowing out with the turn or the flick of a knob or switch. But taps and showerheads sometimes get gummed up. Here are seven clever tips for maintaining taps and showerheads so that your water keeps flowing with ease.

  1. In hard-water areas, lime scale is the most common cause of jammed headgear in taps. To remove this build up, remove the headgear and then soak the threaded (ridged) parts in vinegar, lemon juice or a proprietary scale remover. Wipe dry and smear with silicone grease to lubricate and protect before reassembling the tap.
  2. Pour white vinegar into a plastic sandwich bag until it's half full. Pull the bag over the shower-head until the head is fully submerged. Tape the bag to the showerhead and leave it overnight. Then just scrub out any remaining lime scale with an old toothbrush and your showerhead will be as good as new.
  3. If the valve handle on a shower, bathroom or kitchen tap is loose, pry off the metal button or indicator disc at the centre of the handle and tighten the retaining screw underneath. Some handles have a setscrew near the base that may require a hex (or Allen) key. If tightening doesn't work, the stem inside the handle may be worn, especially if it's made of plastic. Remove the handle and wrap the stem tightly with plumber's tape. A single wrap will usually create a snug fit. Then put the handle back on.
  4. Don't use poorly fitting wrenches on a plumbing job - they will damage your fittings, making them harder to grip next time.
  5. If you can't remove your tap's aerator, you can still clean it. Pour white vinegar into a plastic sandwich bag and secure it around the spout with a rubber band. Make sure the aerator is completely immersed in the vinegar, and keep the bag in place overnight.
  6. If you have a single-lever tap in the shower, press a self-adhesive coloured dot on the tiles to mark the position of the ideal water temperature. That way you can shower with the ideal water temperature every time.
  7. If a leaky tap keeps you awake at night, stuff a piece of rag in the spout to carry water silently to the drain, then fix the leak the next morning.

Remember these seven clever tips for maintaining your taps and showerheads and you'll be better able to keeps your water flowing with ease.

7 clever tips for maintaining taps and showerheads
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