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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Had enough of your leaky bathroom gun?

Had enough of your leaky bathroom gun?

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doityourself.gif

Replacement sprayers and tape are available from plumbing stores.

Fitting the thread tape to the sprayer. Photos: Jet Odrerir

A typical water valve and meter.

There are few things as annoying as a dripping faucet - except maybe a leaking bathroom sprayer.

The former only keeps you up at night; the latter makes for a mildew-laden, mosquito-breeding wet bathroom floor.

Make sure you've set enough time aside to complete the project. Once the parts are off, you won't be able to turn the water back on until finished.

The sprayer can be unscrewed by hand. You will need an adjustable spanner or crescent wrench to remove the mounting nut, which connects the hose to the wall pipe. You'll also need some rags.

You may also want a helper.

Locate the main water valve. This will be in a location where the Phnom Penh Water Authority can get a reading so look around the ground floor, usually in a cement pillbox with an access panel on top.

If there is only one valve for your entire building, it is neighbourly to inform everyone the water will be off for awhile.

There should be lever valves on either side of the meter. Turn one of them 90 degrees to shut off the water.

Find where the leak is. If the leak is at the wall connection, you should only need Teflon tape but remove the hose to make sure.

Sometimes the mounting nut will crack, in which case you need to replace the hose. Always turn counterclockwise to remove water fittings.

If it is the sprayer, remove it. The bottom piece of a sprayer is actually its mounting nut.

Bring all parts with you to make sure you get a replacement of the right size and shape.

For a pedestrian sprayer, your local hardware store will have replacements of varying quality.

Thai-made fixtures are, generally, better quality than the Vietnamese or Chinese.

There are many plumbing stores that have opened in the last couple years that carry a variety of sprayers.

Dry fit the parts at the store to make sure they will match up, are the right length, etc. Make sure you buy some Teflon tape.

When home, dry fit the parts to your existing plumbing. Make note of connections that seem loose as well as where things are lined up when they feel tight. By varying the amount of Teflon tape used you can correct both of these issues.

Teflon tape is non-reactive and impermeable to liquids. It fills the spaces between the threads of the male and female fittings of both plastic and metal pipes.

It also prevents metal parts from corroding together making them difficult or impossible to take apart.

Tear off a 30cm piece of Teflon tape taking care to keep it flat.

With the threaded end of the male fitting facing you, wrap the tape clockwise around the threads starting about 3 millimetres from the end and smooth, don't stretch, the tape into the threads.

You and your helper should both have a phone. They will wait at the water meter while you reattach the sprayer and hose.

When you are sure that everything is reconnected, tell them to turn the water valve on at which point you should hear some water refilling your pipes.

Test the sprayer, wipe a dry cloth over all of the joints and look for water seepage.

If there is a problem area, try tightening that coupling. If the leak doesn't stop after about a quarter turn, have your helper turn the water off.

Disassemble and rewrap the male end with tape adding a few more layers.

When you're finished, tear off the exposed tape for a clean look.

Sun Hour, 427E0 Monivong Boulevard, and Heng Asia, 20 Mao Tse-tung Boulevard, have a number of different sprayers to choose from.

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