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The basin cold water tap in my bathroom over the last week has gone from fully flowing, to half pressure, to a dribble, then to a drip and now nothing comes out.

The 3 other taps in the bathroom work correctly, including the cold water tap on the bath.

Are there a series of simple things to check before calling out a plumber?

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What type of faucet is it, two knobs, or one? –  Tester101 Nov 12 '10 at 13:00
@Tester101 One hole, something like this: goo.gl/rNYUl (it also has a lever plug) –  Chris S Nov 12 '10 at 14:47
The problem was a faulty base of the tap, which was meant the cold tap couldn't be untightened. –  Chris S Nov 13 '10 at 17:29

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I could be that the connection between the handle and the actual valve is bad - either it's loose, or stripped.

Is it possible to take the handle off (I'm assuming you have a separate hot & cold handle from the question) to check the condition? Once it's off, you should be able to use a pair of plyers to try to open the valve directly.

If that doesn't work, check the shut-off valve under the sink - if as @aphoria mentions it's something blocking the line, that's another place to check. Turn it off, then back on again, which may dislodge the blockage.

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There may be some sediment blocking the line. Many faucets have a small filter right at the end (where the water comes out) that you can unscrew and clean out. Check that first.

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We just had this happen - there was an airlock in the cold water pipe to that tap. As the tab was a mixer (two knobs, one spout), a simple solution is to put your thumb over the end of the spout, open the cold water completely (nothing happens) and then turn the hot water on. Blocking the spout means the hot water is routed back up the cold pipe, eliminating the air lock.

Use a cloth/rag if your hot water is too hot to keep your thumb over the end - it takes a minute or two.

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My cold water was not running because of an air lock. My faucet was like the one described above (one spout, two handles). I had trouble blocking the spout with my finger and tried several different bottle caps to force the water into the cold supply, but the winner was a wine cork. After letting the water run for just a few seconds the air was out of the cold water supply and it works like a charm! –  user14849 Aug 31 '13 at 19:26

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