Replacing a missing screw

A simple fix often needs a new screw or bolt to replace one that has gone missing. Recently whilst using the garden sprayer, the plate which holds the pump handle came loose, this was caused by both screws having come off.

Fortunately, I was able to find one of the missing screws so I could determine the replacement size. The following parameters are normally important:

  • Diameter (measure the out part of the thread)
  • Length
  • End (counter sunk or button)
  • Material – Stainless steel is often a good choice

Using a free caliper I got from a supplier at work, I was able to determine it was an M5 (5mm diameter), 8 mm long, counter-sunk machine screw. There are several suppliers on eBay who will sell small quantities of machine screws. In this case, I paid £1.70 for a pack of 10, which arrived a few days later. When they can the heads were slightly larger, but they still fitted.

The sprayer was returned to full working order in a matter of minutes.