When making a repair by replacing an older nut and bolt assembly, there’s sometimes the temptation to skip the washer. That’s especially true when the bolt head and the nut are larger than the hole. Instead of assuming that lock or flat washer really doesn’t do much, it makes sense to learn more about what it does bring to the party. There are two specific benefits that come from spending the few cents required to invest in the right type of washer.

Distributing the Pressure

The flat body of a standard washer is actually good for whatever sections the individual is attempting to secure. With the aid of the washer, the pressure exerted by the nut is distributed over a wider amount of space. This has the effect of reducing the stress on the area directly around the hole and preventing damage to those sections.

Without the use of the washer, the amount of stress on that area is more significant and increases the odds of additional wear and tear. In this sense, the washer is helping to ensure that the need for additional repairs is kept to a minimum.

Making Sure the Nut Remains Tight

Depending on the materials used for the sections involved, the presence of a washer helps to reduce the chances of the nut working loose. Who wants to go back every few months and tighten the nuts again? Keep in mind that if the nuts are left loose, that only increases wear and tear on the sections. By using washers that are just right, the nuts stay firmly in place and the piece of furniture or other object remains stable.

For example, consider the use of nuts, bolts, and washers to secure a round base to a recliner. It’s easy enough to slide a hex or other bolt into the connecting hole, into the connecting assembly and then secure the bolt with the nut. Choosing to add a washer around the head of the bolt and under the nut prevents the slippage and movement that could result in loosening the nut. Instead of having the base shift eventually, the nut remains tight for years.

Never underestimate the power of a washer. Keep several on hand in different sizes. When the need arises, these seemingly simplistic resources will come in quite handy.