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Considerations When Buying Taps
It is essential to know the common types of taps. This is true, especially if you are to replace your faulty faucet. However, before making the purchase, you should consider a few things, as highlighted below. Remember to make a choice for more longevity and effectiveness than for appearances. Consider appropriate height and tap reach. Additionally, the tap you buy should match the number of holes in your sink. Another consideration is the tap finish. The way you clean polished chrome is different from that with a gold or ceramic finish. Furthermore, you should check that the minimum pressure gauge specification matches the water pressure of your home.
Different Types Of Taps And Their Features
Now you are ready to buy the tap. You can choose from the following types:
- Pillar Taps – This is a popular type of tap in the UK. It is attached to a basin or a bath. It also comes with a lever or function to switch on the water supply or turn it off. The taps could be lever head taps or bib taps. Moreover, it has separate fixtures that provide hot and cold water.
- Cartridge Taps – Cartridge taps have a tap lever that moves left to right or top to bottom. The left-to-right movement is for controlling the water temperature. On the other hand, up and down movement controls the water flow. The reason it is called a cartridge tap is that the inner workings hold a cartridge.
- Wall Mounted Taps – These are fitted to walls. A basin or bath hangs below the tap. One advantage is you can clean it more easily. However, the placement of the pipes within the walls makes plumbing repairs difficult.
- Monobloc Taps – This is a variety of mixer taps. It has a single fixture that provides both hot and cold water. The operating lever is adjustable. When you move the lever to the right or left, you can choose the water temperature.
- Mixer Taps – Mixer taps are known as the traditional style of tap, which consists of two pillar taps joined together. Both taps then share a single spout for hot water and cold water. Consequently, the hot and cold water comes together and not separately. Thus, you can get a consistent mix of temperatures.
- Ball Type Taps – The tap mechanism of this type of tap has a sitting ball. This accounts for the round appearance. It helps you control the faucet easily. This means that you can easily switch between hot and cold water. At the same time, you control the amount of water coming out of the tap. However, this tap is more easily prone to leaks.
- Washer Taps – Another name for it is compression washer taps. It has a pillar top and a twisting handle. The washer inside the tap controls the amount of water provided.
- Disk Type Taps – In this type of tap, ceramic disks are placed within the tap mechanism. The disks have small, regularly aligned holes where water passes through. Thus, the disk help control the amount of water flowing from the tap. One downside is the holes allow dirt and grime to get captured within.
How To Fix A Leaking Tap
So, that leaking tap is making you lose water and money. Furthermore, the dripping noise can be irritating. Therefore, it might prove helpful to know how to fix a faucet.
At The Beginning
Begin your leaking tap repair by turning off the main water supply. Check inside the bathroom or laundry if you are in a flat. Perhaps, the main supply is out in your front yard. Sometimes, there is a valve under the seat. Turn it clockwise to switch it off. Thereafter, turn the tap on so any remaining water in the pipe flows out. Put the plug inside the basin so no part falls into the drain while you work.
Doing The Repairs
- If there is a decorative cover, remove it to access the screws beneath. Either pull the cap straight up or unscrew it counterclockwise to remove it. When that does not work, use a flat-head screwdriver to lever up the cap.
- Get a tap spanner and remove the handle of the tap. You have to undo the screw at the back of the handle and remove the handle. If the screw proves difficult, apply penetrating oil.
- Next, you have to unscrew the tap bonnet and remove the headgear. There will be a large body washer, O-ring, and jumper valve. The jumper valve is going to fall out.
- Check the integrity of the body washer, O-ring, and jumper valve. You may have to replace them. Thereafter, apply a tap lubricant to the spindle and valve, so it seals better.
- Re-attach the bonnet and spindle. Do make sure the nuts are not too tight.
- Get the tap back together. Make sure it is turned off. Go switch on the water mains and check if the leaking has stopped. There! You’ve done it all in a day’s work. However, if the water tap is still leaking, the valve seat may be faulty.
Replacing The Tap Valve Seat
Sometimes, debris on the tap seat or a worn-out tap seat can cause a leaky tap. Use a seat wrench to remove the worn valve seat. Next, attach and fasten the new valve seat. Make sure the replacement is an exact copy.
If Tap Is Leaking From The Handle
In this case, the hot water tap handle is leaking water when running. It may have to do with the tap nut packing. You only need to install new packing. Remove the tap’s packing nut and wrap the string-like packing material around the stem a few times. However, if the packing material is a soft wire, the wrap around the stem should be once only. Then, add a light smear of petroleum jelly on the thread stem and threads of the packing nut.
Replacing The O-Ring
The function of the O-ring is to prevent water from oozing out of the spout. After the above steps and the leak persists, do not give up just yet. You could replace the O-ring. Moreover, a faulty O-ring can cause the tap handle to leak. Firstly, remove the handle and the packing nut. Then gently work the spout up and down to ease it out of its socket. There! That is the O-ring at the end of the tap. You can remove and replace it with an exact match. Next, reassemble the tap. Be careful not to scar the metal.
Washing Machine Tap Leaking
When you have leaking washing machine taps, you can be rightly worried. Your laundry, cabinet, flooring, and walls are in danger of being soaked. The following are some steps to take to resolve the problem. Your first priority should be to always check for loose hose connections or worn-out O-rings or bushings. As earlier mentioned, for leaky taps repair, you should turn off the water. Then, disassemble the valve and replace the worn-out O-rings or bushings. Remember, you have to check that the replacement matches the type of valve you have. However, if the water valve has a crack, you need to replace it.
How To Fix A Leaking Bathroom Tap
This often has to do with the integrity of the body washers. Quite often, a leaky bathroom tap is caused by faulty washers. Not to worry, washers are easy to fix. Note that there are three types of washers: the O-ring, body washer, and jumper valve. First, make sure you have a matching washer. Then, use the spanner to turn the valve loose so you can easily remove it. Attach your replacement cartridge and tighten it. After that, assemble the tap back up.
How To Fix A Dripping Tap
A dripping tap occurs when the tap is turned off. Dripping faucets can be so persistent. Those tiny drops of water can accumulate. In no time, the surrounding area is water-logged. The cause of a dripping tap is usually a worn-out jumper valve. You can replace it. However, if the tap leak occurs between the tap body and spindle or below the cover plate while the tap is running, you should consider replacing the O-ring. A few preventive measures to avoid a dripping tap include using the correct water pressure and ensuring the fixtures are not over-tightened.
Kitchen Tap Leaking
As for usual dripping taps, leaking kitchen taps are often caused by damaged O-rings. This is especially so if you have changed the old washer and the faucet is still leaking. You can replace the kitchen tap itself or the damaged O-rings.
Your leaking tap can understandably give you cause for worry. You can follow the simple steps listed above on how to fix a leaky tap. The process includes understanding the types of faucets so a replacement part will match. In addition, you should follow the assembly, replacement, and re-assembly processes highlighted. Remember to pay attention to notable symptoms like a leaky tap while water is still running so you fix the part responsible.