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Fitting new taps

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Fitting new taps is required either because it is part of the installation of a new bath/basin, or because the taps on a bath/basin have become old and worn or simply for cosmetic reasons. The type of taps you can have are dependent upon your bath / basin.

If there is one hole for the taps, then you will require a mono-bloc mixer (these have two smaller diameter pipes coming out of the single hole for hot and cold). If there is two holes then you can have separate hot / cold taps or a two hole mixer (two taps one spout). Some mixers also have a lever on them for controlling the plug (i.e. opening and closing).

Removal of old taps

If replacing the existing taps as opposed to being part of the installation of a new basin/bath, the first thing to do is to disconnect the water (see Cutting off the water supply). Turn on the taps full to drain any water still in the system. The process of removing the existing taps could prove to be quite problematic due to the restricted access that is often the case.

Use a basin wrench (crowsfoot spanner) or a tap tool to undo the nut, which connects the supply pipes to the taps. Some water will come from the pipes, so have a cloth ready. Once the supply pipes have been removed use the same tool to loosen the nut that is holding the taps onto the bath/basin - the single taps will have to be stopped from turning during this process. Once the taps have been removed the holes in the bath/basin have to be cleaned of any old sealing compound.

Before fitting the new taps, compare the pipe connections on the old taps to the new taps. If the old taps are longer than the new taps then a shank adapter is required so the new taps will fit.

Fitting new taps

If the tails of the new taps are plastic then a plastic connector is required to prevent damage to the thread; one end of the connector fits on the plastic tail of the tap and the other end provides a connection to the existing supply pipes.

If a monobloc is to be fitted then reducing couplers will be required. The reducing coupler allows the 10mm pipe of the monobloc to connect to the standard 15mm supply pipe.

Then to fit the new taps, position the tap in the mounting hole in the bath/basin ensuring that the washers are in place on top between the tap and the sink. Then secure the tap in place with the backnut provided. When the tap is securely in place the supply pipes can be connected to the tails of the taps.

The taps can either be connected with normal tap connectors or by using corrugated copper piping. The corrugated piping has the advantage that it can be bent to compensate for misalignment of the supply pipes to the taps. The corrugated pipes have a tap fitting at one end and compression fitting at the other. The corrugated pipes should be connected to the tap ends first, tightening only by hand. The supply pipes can then be connected to the other end. Once they have been connected both ends can be tightened with a spanner.

When the taps have been connected the water supply can be turned back on. Any new pipework should be checked for leaks. If any leaks occur they can mostly be stopped by simply tightening joins otherwise the system will have to be drained and a closer and more thorough investigation should occur.

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