fitting new taps

27 Jan 2007
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United Kingdom
Bath taps; new ones with new extensions; I first fitted with all four joints done with ptfe tape - leaks! Went round all joints trying for extra tightenting - leaks! Dismantled, fitted new fibre washers in all four cups, tightened - still some leaking from the one further out of reach.
Do they really need ptfe as well as washers?
Doesn't the tape stop the nut from tightening on the washer?
Should it be only at the very top, and how thick? (like me!)
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It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.

Where did you put the PTFE tape?
Wound it round the threads of the shank of the tap, and round the shank of the extension. But I started at the beginning of the threads, maybe that was wrong. And I didn't know how many layers thick it should be.
Each nut got really hard to tighten, so I supposed it was sealing on the fibre washers. But no.
I'll have to undo it all again, but what to do different?
OK. I can see where you're going wrong.

Leaving aside the extension for a moment, the usual method of coupling to a tap tail is by using a tap connector, viz:




In the first image you can just see the red fibre washer that will seal against the bottom edge of the tap tail (aka tap shank). A flexible hose connector seals the same way, but might have a rubber washer. The John Guest connector (second image) has a rubber washer. If you use any of these types of connectors then on no account should you be putting PTFE tape on any threads. Not anywhere. The reason for this is that it will interfere with what would otherwise be the easy tightening up of the connector.

Occasionally, a tap tail has very little 'land' (area of metal) against which the flat fibre (or rubber) washer can seal, but the tail is instead more-than-averagely-tapered on the inside - this type is often better suited to using a connector like the much-maligned Hep2o HD25B (but I believe the Hep ones aren't for sale at the moment). You still shouldn't need to use any PTFE, or paste, or anything extra, on the sealing faces.

Returning to the extension: assuming that you've added this for reasons of access, and assuming that it's just a female-to-male BSP coupling of some kind, then you should seal the bottom end of the extension just as if it were a tap tail. The female connection to the male tap tail, however, might be different. If the female end isn't like a tap connector, then I'd use PTFE tape on the part of the tap tail that will be mated to the extension. The amount of tape depends on the amount of play between the two fittings. But my rule of thumb is to make it difficult to turn the fitting by hand for at least half of the distance that you screw it on.

If any of this is unclear, please ask.
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Info: the things I called connectors are solid brass, one 25mm long, the other 35mm long; they came new with the new taps. Without them the supply pipes would not have reached. The old taps had tails that much longer.
Curious: each time I had to undo those joints the brand new fibre washers came out like badly buckled bike wheels.
Gratitude: now at last, thanks to you, all is watertight.
I wish I knew something that could be helpful to you. I don’t suppose you ever get stuck in the middle of a translation?
newlad said:
I wish I knew something that could be helpful to you. I don’t suppose you ever get stuck in the middle of a translation?

From Tyke to English? :LOL:
Sorry! Now I've said 'connectors', but originally I called them 'exctensions'!
( Incidentally, your illustrations did not show on this screen - just a blank space. Something else to sort out at this end. )
newlad said:
I wish I knew something that could be helpful to you. I don’t suppose you ever get stuck in the middle of a translation?
No, but I'll remember you if I do!

Seriously, I'm gratified and content in the knowledge that the forum has been useful to you.

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