Kitchen mixer tap - tap handle / valve body replacement

11 Jul 2006
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United Kingdom
My kitchen mixer tap handles were turning without turning the water on. I’d previously tried tightening the screw inside the tap handle but this didn’t help any more as the fit between tap handle and valve had worn. I bought some new handles to fit onto the existing mixer body. These came with valve bodies, so I planned to replace those too so I knew the new handles would fit properly.

The new cold tap valve and handle went on fine and work as they should.

The new hot water valve screwed into the mixer ok, but then the handle wouldn't turn. As a temporary fix, I've resorted to putting the old hot tap valve in with the new hot water handle on it.
The old hot water valve body is a different type (narrower at the base) to the hot tap valve supplied with the new pack. Both the valves in the new pack are the same but the old ones aren’t the same as each other.

The problem with the temporary fix is that new valves are 1/4 turn and the old ones aren't (they're the ones that go round and round). I now have 1 of each type on the mixer, which isn’t ideal. I’ve had a look on this forum and on plumbing sites but can’t see anything to explain either
a) why the old hot tap valve is different
b) what new valve I need to get in order to have a working ¼ turn hot tap
c) if mixer taps can be repaired in this way

Any help appreciated.

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There comes a time when you need to replace taps.
If possible, I'd rather not replace them because:

1) I don't know how to do that myself and it seems more tricky than simply unscrewing and screwing in valves and handles.

2) the taps I'd need to buy to replace them like with like would be expensive (approx £100) which combined with the cost of a plumber to fit them, won't fit into my budget

so while the easy option would be to replace them, I'd still rather repair them, if possible -but is it possible?
OK Edy_, let's see if we can work through this then.

The first problem was that the tap handle splines were worn. The next problem was that the new hot tap valve body didn't fit.

It's highly unlikely that the tap was manufactured with different hot and cold valve bodies, so it sounds as though some "maintenance" has previously taken place.

What might have happened is that the seat was too damaged to be cut back, so was supplemented with one of those "repair" kits - you press a new nylon seat onto the damaged seat, and a slightly shorter valve body is used to compensate. You'll be able to see the nylon seat if you shine a torch into the hot side of the mixer (with the valve body removed).

If my guess is correct, then I surmise that the otherwise perfectly serviceable new hot tap body is bottoming on the seat when you screw it in, and is too tight to be able to turn the tap on.

The first thing I'd try is to screw in the new hot valve body with the valve fully opened first.

If that doesn't work then your options will be:

1. Buy a different set of valve bodies (and tap handles), of the rubber washer type (instead of the 1/4 turn type), and replace the cold valve body only, so that hot and cold valve types will be the same.

2. Replace the entire mixer.

3. Er, I can't think of any more options. Sorry. Perhaps someone else can.

Hope this helps.
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Thanks for the advice. Will have a go and see how a I get on. Much appreciated,
"If my guess is correct, then I surmise that the otherwise perfectly serviceable new hot tap body is bottoming on the seat when you screw it in, and is too tight to be able to turn the tap on. "

You're right - there was a washer jammed in the bottom of the socket which meant there wasn't enough room for the new valve. Bit of peering and prodding spotted the problem and once it was removed, everything fitted as it should. Thanks for the help.
Good news indeed. Thanks for posting the answer - I'm pleased that it all worked out.
I have a similar problem with a bath mixer tap - tap spins and have seen a some new taps I like but ...
are all tap "valves" the same ?
ie can I buy a new tap mixer but just swap in the new tap valves and put the new heads on the new valves ??

does this make sense ? reasons for not changing the whole thing are similar, swapping valves is easier than changing whole unit.


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