Replacing bath tub and sink plug holes

19 Feb 2016
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United Kingdom
Hi all
All the pug holes in my new house have either peeled or gone green and peeled. I want them replaced.
How much should i be looking at for 3 to be replaced and what material is best for the replacements? I think the peeling might be due to using bleach (not sure though) so I don'tto buy plug holes in a material that can't cope with being cleaned! Also are the holes with integral plugs better than the older style ones (which I want to replace) - as in are they less likely to rust/peel (and are they easy to clean - hair etc?)
All advice appreciated.

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6 May 2010
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United Kingdom
1. They aren't called plug holes, they are called wastes. They comprise two parts:
1a. The waste fitting itself, which is fastened into the basin, bath or sink.
1b. The waster stopping part, for which see below.
2. Have a look at the McAlpine web site for basin, sink and bath wastes.
3. No one can tell you how much replacement will cost as it depends entirely on how accessible the waste fittings are. Each could range from an hour (simple accessible kitchen under sink waste) to a day or more (bath waste with tiled bath panel without any inspection hatch).
4. Most basin and bath wastes are made of brass, chrome plated. Decent ones should withstand occasional application of bleach provided it is washed off quite quickly. When the chrome wears off, bleach will get at the brass, but normally takes years.
5. Many kitchen sink wastes are stainless steel. Impervious to most chemicals.
6. Plugs come in various types:
6a. Pull out on a chain. Simple, reliable. Needs a ring of some sort on the appliance to anchor the "dry" end of the chain.
6b. Pop up wastes. Decent ones are reliable, and have the advantage that you don't need to put your hand in the dirty water to operate. However, they require suitable taps (to house the operating rod) and you would almost certainly have to change the taps to fit such wastes.
6c. "Click clack" wastes. Push down to seal, push down again to open. In my experience the most unreliable, and can be difficult to replace the mechanism once it fails, requiring a complete new waste.
6d. Swivel wastes. As the name suggests, a revolving plug, which when horizontal seals, when vertical opens. More reliable than click clack, but I've never quite seen the point.
7. The easiest to clean is the old fashioned plug on a chain. Next easiest is the pop up, provided it is the sort where the whole plug assembly comes out. Some are captive, in that the bottom of the assembly has a ring on it through which the operating rod fits. You can't get anything much down past the plug end of these. Click clack can have the top unscrewed to allow some cleaning. Swivel allow virtually no cleaning beyond the plug top.
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