How to Fit New Taps
Whether you are updating your bathroom or having a complete renovation, you’re likely going to need new taps to be fitted. This is a job you can do yourself, but just how do you fit new taps?
This is one of those tasks which shouldn’t be too difficult or too expensive. Fitting new bathroom taps should be a straightforward enough project to take on yourself, so long as you use common sense and follow simple instructions.
Obviously, where water is involved, if you make mistakes then things can go wrong quickly, so check out our step by step guide below on how you fit new taps.
Firstly, let’s distinguish between the two most popular types of basin or bath taps:
Mixer taps are the most common type of basin tap found in modern bathrooms. They require a single taphole for both the hot and cold water to flow from. They can be controlled by either one leaver or two separate taps, giving you a better control over the temperature of the water.
With pillar taps, you have two taps – one for the hot water and the other for cold. These are most common in traditional bathrooms. Interestingly, the UK is one of the few countries in the world now which still uses pillar taps, where you have to decide whether to wash your hands with hot water or cold water – but not both at the same time.
Your choice will be based on how each of these options looks, the type of system you had previously and the ease with which they can be installed.
Of course, before fitting new taps, you’ll need to remove the existing ones...
How do I remove old taps?
It might sound obvious, but the first thing you need to do is turn off your water supply. You can imagine the water carnage in your house if you fail to take this action – so make sure the supply has been turned off before you begin any work. Once the water has been turned off, turn the taps on until they run the system dry.
Then you will need a wrench to undo the nut which connects the tap to the supply pipes. It can be tricky to get access to this – especially under the bath, but perseverance will usually get you there.
Now undo the nut which attaches your taps to the bath or basin. You may find it useful to have another person holding onto the tap so it doesn’t turn as you try to undo the nut.
Check what you have
Now that the taps are removed you need to clean the entire area and remove any old adhesive and dirt. Check the condition of your pipes, fixings and joins. It is at this stage that you will want to make any necessary repairs.
Check that the fittings for your new taps will work on your old pipework. You may need to get an adaptor if there is any discrepancy. Plastic fittings may require a connector to the pipes, while a mono block tap (with one spout) will need a reducing coupler. The tap will come with a 10mm pipe which needs to be increased to the 15mm supply pipe.
If you are doing the job from scratch, you should already have your plumbing in place. Check to make sure it is positioned correctly and that it reaches the bath or basin.
Fit the new taps
Place your taps into the holes in the bath or sink with the washers between the tap and the surface of the bath or basin. A backnut will be supplied which can tightened to attach the tap.
Once the taps are attached, the supply pipes can be connected. It is possible to use copper piping to do this or push-fit plastic fittings. Copper is useful for awkward positioning but you will require a blowtorch and solder to fit the lengths together.
When connecting to the water supply, just hand tighten each end until the position is correct and you feel that the water will run without any problems. This should mean that there are as few twists and turns as possible. Try to keep your plumbing neat. Once you are happy, tighten both ends.
Check for leaks
Now is the time to turn on the water and run the taps. Just gently at first. Check carefully all around the connections and the taps themselves to see if any water is escaping.Remember that even the smallest drip can lead to damage over time. If a leak is detected, simply tighten the nuts and connections and try again. Your last resort will be to take it apart and try again.
A plumber will charge you a fortune to fit some taps – so doing it yourself will save you plenty. So you will be able to buy those fancy new taps you had your heart set on.
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