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Different Types of Tap
Usually brass finished but also available chromium-plated. is a horizontal inlet. Brass faucets with threaded outlets for hose connectors are often used as garden faucets. Inlet has BSP male thread. The tap is often connected to a wall plate elbow fitting for mechanical safety.
Often a chromium finish. There is a vertical inlet. A back-nut is used to bolt the tap to the deck of the sink so there is no need to provide any mechanical force to the plumbing connection. The sink tap should be tall enough to fill buckets, so check the tap height (the distance from the top of the sink to the bottom) as well as the depth of the sink before you buy. The inlet has a 1/2 in BSP male thread – the usual pipe fitting is a tap connector.
A sink mixer mixer has separate hot and cold inlets, but a single outlet. Spout outlets can be pushed to either side – to fill two sink bowls or to make getting in and out of the sink easier. The usual spout length is 7in – but 9in spouts are good for double-bowl sinks. Most kitchen sinks are supplied with cold water directly from the mains and hot water via a cold water tank. The water by-law does not allow the stored hot water to mix with the main cold water in the fitting, so sink mixers are usually split-flow or dual-flow types. Non-split flow mixers can only be used when both hot and cold supplies come directly from the mains (ie where the hot water is heated by an instantaneous-type water heater) or both come from a cold water tank (which is. unlikely for a kitchen). The tap holes in the sink and the inlets on the sink mixer, are generally 178mm apart. BSP male threads have inlets 1/2 -other sizes indicate that the mixer is probably a continental type, which may not be correct.
This is a type of faucet that allows you to wash again without turning off the water. Many designs were available, but faucets were most commonly found in kitchens as individual hot and cold faucets. Now discontinued, but spares should still be available – you just need to know the type of tap you have.
Bath and basin faucet
Separate taps for hot and cold water. Many different patterns are available with different handle designs. The type of handle often determines the price of a tap – a simple cross-head is usually the cheapest. Before buying, check that the handle is easy to grip. If you have to wash your hands under running water, make sure it is long enough to project well over the edge of the bowl when installed. Taps for basin taps have vertical inlet with BSP male thread 1/2 inch; I’m in for a shower. Other shapes indicate continental-type taps.
Bath and basin mixers usually do not have split flow or dual flow, and therefore must be connected to a hot and cold supply, both coming directly from the mains or, more commonly, both coming from a cold water tank. A diverter is connected to switch the bath/shower and the flexible pipe to the shower and the flow of water from the spout to the shower or vice versa (the diverter can automatically switch the flow to the bath when the taps are closed). Tap holes between bath and bath mixer inlets are usually 7 inches apart, and you can buy mixers with adjustable inlets for non-standard distances. Basin mixers are sometimes called 4in mixers because the inlets are spaced at a standard 4in. Taps have vertical inlets with male BSP threads – 1/2 inch for basin mixers; 3/4 inch for bath mixer. Other shapes indicate continental-type mixers.
Three hole basin mixer
Hot and cold faucets and tap spouts fit separate holes in each basin. Connections between spouts and valves are often flexible to accommodate different orifice spacings. Three-hole mixers with rigid connections typically have taps 8 inches apart and center spouts. A mixer that has an 8 inch gap may sometimes be called an 8 inch mixer but the connection does not have to be rigid. There is usually no split flow or dual flow. The mixer usually comes with pop-up garbage. Taps have vertical inlets with 1/2 in BSP threads.
Mainly available for basins and bidets. Fits into standard single tap hole. The spout is usually fixed and is not a split-flow or dual-flow type. Inlets are usually plain-ended 10mm copper and require adapter fittings to connect them to the usual 15mm pipe supply. The water pressure supplied from the tank may not be high enough to provide an adequate flow rate. (These are often continental-type faucets intended for use directly on high-pressure plumbing systems.)
Through-rim supply bidets, with sprays, use an intricate tap arrangement. The hot and cold tap valves and mixer body fit into separate holes around the bidet. The mixer body has a diverter to direct water to the edge of the bidet or via a flexible hose, to the spray head at the base of the bidet. Mixers usually have flexible connections and a pop-up waste. A thru-rim supply bidet has to meet certain regulations. Over-rim bidets can be fitted with single taps or mixer taps.
Cheaper than ordinary chromium-plated brass taps; Manufacturers claim that they are cool to the touch. Some brands come in different colors to match the sanitaryware. With most brands, only a limited range of variants is available. Extra care should be taken when fitting plastic pipes. No jointing paste should be used and soldering should not be done near them – even the fumes from the soldering flux can damage the plastic. Threads can strip easily – be careful when screwing metal nuts onto them.
Tap the lever
Instead of a tap handle, which has to be turned several times from full on to full off, the lever only needs to be turned a quarter of a circle to turn the tap from full to full off. A sink mixer operates one lever clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. To obtain this arrangement with separate faucets, a pair must be ordered. Not commonly used in homes but may be useful in kitchens or for use by the elderly. Some authorities may not allow their use, as they may give rise to water hammer.
Ceramic disc tap
This latest type of tap only requires a quarter turn to open, which could be a lever on a kitchen mixer, for example, or a more traditional handle on other types of tap. Unlike a normal tap where the washer is lifted from the scat, the ceramic disc tap works by turning a circular disc so that its slots line up (or don’t line up) with slots in another fixed disc. The discs are claimed to require no rewashing, but the retention mechanism can go wrong over a few laps.
Tap Conversion Kit
Tap conversion kits make old taps look like new with standard cross-head handles and shrouded handles. If your old taps are leaking due to worn washers, a tap conversion kit will fix this but replacing the washers is much cheaper and doesn’t require much work. The most common type replaces the entire spindle assembly.
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