What you should know about updating your taps

December 5, 2011 in Bathroom Taps

Sanitary ware, better known as taps, is a big part of a new bathroom. Installation can sometime be tricky, however installing them on either the bathtub or the vanity unity first sometimes helps, you really have to be extra careful not to scratch them if doing it this way.

When dealing with a new vanity or tub, most new taps are all now a standard size so replacing them is not difficult. Dealing with an older sink may be more difficult, predrilled hole sizes will not be the same as the new taps, so check very carefully before you purchase. The new tap itself may also be bigger or a different shape than the old one, and care should be taken that the older style tub has enough space for the new fixture. You need to make sure your hand can twist the tap and not scrape your knuckles on the wall. Make sure the spout on the new one will extend out over your bathtub or sink; you need your hands to fit under it comfortably. Visiting your local DIY center will show you the variety of styles and shapes on offer.

After you have picked your new taps, locate the water supply line. Hopefully you will find shut off valves for both the hot and cold line. However if this is an older home then you may have to go to the main house water shut off and use that. This will have to be drained so have plenty of buckets and towels on hand. Cut the existing lines at a good location for your new install, making sure your new lines are long enough to fit to where you cut.

Now is a good time to install a shut off valve on each line so future maintenance will be much easier. Hopefully you are able to do this yourself, if not contact a plumber before you start the job. Doing the job yourself using compression fittings and an adjustable spanner are fairly easy. Make sure you do not over tighten, just snug them well, turn on the water and check for leaks under the sink. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on where to apply any sealants before you turn on the water, allowing it time to dry if needs be.

For convenience, and if you are not able to solder copper pipe, you can use flexible hose connectors under the sink or bath. These are connected at the taps and the water pipe with a screw type compression fitting, making it so easy to change.

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