tab handles have come loose/off

Postby nickholl » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:10 pm

Hi there,

I'm really not a diy'er hence my visiting this forum :). My problem is that we have a couple of tap handles that have come totally lose and I don't know how to tighten them back onto their fittings.

They're the type that stick out of the wall and they have no screws at all that I am able to tighten. My only thought is that I need some kind of plumbing tape to apply to the pipey bit so that the handle grips when turned, would anybody have any ideas?

(ive attached a couple of images to help)

Thanks for any help!
the 4 prongs dont come off from what I can tell (and neither does the back so I cant find any way of actually attaching it to the tap!
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:36 pm


Simply Build It

Postby Dave From Leeds » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:14 am

You may find that the four "prongs" in your first picture will unscrew from the centre section. Grip them with pliers though a piece of cloth so you don't damage them. If you are lucky, there might be a small allen screw in one or two of the holes that the prongs screw into that tighten the tap head onto the knurled spindle in you second picture. If not and the threaded hole for the four "prongs" go right through the centre piece, you might be able to wedge a small piece of plastic under each of the prongs so that when you put the head back on the tap you can squeeze these onto the knurled spindle to grip it when you tighten up the four prongs.

Good luck.
Dave From Leeds
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:02 pm

Postby nickholl » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:35 am

the thing is that there are any holes going through to the inside that I can see that any screws would go through :s
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:36 pm

Postby Dave From Leeds » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:36 am

In that case you'll probably need to follow your original idea. Get hold of a roll of PTFE tape, available from plumbers' merchants or DIY stores. Wrap a few turns of it tightly around the spindles so that you have to force the handles back onto the taps but not so much that the tape just gets pushed down the spindle. This should cure the problem for a while. However I would imagine that in time the tape will tear allowing the tap heads to come loose again.

I once got around a problem like yours with my bath taps by drilling a small hole (~3mm) across the tap tops and through the spindles then inserting thin rods through them. For these I used some axles from a broken kid's toy train set.

Bear in mind that I am no more a plumber than you are; just a keen DIYer.
Dave From Leeds
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:02 pm

Postby nickholl » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:46 am

Mmm.. The thing that confuses me is how we're they meant to be fitted in the first place! They're not cheap taps and to have them come lose all of the time doesn't seem right :(
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:36 pm

Postby toplondonchef » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:02 pm

Hi Nickholl
The tap heads are usually attached to the knurled spindle with a small machine screw. Is there not a hole that goes through the centre of the tap head, can't see in the picture.
This screw may have worked loose and fallen out or, may have never been fitted in the 1st place.
The top of the tap head will usually have a cap which covers the screw head and this cap either prises off or unscrews (again cap may be missing)
Would have thought that the screw size will possible be an M4 / M6

Hope that this info may be of some use to you
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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:54 pm

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