Common Types of Tap
The majority of wash basins are fitted with individual taps for hot and cold water. Most modern taps have shrouded heads of metal or plastic. Older style taps, with the cross bar at the top are called Capstan Head taps.
A lever head tap turns the water on and off with the shortest push of the lever and is very useful for those with a disability or simply turning the tap when your hands are full. Wall mounted individual taps are called bib taps and taps fixed to the basin itself are called pillar taps.
In a mixer tap both hot and cold water enter the tap and are mixed in it by adjusting the tap handles. A single lever mixer does exactly the same job using just one handle which controls both the flow rate and the temperature.
Washbasin mixer taps frequently incorporate a pop up waste plug. A series of interlinked rods, operated by a button on the centre of the mixer, open and close the waste plug in the basin. Normally the body of the tap which connects the valve and spout rests on the upper surface of the basin, the tails protrude through holes in the basin to meet the supply pipes.
A two hole mixer has tails spaced 100mm apart, a three hole mixer appears to have separate valves and spout but they are linked by a tube below the basin.
Replacing Old Taps
When replacing old taps its natural and sensible to use the existing plumbing wherever possible but connecting old rusted fittings can be hard and sometimes its better to hack-saw back to clean copper tube and start from there.
Make sure you turn off the water first. Applying penetrating oil to rusted or old nuts can work, especially if you can get access to tap connectors. A normal spanner is difficult to use when changing taps but a special basin spanner can be bought by clicking in the tool box below and going to spanners and wrenches. Having disconnected the pipework pull the tap connectors away from the tap and undo any backing nuts under the basin or bath. Drop in the new taps and replace the back washer making sure the tap is central to the hole in the basin or bath. Re-connect the tap connector making sure you have replaced the washer which is found inside the nut in the tap connector.
Shower taps are simply a mixer tap with a shower hose attached.
Coming in both traditional and modern styles most kitchen taps are pillar taps set high to allow kettles to be filled and mop buckets to be changed!
With the wonderful technology available today it is possible to buy the most beautiful taps for as little as £9.99 !
Modern taps add a touch of class to every bathroom and kitchen.
Why not take a look at our video section on kitchen taps and watch some films on how to fit new taps in the home.
All project content written and produced by Mike Edwards