Leaking taps or replacement ? Please call 0414935499
Existing taps require servicing to keep them in good working order. There is a lot more to the standard tap than your local handy man commonly knows. Shown in the image, water runs from the left to the right. The tap washer seals onto the a machined smooth surface. The spindle contains seals which ware out and require replacement periodically depending on the amount of use. The "jumper valve" or washer needs replacing as soon as a tap begins to leak. If the tap seat becomes pitted, or eroded by the flow water, replacing the washer will not solve the problem of a leaking water.
Even a dripping tap will cause a lot of damage over time. As the Grand Canyon was created by erosion, the seat of a tap will be cut into by water flow just the same, eventually cutting all the way through, rendering the unit serviceable.
The internal spindle threads also need attention to prevent ware and keep them operating like new.
The picture to the left is of a basin tap with the handles, flanges and spindle have been removed to expose the tap seat. I have rubbed over the top of the tap seat to show the high section of the brass seat (shinny). The dark line, lower section which was not reached when rubbing the rest of the seat, has been worn through by leaking water. A dripping tap has eroding the seat, cutting deep into the seat. Water, under high pressure pushing past the "jumper valve" / washer has cut into the seat surface allowing more water to run through and thereby cutting faster and deeper into the seat. As you can see in the image directly above, under the black and white jumper valve, the tap seat is only 5 -8 mm thick. Once the seat has been cut all the way through, the housing must be replaced. If the housing is in a wall, behind tiles, the wall will need to be opened up to replace the section, making it a very costly exercise. I can not emphasize enough the importance, to never allow a tap to leak for too long. The longer the time, the worse the damage.
Below is the entire tap set hidden behind the tiles. The tap set replacement process. Typically a 4 hour job for the plumbing. The tiling is additional time.
Sometimes old tapware will be subject to de- zincification. The tapware is made of brass, which is an alloy, The zinc leeches out of the metal resulting in a softening of the brass material. It makes the erosion process occur very quickly.
The choice of taps has increased a lot since the days of no hot water in the kitchen, or anywhere else in the home. Maybe there was small heater chip heater for a warm bath. The plumber could only give a choice of Brass or Chrome, and only a single cold tap. Similar to the tap pictured. It wasn't that long ago. People in their 80s remember how basic life once was.
The internal design of modern standard taps are not much different to those of the past. The exterior has changed to give the consumer many choices from each manufacturer.
The ends of the spindles have different connections for the handles. There are many different spine spindle tops types, others have two flat sides and some are square. So handles must match the spindles. They are not all interchangeable.
The choice of modern kitchen sink taps, styles and range is amazing. So it is often best for the individual to choose their own preference.
The new single handle, flickmixer taps are very easy to use. Very soft use and are ideal for people with arthritis. The ceramic disk quarter or three quarter turn taps are also a alternative to the standard taps and mixers.
I don't recommend installing flickmixers into the wall unless the unit is made by a well-known manufacturer. Flickmixer taps don’t come with standard tap washers meaning that large parts of the tap must to replaced once they begin to leak. With each manufacturer having a unique design, the replacement parts vary greatly and generally need to be sourced directly from the manufacturer. If the company is no longer operating, or the manufacturer of the tap cannot be determined, the wall will need to be opened up to replace the entire unit. This is a very costly exercise. If a tap is installed into the wall I will recommend using the normal standard separate hot and cold taps. This will reduce the cost of maintenance in the long term.
Flickmixer taps fitted into a kitchen sink, wash trough or hand basin are generally quite easy to replace when required.
Ceramic disk spindles will fit into most standard wall and hob kitchen sink sets.
Basin tap sets have differing spindle lengths, so often ceramic disk spindles can not be fitted into an existing set. It is advisable to check before purchasing replacement basin spindles. The tap set can be replaced if ceramic disk taps are desired.
Ceramic disks can be found in similar taps to the standard taps and flickmixers.
They were first marketed as "Never Change a Washer Again" because as the name suggests, they have ceramic disks and there are no washers. The disks are rotated until the opening in both disks, line up, and allows water to pass through. In the closed position, the holes are out of alignment, sealing off the water flow.
Very fine solid material contained in the water has a tendency to get between the disks when they are rotated from open to closed. The material in the water will wear scratches in the disks over time, leading to the taps leaking. Also, attempting to close these taps off tight will bend or snap the stop pin, leading to difficulty in closing off the water flow.
Negatives : Once flickmixers or the spindles begin leaking, they must be replaced because it is not economical to service the taps. Purchasing of these taps is a little higher than a standard tap, and because they are basically unserviceable, replacing them will cost more than servicing standard taps. Medium quality flickmixer taps should last 5 years or more. The cheap rubbish, well, you get what you paid for. Some will leak on the day they are installed, so spend a few dollars more than the cheapest selection on the shelf. About 30% more will ensure a much longer life.
Positives : They are great for people with problems with their hands, such as arthritis or people who have lost the strength in their hands to turn off a standard washer tap. They turn off and on with very little effort making them ideal for children. They are very convenient to use, and give a modern feel to the building. They can be fitted to replace existing washer taps as long as the tap seat is in very good condition.
For assistance with plumbing and gas, please call 0414935499