FAQ: How To Solve Problems With Taps

By Greg

24th May 2013

3 mins read

DIY & Technical

We answer some of the most important questions regarding taps, with common installation and operation problems answered by our resident expert.

Silver Tap With Hand

We know that customers can frequently encounter problems with taps. Taps are one of the smallest fittings in any bathroom, but are actually one of the most technical, so can often throw up problems. Also, making sure you have chosen the right taps is a much bigger task than you would have believed when you began your renovation. With such a huge variety out there offering different style, types, sizes, shapes, functions, and so on, it can be a difficult decision to make if you do not know the best options available to you. We hope this list of questions will solve your problems with taps, if not please get in touch and we will try our best to help.

How Do Taps Work?

There are a few ways in which taps can regulate the flow of water. Most commonly taps use a compression valve, but we are now seeing an increase in ceramic disc valves.

What is a Compression Valve?

A compression valve works by screwing the head of the tap to release or restrict the water by pressing down a rubber washer on to a metal seat. However, these rubber washers can become worn and may need replacing from time to time. This is why washerless valve taps are becoming more and more popular.

What is a Ceramic Disc Valve Tap?

A ceramic disc valve uses two ceramic discs with holes in each, which slide over one another to allow the water to flow through. This innovative design means that it only requires a quarter turn to open and close it fully, and the ceramic discs mean they will not wear out like a rubber washer will, making ceramic discs the perfect choice for any bathroom.

What Are the Different Types of Taps?

Although many taps appear to be different they are all very much the same types of tap. There are only three different types that may vary from one to the other and that is if they are dual flow, manual mixers or thermostatic.

What is a Dual Flow Tap?

The oldest and most traditional type is dual flow, which use separate spouts for hot and cold water, meaning that the hot tap will give you piping hot water and the cold tap will give you ice cold water. This does mean, however, that if you want a moderate temperature, you will have to fill the basin or bath and mix the two temperatures.

What is a Mixer Tap?

Most modern taps are manual mixers that only feature one tap, meaning that when you turn on the hot and cold valves they will mix in the faucet and you can adjust to the temperature of your choosing.

What is a Thermostatic Tap?

Finally, there are thermostatic taps, which regulate the temperature of water automatically to your preferred choice. They are commonly found in schools and nursery homes, to reduce the potential of scolding anyone using the tap.

What Materials Are Used in Taps?

At Victorian Plumbing we offer two main materials for our huge range of taps. These are brass and chrome plated brass.

What is a Brass Tap?

The benefit of using brass for a bathroom or kitchen tap is that it is durable and robust, but can also be fairly cheap to buy, making it perfect for everyday use in any household. A brass tap would complement a traditionally styled bathroom with its soft yet elegant colour tone.

What is a Chrome Plated Tap?

A chrome finished tap can suit either traditional or contemporary as it is highly adaptable to give a shine to any bathroom. The chrome finish means they are easy to maintain and keep clean. They usually encompass a brass inner, giving them the same benefits as a completely brass tap.

Why is My New Tap Dripping?

If you have rubber washers it may take a few days after installation for them to ‘bed down’. However, if this dripping persists it may mean that during the installation the rubber washer or metal seat were damaged by debris in the plumbing system. It is best to seek the advice of a plumber to check out the problem.

Why Are My Taps Making a Banging Noise?

This banging noise is known as ‘Water Hammer’ and is caused when there is a high amount of water pressure which cause a vibration as it flows through the piping and out to the faucet. It may also be a result of lose piping, so it is best to seek the advice of a plumber to try and resolve the problem.

Why is the Water Flow out of My Tap Weak?

If you have ceramic disc valves, the water pressure feed will need to be at least 0.5. Unless you have a standard compression valve, then you may have to flush the pipework before installing your tap to get rid of any debris inside the system that might be restricting the flow of water.

How Should I Clean My Taps?

When cleaning your taps it is best to use a soft, soapy sponge, rinse it and wipe dry. Do not use any abrasive cleaners or hard wearing instruments, such as scouring pads or wire wool, as they can scratch or damage the tap. If your tap has a build-up of lime scale, a very effective cleaning agent is either vinegar or lemon juice (the lemon juice will also give it a fresh smell).



Greg is one of our most regular bathroom bloggers here at Victorian Plumbing. He's always looking for the latest bathroom trends and styles and will be posting them here regularly. He'll also be posting practical 'How To' step-by-step DIY advice and reporting on his latest bathroom ideas at Victorian Plumbing.

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