Mixer Tap11 December 2013
A mixer tap has so many advantages over a traditional two faucet system that more people are choosing to convert every day. The conversion process can be anything from dead simple to one that requires calling in the services of a good plumber. Below, we will explore what is needed to successfully upgrade to mixer taps.
When a Plumber is Needed
The way pipes get water to faucets has changed in the last couple of decades. The traditional method was running small copper pipes to the fixture and soldering the water lines to the faucet intakes. In such cases, replacement of a faucet meant cutting off the old pipe, possibly splicing in an extension, then soldering the pipe to the new fixture. The method transitioned to a period where copper feed pipes were still used, but actually attached with easy on and off compression fittings that required only a pair of pliers to switch faucets. The most modern method uses flexible plastic pipes with compression fittings.
Any owners considering the switch who have copper feeder pipes need to consult a plumber. In some cases, the copper will need to be replaced by plastic piping or cut and soldered by someone with experience accomplishing this.
How to Switch to a Mixer Faucet
For those who have a modern connection that is accomplished with compression fittings, switching to a mixer faucet is a pretty straight forward affair.
First, ensure that you have everything you will need to accomplish the project. The first essential is the new faucet. After the faucet, the other thing on the shopping list will be sink blanks. Since a traditional setup has three holes in the sink, or four if a separate spray hose is part of the setup, and a mixer system uses only one of these holes, blanks will need to be installed to cover the open holes left when converting. A couple of tools will also make the transition painless – a bucket to catch water that drains out when the old faucets are disconnected and a good pair of pliers to manipulate the compression fittings are a good idea to have around.
Once everything needed is acquired, it is a very easy process to make the switch:
Turn off water at the valves under the sink.
Disconnect feed lines from the hot and cold intakes on the old faucets.
Remove all of the old faucet hardware.
Install the mixer hardware, reconnecting the feed lines to the appropriate intakes.
Install blanks to cover the holes.
Turn the water back on and enjoy your new mixer tap.
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