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OK, so you know what you want and you know where you want it. But how do you install a mixer? Well, how difficult can fitting your new mixer tap actually be? After all, other people seem to do it with no problem. The truth is that it’s perfectly possible for a non-plumber to do the job. But a bit of instruction will come in handy. So, read on.
Mixers are an increasingly common choice of modern tap. In terms of their appeal versus vintage taps, it’s fair to say that they’re reliable, water-saving and can be space saving too.
What do you need to know before starting?
It’s a fundamental truth in life that you only really get to see the installations that were a success. Those misadventures that resulted in aesthetic crimes or safety situations will probably be the subject of a swift rescue by someone with a bit more nous, ideally before anyone else gets to see them. So, it’s probably the case that we tend to over-estimate what’s achievable by someone without specialist skill.
However, that’s not to say that you need to have been to plumb school to install a mixer tap. With the right advice before you start, there’s no reason why you can’t fit a tap to be proud of. Start by reading this, then do have a look at the fab range of tapware that you can choose from with a click of a mouse. You’ll be eager to wash your hands of your old tap and get into the flow with a new one.
So, what’s first on the list?
First in your install mixer tap checklist is checking which side is which for your hot and cold water. Once you’ve got hot and cold established, label them to prevent any temperature tiresomeness. A lot of feeder pipes will be labelled, but some aren’t, so do the write thing and get some helpful words on there.
Next step – cut off the water supply
A lot of tap pipes have independently controllable isolator valves. To disconnect the water to the tap above, turn the valve so it’s running across the direction of the pipe. If the pipe runs vertical, turn the valve to horizontal. You get the idea.
If your tap pipes don’t have this facility, then you will probably have to cut off the water to the whole house. This can lead to a world of pain.
To prevent nagging and super high pressure to get the water back on, it’s often a good idea to attempt mixer tap installation when you have the house to yourself. Or to yourself and an individual who’s not going to complain that they’ve got a raging thirst that must be quenched right this instant or else. So, you’re looking at, best bet, a camel. Or a cactus.
Removing the old tap
Now for the muscly part of the op. Most kinds of mixer taps will have a similar means of connection to the water supply and to the basin itself. First you need to undo the hoses that go from the feeder pipes to the tap unit. These should be easy enough with a pair of pliers.
Next, the nut that fixes the tap unit to the surface. You’ll need an adjustable spanner to undo the fixing under the basin. Or if it’s hard to reach you might need a specialist plumbing tool called a basin wrench.
What you don’t want to see is the tap doing its best to join in by moving round in the same direction you’re spannering in. So, to prevent the tap from having this dance, keep it still with a pair of pliers at the same time as you’re other hand’s doing the undoing.
Be sure to remove any washers and seals that go with the old tap. And don’t worry if there’s a bit of water issuing at this point – that’s perfectly fine and nothing to call the professionals out for. Unless it’s reaching your earlobes. A good idea is to put a towel around the old tap prior to removing it. This soaks up any unwanted water action.
Putting in the new tap
Stop. Let’s rewind. When you first started to think about how wonderful a new tap would look in your bathroom, you should have made sure that it will fit the basin. The easiest way to do this is to get an identical model tap to the one you’re removing, but that’s hardly in the enterprising spirit.
So, you need to be sure that the new tap you get is suitable for your basin. The best way to do this is get in touch with the experts at The Plumbing Store. Give them all the pertinent dimensions and they’ll show you a range of mixers that will make the rest look like leaky pipes.
So, now you’ve got the mixer of the moment. It’s time to get it in place – yes, let’s do the tap install thing. Give the hole and the surround a bit of a clean first. This way, the new tap will sit better in the area. And, besides – why would you want a dirty sink?
Put the hoses through the hole and then place the tap into position. Trying not to waste time gasping at it your new tap’s transformative beauty, attach the main fixing so that the tap stays in place. Then connect the hoses to the water supply pipes. Try the tap. Typical – doesn’t work.
That’s because you need to turn the water back on. Turn off the tap. Turn on the water. Turn on the tap. Amazing. Well done you. You can go ahead and treat your hands to their first wash under your spiffing new tap.
So, now you’ve read your mixer installation instructions, you should be hot to trot with replacing mixer tap gusto. Changing taps is very much within your abilities, and, as far as life changes go, it might not be revolutionary but it will certainly put some brightness into your bathroom, and thereby into your day.
Who can help you with your bathroom tapware?
The place with all the mixer magic is The Plumbing Store. Their taps are the tops. Check out their Caroma Cirrus mixer and tell me that won’t look fabulous in your bathroom. Or the Harmony Senza! In black! This could really mix things up!
Just make sure, whatever you like the look of, that it fits your basin. Mind you, you can always treat yourself to a new basin. I know just the place.