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Different Types of Tap
Usually with a brass finish, but also available with a chrome finish. It has a horizontal entrance. Brass faucets with a threaded outlet for a hose connector are often used as garden faucets. The inlet has a BSP male thread. The faucet is often connected to the elbow of the wall plate for mechanical safety.
Often chrome finish. It has a vertical entrance. A rear nut is used to attach the faucet to the sink plate so that the plumbing connections do not need to provide mechanical strength. The sink faucet should be tall enough to allow the bucket to be filled, so before purchasing, check that the spout height (distance from the top of the sink to the bottom of the spout) plus the depth of the sink are sufficient. The inlet has a 1/2 in BSP male thread – the usual pipe connection is a tap connection.
Sink faucet Faucets have separate hot and cold inlets, but one outlet. The spouts can be pushed to either side – to feed two bowl sinks or to make it easier to put things in and out of the sink. A common spout length is 7 inches – but 9 inch spouts are better for double bowl sinks. Most kitchen sinks are supplied with cold water directly from the main water supply and hot water via a cold water cistern. Water bylaws do not allow stored hot water to mix with cold tap water inside the faucet, so sink faucets are usually split or dual flow. Single flow mixers can only be used where both hot and cold supplies come directly from the mains (ie where the hot water is heated by an instantaneous water heater) or both come from a cold water cistern (which is unlikely for a kitchen). Faucet openings in sinks and faucet openings in sinks are usually spaced at a standard distance of 178 mm. The inlets are 1/2 in BSP male thread – other sizes indicate that the mixer is probably a continental type, which may not be appropriate.
This is a type of faucet designed so that it can be flushed again without turning off the water. Several designs were available, but Supataps are most commonly found in kitchens as individual hot and cold faucets. Now discontinued, but replacement parts should still be available – you need to know what type of faucet you have.
Faucet for bathtub and sink
Separate taps for hot and cold water. Many different patterns are available with different handle designs. The type of handle often determines the price of a faucet – a simple cross head is usually the cheapest. Before buying, make sure the handle is easy to grip. If you want to be able to wash your hands under running water, make sure the spout is long enough to extend over the edge of the bowl when installed. The faucets have a vertical inlet with BSP male thread 1/2 in for sink faucets; I’m all for bathroom faucets. Other sizes indicate continental type faucets.
Bath and basin mixer It usually does not have a split or dual flow spout and must be connected to a hot and cold water supply either directly from the mains or, more commonly, both from a cold water cistern. Tub/shower and a flexible pipe diverter is attached to go to the shower, and a diverter to divert water flow from the spout to the shower or vice versa (diverters can automatically divert flow back to the bath when the faucets are closed). Tub faucet holes and tub faucet openings are usually 7 in. apart as a standard, you may be able to purchase a faucet with adjustable inlets for non-standard distances. A sink faucet is sometimes called a 4-inch faucet because the inlets are 4 inches apart as a standard. Faucets have vertical inlets with male BSP thread – 1/2 in for basin mixer; 3/4 in. for tub mixer. Other sizes indicate continental type mixers.
Three hole basin mixer
The hot and cold water faucets and the faucet spout correspond to separate openings in the pool. Spout-to-valve connections are often flexible to accommodate different orifice distances. A three-hole faucet with rigid fittings usually has faucets 8 inches apart with the spout centered between them. A faucet that has faucets 8 inches apart may sometimes be called an 8-inch faucet, but the connections are not necessarily rigid. It usually does not have a split or dual flow spout. The mixer is usually supplied with an opening waste. Faucets have vertical inlets with 1/2 in BSP threads.
Single hole mixer
Available mainly for sinks and bidets. Fits into a standard single tap hole. The spout is usually fixed and not of the split or dual flow type. The inlets are usually 10mm copper with straight ends, and adapter fittings are required to attach them to common 15mm pipes. The water pressure from the cistern may not be high enough to allow adequate flow. (These are often continental-type faucets intended for use in direct high-pressure plumbing systems.)
Rim-feed bidets with a sprayer use a complicated faucet arrangement. The valves for the hot and cold faucet and the mixer body fit into separate holes in the bidet frame. The mixer body has a diverter to direct the water to the edge of the bidet or, via a flexible tube, to the spray head in the bottom of the bidet. The blender usually has flexible connections and a pop-up waste. Bidet for edge supply must meet special regulations. A bidet with an upper edge can be equipped with single taps or a mixer.
Cheaper than normal chrome brass faucets; manufacturers also claim they are cooler to the touch. Some brands come in a range of colors to match the sanitary ware. Most brands only have a limited range of types available. Plastic faucets require special attention during installation. Do not use solder paste or solder near them – even soldering fumes can damage the plastic. Threads can easily come off – be careful when screwing metal nuts onto them.
Faucets with a lever
Instead of a faucet handle that needs to be turned multiple times from full on to full off, the handle only needs to be turned a quarter turn to turn the faucet from full on to full off. Sink faucets come with one lever that operates clockwise and the other in a counter-clockwise direction. To get this layout with separate faucets, you need to order a pair. It is not often used in homes, but it can be useful in the kitchen or for the elderly. Some authorities may not allow their use because they can cause water hammer.
Ceramic disc faucets
This latest type of faucet also only requires a quarter turn to open, which can be levers on kitchen faucets, for example, or more conventional handles on other types of faucets. Unlike a regular faucet where the washer is lifted off the poop, the ceramic disc faucet works by turning one circular disc so that its slots line up (or don’t) with the slots on another fixed disc. It is claimed that the discs do not need re-washing, but the retention mechanism on some circuits can fail.
Faucet Conversion Kits
Faucet Conversion Kits make old faucets – with plain cross handles look more like new with wrap handles. If your old faucets are leaking because of a worn washer, a faucet conversion kit will fix that, but replacing the washer would be much cheaper and no more work. The most common type replaces the entire spindle assembly.
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