Sometimes it’s something as simple as a new set of taps that can make all the difference to the ambience of your kitchen or bathroom interior decor. Dulled or rusty models look dirty and unattractive, even when surrounded by new tiling or a clean sink; and older, out-dated tap styles can prevent your water supply from running as smoothly as it should, leaving you waiting for clean water for longer – and probably costing you more money in water bills too!
Step-wise Guide to Replace a Kitchen Tap
1. Before you begin, make sure you turn off the water via the mains; most taps are found near or around the old ‘airing cupboard’ area, or otherwise beside your boiler. You should also turn on the taps to drain any excess water and make sure you have a bucket close by just in case; after all, you don’t want to end up soaked through before you’ve even started.
2. Next, insert the plug into the sink or basin where you’re replacing your old tap; obviously all rings and valuables should be removed before the grimier work begins, but at least this way anything you forget won’t fall into the pipework and can still be easily salvaged.
3. Now, as long as the bathroom or kitchen is clear and you have enough space, you’re ready to get stuck in and learn how to remove a tap. Using some adjustable spanners, firstly you need to loosen the tap from the basin via its stem; lift it gently to avoid damaging the internal piping and then once it’s unscrewed put it to one side. If the sealant around the tap stem proves resilient, you might need to use a utility knife during this step too.
4. Next, unscrew the nut beneath the old tap, by hand if you can but otherwise using a small wrench. You can usually find the nut directly beneath the tap on the underside of the basin.
5.Unless your new tap is an exact fit, you will now need to install the tap connector. This is a flexible, corrugated pipe with a threaded, re-adjustable ‘tap connector’ at one end and a compression fitting at the other. Carefully position the new tap in place, and then use the wrench to tighten the connector once it’s been fitted to the underside of the basin; if necessary, hold the tap body steady with another wrench – but make sure you cover it with a thick cloth first to avoid any surface damage to the model.
6. You can also put plumbers tape around the new joint (or tap connector) at either end, for a tight, waterproof seal that helps to prevent future leaks. If you don’t have plumber’s tape at hand, masking tape or duct tape often works just as well as a temporary seal – just be sure to replace it with the proper stuff at the first available opportunity!
7. Now you can fit the other end of the connector to the main pipework. Use a nut and internal ring to make sure it’s securely in place, and tighten with a wrench if necessary.
8. Finally, turn the water on to check for drips on your newly fitted tap, and tighten and re-tighten until the body is functioning as it should. If everything is in working order, you’re now ready to start using your new taps!
Remember, although replacing a tap isn’t too difficult it can prove tricky at various stages, and if you’re unsure about what you’re doing or lack the proper confidence in DIY projects, then you can always hire a professional contractor or plumber to do the job for you. Not only will they be situated locally and be able to get the job over and done in a matter of hours, but they are fully qualified for the task too, and can distinguish between taps of various makes and models, and even know how to replace a mixer tap or how to replace a kitchen mixer tap; specialised and more complicated areas of tap replacement that you might not feel comfortable dealing with on a first attempt!