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    How to change a tap

    Summary: Learn how to change a tap, remove the old tap and fit a new tap.

    The task of changing a tap can seem like a daunting one, especially if you are unsure of the basic plumbing practices. If you have no experience in plumbing, then you may want to call out a professional plumber, however, it isn’t the most difficult of plumbing jobs, so could be tackled by the average DIYer. Following the correct procedures is important though, and should only be tackled with the right equipment.

    Removing a tap

    • Before starting you will need to turn the water off at the isolation valve. If there is no isolation valve then you will need to turn the water supply off at the stop valve. Empty any water left in the pipes by turning on the taps until nothing comes out.
    • Once the water supply is off you will need to remove the existing tap. To prevent parts falling down the plug hole we recommend putting the plug in the sink.
    • Using an adjustable spanner, loosen the tap at the stem where it connects with the pipe. Then using a cranked basin spanner or basin wrench, unscrew the top hat nut underneath the sink/bath. This may be difficult to do; you may need to hold the upper part steady using an adjustable spanner. You can then remove the old tap so the new one can be fitted.

    Fitting a tap

    • If the new tap is not a perfect fit for the pipe, you will need a tap connector. This is a braided, flexible pipe with a connector for the tap at one end and a compression fitting at the other.
    • Attach the tap connector to the end of the pipe with the adjustable spanner. Screw on firmly, but be careful not to damage the finish. This can be avoided by placing a cloth over the connector as you tighten it.
    • Now you need to attach the compression fitting at the end of the flexible pipe to the original pipe. Push on the cap nut followed by one of the olives, which is the internal ring part of the compression fitting. Then push on the joint and press firmly so that the end of the pipe hits the stop inside the joint.
    • Check that the taps have been positioned in the correct place. The hot tap should be on the left and the cold on the right.
    • Hand-tighten the fitting and using one spanner to hold the fitting in place, use the other to fully tighten the nut. Fit the washers to fix the tap to the sink/bath and check that the joints don’t leak. If they do, then slightly tighten them until it stops. If the taps come with alternative manufacturer’s instructions, then follow their specific method for installing.

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