DIY How To

Fitting a bathroom tap

Fitting new taps in your bathroom isn't the most complicated job in the world but as with any other job that takes place in bathrooms, it's important that you follow the correct procedures. If you're in doubt, ask someone for advice or hire a professional to do the job for you. However, as long as you know what you're doing, you should be able to do it yourself.

Choosing and fitting bathroom taps

When choosing bathroom furniture, you'll usually get to choose from a range of different taps. So, if you later decide that you want to change your taps, you'll have a wide range to choose from. When choosing your new taps, one thing to keep in mind is whether you need one tap or two: while most people have separate hot and cold taps, you can get taps that offer hot and cold water from the same spout.

After choosing the new taps that you want, you need to remove the old ones. The first thing to do is to turn off the water supply. It can also be a good idea to switch off your boiler just in case. Then open all the taps in the house so the excess water can run out of the system before you start. How complicated it is to remove your taps will often depend on the bathroom furniture they're installed on; sometimes they can be sealed in with putty that is awkward to move and access can be difficult.

Now you need to undo the nut connecting the water supply pipe to your old taps. A basin wrench will be needed for this. Make sure you've got a cloth to hand as some water is likely to spill from the pipe. Then remove the supply pipe, before using the same wrench to loosen the nuts that holding your taps in place on the bath or basin. This should enable you to remove the taps from their holes, which will then need to be cleared of any remaining sealant so that they're ready for the new taps.

You'll also need to check the pipe connections by comparing the old taps to the new taps. Depending on how long the new taps are, you might need a shank adaptor to secure them in place. Position the new tap over the relevant hole (the hot tap is normally on the left). The washers should be positioned between the tap and the sink or bath. Your tap should have come with a backnut, which is what you use to secure it in place. Once you've got the tap connected, you can reconnect the supply pipes.

Don't turn your water supply back on until you're sure the taps have been connected to the supply pipes properly. After the water has been turned back on, you should carefully check the system for leaks. Most leaks occur because the connections between the taps and the pipe aren't tight enough. However, if tightening connections doesn't stop a leak, you might need to seek professional advice.

With any luck, though, your new taps should work properly straight away and you can feel proud of a job well done.

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