Hi, my name is Jane and I am writing this as my Husband would be mortified if I seeked help lol. I have had a leaking mixer tap for ages and I watched a 'you tube' thing on how to fix them and I think that put my Husband off completely. What I would like to know is, is it cheaper to buy a new mixer tap or buy a new cylinder for it and try to fix it ourselves. We live in Whyalla but we are coming down to Adelaide this weekend and I would just like some advice whether to fix or buy another.
Hi Jane (@janegold),
Welcome to Workshop. It's great to have you join the community. I hope you find plenty of great ideas, inspiration, advice and information on the site. It should be plenty of fun, too!
I'm sure members of the community will be keen to share their thoughts on your mixer tap dilemma. Do you know the brand and model of the tap?
Hey @janegold - I know it's only a tap but you need to be careful with doing any plumbing jobs yourself as most states have regulations requiring almost all plumbing work be done by a licensed plumber. Even if the regulations allow you to DIY, most tapware warranties will be voided if you tamper with it yourself. I'd err on the side of caution and have someone come out and take a look. They'll be able to give you the best advice.
I'm at odds on what to make of this, because most hardware shops sell these items to customers, without them being asked to show their certificate of competency.
The other thing, is you are in a sense, just replacing a tap washer. Granted, it's a bit more complicated, but it doesn't expose you to any further risk of flooding etc.
My advice would be that if it's only the cold water tap, then you're in luck, turn off the water supply at the water meter, open the problematic ceramic tap to release the mains pressure, & follow the instructions on the packaging. The hot water side is a different matter, because some households have ceiling mounted storage tanks that feed by gravity. Unless you know which valve to close in that system (there doesn't seem to be a standard), you could end up draining the whole tank, or worse, scolding yourself.
Ceramic taps can be dismantled & assessed. We had a couple of situations, one where crud interfered with the necessarily intimate contact of the 2 ceramic discs. A simple clean did the trick. The other fail was more interesting, in that it was clear that the ceramic valves were going passed the intended stop point. What had happened, was that the brass body & shaft which form the closing set point limit, were damaged by over someone exuberantly closing the tap. The result was that the valve went passed the stop point, & in doing so, slightly opened the triangular opening. If you have that situation, you will have to replace the whole ceramic valve cartridge, but you won't have to replace the whole tap assembly.
JP_Finlay is right on the money, there are a lot of varying cartridge configurations, so take your faulty one in for the sales assistant to match it for you.
In closing, I don't recall any case of the Plumbing Mafia crashing down doors & beating people senseless in the past, if they replaced a tap washer. ; )
Yes, I think we will just buy a new tap, it seems much more simple and won't cost much more anyway. Cheers for the information and I will let my Husband know. You should know that my Husband is one of those people who say 'I will look at it tomorrow, I dont need help' when really he hasnt got a clue ha ha.
Thank you for the advice and it is a gravity fed hot/cold mixer tap. I know someone who is a Plumber, so maybe he can send out one of his apprentice's to come and have a look.
That's fantastic Jane, the gravity fed hot water systems are a real trap when replacing washers or ceramic cartridges, so getting someone in to do the work is definitely the way to go.
If you want to change the taps anyway, (they were ugly, wink... wink), have the apprentice do that & you'll have more attractive taps, plus fix the faulty ceramic tap situation that you currently have. If you'd like to keep your taps, have the apprentice replace only the cartridges, in both the hot & cold water taps.