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How to Replace Old Hot and Cold Taps with Mixer Taps

Updated: Feb 28


Mixer taps offer versatility and convenience in various areas of your home, available in diverse styles, finishes, and sizes. If you're looking to consolidate control for hot and cold water into a single, user-friendly knob, replacing separate taps with a mixer tap is an ideal solution. This comprehensive guide provides insights into the process of removing traditional hot and cold water taps and seamlessly installing a mixer tap.


What is a Mixer Tap?

A mixer tap is a plumbing fixture that blends hot and cold water to achieve a desired temperature through a single spout. Unlike traditional taps, which have separate handles for hot and cold water, mixer taps typically feature a single lever or knob that controls both temperature and flow. These taps are commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms, and showers, offering convenience and efficiency in water temperature control.


What are Hot and Cold Taps?

Hot and cold taps, also known as separate taps, are traditional plumbing fixtures with separate handles for hot and cold water. These taps require users to adjust each handle individually to achieve the desired temperature. While they have been a common fixture in homes for many years, they lack the convenience and precision temperature control offered by mixer taps.


Benefits of Mixer Taps

Convenience:

Mixer taps offer convenience by allowing users to adjust water temperature and flow with a single handle. This streamlined design eliminates the need to adjust separate handles for hot and cold water, making it easier and quicker to achieve the desired temperature.


Cost-effectiveness:

Mixer taps can be cost-effective in the long run due to their durability and energy-saving capabilities. Built to last, mixer taps require less frequent replacements and maintenance compared to traditional taps. Additionally, by accurately controlling water temperature and flow, mixer taps help reduce energy consumption, resulting in lower utility bills over time.


Aesthetics:

Mixer taps come in a wide range of styles, finishes, and designs to suit any aesthetic preference. Whether you prefer a modern, minimalist design or a classic, traditional look, there is a mixer tap to fit your needs. The sleek and cohesive appearance of mixer taps can enhance the overall look of your kitchen or bathroom, adding a touch of elegance to the space.


Versatility:

Mixer taps come in a wide range of styles, finishes, and designs to suit any aesthetic preference. Whether you prefer a modern, minimalist design or a classic, traditional look, there is a mixer tap to fit your needs.


Space-saving:

The single-spout design of mixer taps can help save space in cramped bathrooms or kitchens. By eliminating the need for separate hot and cold taps, mixer taps free up valuable counter or sink space, creating a more streamlined and efficient workspace.


Types of Mixer Taps

Mixer taps come in various types to suit different applications and preferences:


Single Lever Mixer Taps:

These mixer taps feature a single lever that controls both temperature and flow. They are easy to use and offer precise control over water temperature.


Dual Lever Mixer Taps:

Dual-lever mixer taps have separate handles for hot and cold water, allowing users to adjust each independently. While they offer more control over temperature, they are less convenient than single-lever mixer taps.


Wall-mounted Mixer Taps:

Wall-mounted mixer taps are installed directly into the wall above the sink or bath. These taps create a sleek and modern look and are ideal for minimalist or contemporary bathrooms.


Deck-mounted Mixer Taps:

Deck-mounted mixer taps are installed on the surface of the sink or bath. They are easy to install and can be used with a wide range of sink and bath designs.


How does a Mixer Tap work?

Mixer taps work by blending hot and cold water to achieve the desired temperature. Inside the tap, there are two water supply pipes: one for hot water and one for cold water. When the user turns the handle or lever, it adjusts the flow of water from each pipe, allowing the user to control the temperature of the water coming out of the spout.


Step-by-Step Guide on How to Replace Hot and Cold Taps with Mixer Taps.


Step 1 : Shut Off the Water Supply

Begin by locating and turning off the isolating valve connected to the hose outputs to stop the water supply. If individual isolation valves are not present, use the main stopcock. Ensure that water circulation has completely ceased before proceeding to the next step.


Step 2 : Disassemble Existing Taps

The disassembly process varies depending on the location of the taps:


Kitchen Sink Taps:

  1. Disconnect taps from the water supply using an open-handed spanner.

  2. Unscrew the nut holding the fixture and remove the taps.

  3. Clean the open mains pipe connections under the sink.

Bath Taps:

  1. Access flexible pipe connectors beneath the bathtub.

  2. Disconnect the connectors using an adjustable wrench.

  3. Remove the old taps and clean the surrounding area.

Shower Taps:

  1. Turn the shower anticlockwise to remove it entirely.

  2. Ensure removal of all accessories, washers, extensions, spindles, and adapters.

  3. Use long-nose pliers to clear any debris from the open outlet.

Step 3 : Connect the Mixer Tap

Kitchen Mixers:

  1. Ensure the mixer is watertight and apply the seal to the hoses.

  2. Pass hoses through the sinkhole and secure the mixer in place.

  3. Use a stabilization ring, tightening seal, and nut to secure the mixer.

  4. Adjust the mixer orientation if needed and tighten the nut.


Bath and Shower Mixers:

  1. Install crank connectors into hot and cold water taps.

  2. Attach flange covers, apply plumbing tape, and screw the connectors.

  3. Insert the rubber washer into the mixer nut and connect it to the wall crank connector.

  4. Tighten the joint with a spanner and secure the cover cap.

  5. Attach the shower hose to the mixer tap.

Bath-Shower Mixer Tap:

The Bath-Shower Mixer Tap operates similarly to standard taps but offers enhanced functionality with the inclusion of a shower handset. Equipped with diverter valves, this fixture allows users to effortlessly switch between filling the bath and utilizing the shower, providing convenience and flexibility in one unified unit. Whether you prefer a relaxing soak or a quick shower, the Bath-Shower Mixer Tap offers the versatility to accommodate your bathing preferences with ease.


Maintenance and Care Tips for Mixer Taps

Proper maintenance and care are essential to ensure that your mixer taps continue to function optimally and look great for years to come. Follow these simple tips to keep your mixer taps in top condition:


Regular Cleaning: Clean your mixer taps regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt, grime, and mineral deposits. Use a soft cloth or sponge and mild soapy water to gently wipe down the taps, focusing on the spout, handles, and any crevices where dirt may accumulate.


Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your mixer taps, as these can damage the finish and internal components. Instead, opt for gentle, non-abrasive cleaning solutions to maintain the taps' appearance and functionality.


Check for Leaks: Periodically check your mixer taps for any signs of leaks or drips. Even small leaks can waste water and lead to more significant plumbing issues if left unchecked. If you notice any leaks, tighten connections or replace worn washers as needed to prevent further damage.


Inspect Seals and Gaskets: Inspect the seals and gaskets on your mixer taps regularly for signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn or damaged seals to prevent leaks and ensure a tight seal between components.


Adjust Water Pressure: If you notice that the water pressure from your mixer taps is too high or too low, adjust the pressure at the main supply valve to achieve optimal flow. High water pressure can put stress on the taps and cause premature wear, while low pressure may indicate a problem with the plumbing system that needs to be addressed.


Protect from Freezing: In cold climates, take precautions to protect your mixer taps from freezing temperatures. Insulate exposed pipes and taps, and consider installing frost-proof taps to prevent freezing and damage during the winter months.


Professional Installation:

While the DIY process is outlined, hiring a plumber ensures a correct and hassle-free installation. The intricacies involved may warrant professional assistance, particularly if uncertainty exists about the process's precision. Benefits of opting for professional installation include:


  • Expertise in handling complex plumbing systems

  • Ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations

  • Providing warranty coverage for the installation

  • Cost-effective in the long run, as professional installation can prevent costly mistakes and ensure efficient use of resources


These advantages give homeowners peace of mind and confidence in the longevity of their plumbing fixtures.


Conclusion

Replacing old hot and cold taps with mixer taps offers numerous benefits, including convenience, cost-effectiveness, aesthetics, versatility, and space-saving advantages. Mixer taps provide streamlined control over water temperature and flow, enhancing the functionality and appearance of kitchens and bathrooms. With various types of mixer taps available to suit different preferences and applications, homeowners can easily find the perfect fit for their needs. 


While the DIY process is an option, professional installation by a plumber ensures precise and hassle-free setup, along with benefits such as expertise, compliance with regulations, and long-term cost savings. Overall, upgrading to mixer taps is a practical and efficient solution to modernize and optimize water usage in any home.




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