How To Replace A Tap

tap

New taps can brighten up even a tired sink or bath but take your time to make sure you don’t crack the sanitaryware when you’re tackling the old taps.

By George Clarke

PTFE tape
Screwdriver
Two adjustable wrenches
Junior hacksaw
Tap connector pipe
Pipe cutting tool
Basin spanner
Fine grade steel wool

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Budget

New tap sets cost from as little as £20 from DIY stores

Time

Allow one to two hours if there’s no extra pipework to install

Skill

Intermediate - ideally, you'll need to have some plumbing knowledge and experience

Loosen The Tap

Step One: Loosen The Tap
Turn off the water supply to the tap and put the plug in the basin or bath to stop anything being lost in the waste. Use the adjustable spanners to loosen the connection between the pipe and the tap stem.

Unscrew The Nut Beneath The Basin

Step Two: Unscrew The Nut Beneath The Basin
Next unscrew the nut that tightens against the underside of the bath or basin. In confined spaces use a cranked basin spanner to loosen this nut. You may have to use an adjustable spanner to hold the body of the tap steady. Older taps may have metal nuts that are corroded and tricky to undo, in which case, use a junior hacksaw to cut through the nut or tap stem.

Check The Connections

Step Three: Check The Connections
Unless the new tap is an exact fit onto the pipe, you will need to use a tap connector. This is a flexible corrugated or braided pipe with a threaded tap connector at one end and a compression fitting on the other. If necessary, use a pipe cutting tool to neatly trim the pipe end ready for the compression fitting.

Fit The Connector To The Tap

Step Four: Fit The Connector To The Tap
Screw the tap connector to the end of the tap and tighten with an adjustable wrench. Hold the tap body steady with the other wrench but wrap a cloth around the jaws to prevent any damage to the finish.

Fit The Connector To The Pipe

Step Five: Fit The Connector To The Pipe
Connect the pipe to the other end of the flexible pipe with the compression fitting. Push on the cap nut followed by one of the olives (an internal ring - part of the compression fitting). Now push on the joint and press firmly so that the end of the pipe hits the stop inside the joint.

Tighten The Nut

Step Six: Tighten The Nut
Hand tighten the nut against the fitting and mark across both pieces with a pencil. Now use one spanner to hold the fitting and turn the nut by one complete turn with the second spanner. Tighten the nylon nut and fit any washers to fix the tap to the sink or bath. Recheck all the joints, turn on the water and check for drips. Slightly tighten any leaking joints.

Illustrations: Ed Roberts

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