Table Of Contents
Replacing Your Kitchen Faucets
You could have varying reasons for wanting to change your kitchen tap. It could be because it is no longer functioning well. There could be leaks, or you may be doing some renovation or remodelling work. Knowing how to change a kitchen tap can come in handy for these reasons and more.
The process of replacing an existing tap isn't that difficult. Just get the right tools and follow the steps here. Also, you can read about the signs of failing kitchen taps, how to use a water meter to diagnose a leak, features of kitchen taps, and common types of taps in Australia.
In addition, you will have a look at factors to consider when buying a new tap, how to change a faulty kitchen faucet, how to change mixer taps, and when to call in a plumber.
Signs Of Failing Kitchen Taps
The following are some signs that you need to replace your kitchen tap.
This is the most significant sign that you need to replace your tap. A common reason for dripping taps is the high water pressure in your water supply pipes. Another likely cause is malfunctioning valves. You may invite a professional plumber if you confirm that these plumbing issues exist.
This typically occurs at the bottom of the tap. There could also be water damage under the sink. With rising water costs, you want to promptly attend to tap leaks.
Presence of rust
Generally, the presence of mineral deposits or corroded areas is a common sign of failing kitchen taps. Such taps may need immediate replacement.
You may want to change your kitchen tap if specific components are faulty. Examples of such damaged parts might include the following:
- A faulty handle
- A clogged tap aerator that results in reduced water flow
Sounds Indicating A Faulty Kitchen Tap
Certain sounds from your kitchen tap can indicate a severe problem. Often, they are high-pitched noises that occur as you open the tap. Here are some of such sounds.
Typically, this means you need to replace the rubber washer.
You may need to check for cracks. To do this may require taking the tap apart. Consequently, replacing the tap often seems a more straightforward solution.
If the tap is several years old, it may have this issue. The probable cause is the stem of the tap wearing down. Your options to resolve it include coating the handle's stem or simply replacing the faucet.
Using Water Meter To Check For Water Leaks
A water meter can be helpful to confirm water leaks. These are the steps to read your water meter.
- Find your water meter. It is typically placed at the front of your property.
- Copy down the numbers in black (representing kilolitres) and those in red (representing litres). Older meters may have four digits.
- Confirm accurate reading by turning off all taps and checking the red numbers.
- Fill up a 10-litre bucket with all taps turned off.
- Confirm that the meter now reads an additional 10 litres.
- Alternatively, you may turn off all taps for one to two hours. Then, check the reading.
- Where the reading remains the same, there is no leak.
- Otherwise, you may have a dripping tap that needs replacement.
Features Of Kitchen Taps
Kitchen taps are specifically designed for kitchen sinks. You may find features in kitchen taps that you may not find in bathroom taps. For instance, some kitchen taps have a swivel spout with spray hoses attached. Also, Kitchen taps can come with a single handle or double handles.
For single-handled taps, the supply tube is connected at the base of the spout. On the other hand, you will find the supply tube of double-handled taps often connected directly to the handles. Typically, kitchen taps have flexible hoses with handles linked to the spout. Additionally, kitchen sinks have bigger rims compared to bathroom sinks.
Common Types Of Taps In Australia
You should know what specific type of taps to go for when buying a new tap for your kitchen. By mechanism, you could have washer types or disc-type taps. The washer type of tap is common among pillar taps. Twisting the handle will result in the washer moving up and down. In turn, this controls the water flow.
Another common mechanism is found in disc taps. The monobloc type of tap is a great example. It has two discs within. There is a hole in each disc to allow water to flow through. Generally, the following are the most common types of taps:
Deck mounted taps
These are attached to the basin. There are tap holes in the rim. Cold and hot water supplying tubes connect to deck-mounted taps through holes on the sink or counter.
You should ensure the cold and hot water supply tubes are well connected to their cold and hot water supplies. Plumbers prefer this type of tap because they offer easy access. Besides, the water supply pipe allows easy water flow straight into the basin.
Wall-mounted taps are fixed on walls. Some people prefer them because they are easy to clean. However, the plumbing is concealed within the wall. As such, making repairs can be complicated.
Bath mixer taps
You can find this type of tap in showers and bathrooms. They are used to fill baths.
Similar to mixer taps, the monobloc type of tap supplies hot and cold water. One handle is responsible for controlling both the temperature and water flow.
This is a traditional style of tap. It has hot and cold options with two distinct taps for each temperature.
Factors To Consider When Buying A New Tap
What type of tap should you go for? Should you go for a traditional style or a modern style? These questions and more can cross your mind as you go shopping for a tap. You can use the following guide to make your choice:
The body of your tap should match your kitchen sink. For example, your sink could have one or two pre-drilled holes. Great options for a single tap hole include monobloc and one-handle taps. On the other hand, you could opt for pillar and mixer taps if you have two tap holes.
The size, shape, and position of the spout of the tap matter. You can also opt for a swivel spout so you can easily rotate it.
Check if the finish matches your sink and kitchen when it comes to choosing features. Likewise, features such as water efficiency and the ability to generate steaming hot water are also important considerations.
Perhaps you already have a budget in mind. But, also consider the durability and quality. After all, kitchen taps are used daily. An expensive tap will be worth its price in the long term.
You should consider the condition of your existing tap when considering how to change a kitchen tap and the price involved. Aside from the type of tap being a factor, the state of your existing tap and sink also matter.
How To Change A Kitchen Tap
Step One: Gather the right tools
Think about the tools needed. They include the following:
- Philips head screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver
- Shifter or basin wrench
- Pipe cutter
- Limescale remover
- Adjustable pliers
- Compression fittings
- Masking tape
- Old towel
- Thread seal tape
- Open-ended spanners
- Back nut box spanner
- Cleaning cloth
- PTFE tape
Step Two: Remove the existing tap
Now, you can begin the actual process.
- Make sure there is no water supplying the taps. Let out all residual water in the tap by turning it on. Next, dismantle the kitchen tap. The type of tap determines the method of removal. It may involve loosening nuts or screws and dealing with the flanges and plates.
- Standard water pipe connections need the use of an open-ended spanner to loosen up the screw at the joints.
- Flexible pipe connections require you to unlock nuts joining the fitted isolator valves or primary pipe connections. The pair of modifiable pliers is helpful here.
- Take special care when detaching pipes and the tap where the accessories are made of stainless steel.
- Clean up the area after removing the old tap.
- Confirm similarity in design and function between the old and new taps.
- Cover the sinkhole with a cloth or towel if they are compatible. This will help prevent a blocked sink drain.
- Replace the washer, jumper, and O-ring with new ones. The pliers or tweezers can come in handy here.
- Remember to apply grease to the thread for smooth functioning and longevity of the tap.
- You may have to replace the jumper valves if they are attached to the washers.
- Using silicone to reseal the area can help prevent mould growth if the old tap has a shroud.
Step Three: Reassembling the tap
Clean the mounting surface where the pre-existing tap used to be. This can help remove any build-ups but does not damage the area.
Step Four: Install a new kitchen tap
Individual pillar or bridge combinations require the application of several layers of PTFE tape into the lower threads of the mains link. Drape the tape clockwise. The reassembling process is the reverse of the disassembly process.
- Put back the washer and the valve.
- Use the wrench to attach the tap bonnet.
- After that, use your hand to screw the retaining nuts. Use the pair of bending pliers to secure it tightly.
- Check the compression fittings that attach the connecting copper tubes to stop valves.
- Ensure the flexible hoses connecting the hot and cold stop valves (flexible supply lines) are okay.
- Now, you can lock the tap. If necessary, reconnect the mains supply. Subsequently, you can open up the water.
- Test your work. See if the water supplying the tap works by turning it on. Also, rotate the tap head.
- Your task is done if there are no leaks. You have replaced your kitchen tap.
How To Change A Faulty Kitchen Faucet
Again, begin by gathering all the necessary tools. These can include the following:
- Channel pliers
- Drip pan
- Old towels
- Teflon tape
- Putty knife
- Measuring tape
- Braided water supply lines
- New tap
- Eye protection
- Adjustable wrench
- Pipe dope or joint compound
- Penetrating oil
- Basin wrench
- Plumber's putty
You should be comfortable with using hand tools in narrow or tight spots.
How to remove a dripping tap
- Again, begin by cleaning the area below the sink.
- Lay your towels below the sink.
- Turn off the cold and hot water supply valves.
- Make sure no water is supplying the old tap by opening it.
- Separate the sprayer hose from the tap's sprayer nipple.
- Unscrew the nut attaching the sprayer base onto the sink.
- Put the sprayer hose through the deck opening.
- Spray some penetrating oil on the nuts holding the tap. Let it soak for some minutes, making the tap easy to remove.
- Detach your water supplying tubes from the valves. Take care not to reuse old supply tubes.
- Replace any faulty or missing stop valves.
- You can use the basin wrench or channel pliers for coupling and mounting nuts from the faucet tailpiece.
- Detach the body of the tap and the base of the sprayer.
- Use the putty knife to scrape off the putty or old caulk.
- Remember to clean the sink. Use a scouring pad and a scouring cleaner.
How to install a new kitchen tap
- Apply silicone caulk to the bottom of the new tap. Then, insert the tailpieces of the new tap into the sink holes. Press it down. Let it set firmly.
- Slip the friction washers on each tap tailpiece. Then, use a basin wrench or channel pliers to tighten the mounting nut.
- Wipe off any excess silicone caulk with a wet piece of rag.
- Connect the water supply tubes and the tailpieces of the faucet together.
- Similarly, you can use compression fittings to fix the water supply tubes – like the hot water supply - to the shutoff valve.
- Tighten the mounting nuts first with your hand, then with a wrench.
- You may also wrap some Teflon tape over the threads of the valve.
- Securely thread it onto the sprayer hose. Subsequently, you can insert the sprayer tailpiece through the sink hole.
- Now, the friction washer is slipped onto the sprayer's tailpiece.
- Take care to firmly screw in a mounting nut through the tailpiece.
- Again, you can use a basin wrench or channel pliers to tighten the nut.
- Screw the sprayer hose onto the tap nipple. Also, tighten the hose and turn on the shutoff valve. Remember to remove the sink aerator and flush off any debris.
Considerations When Buying New Kitchen Taps
Check the material properly. An attractive chrome finish may have plastic, steel, or brass. A tap made of solid brass and sturdy brass handles will likely last longer. However, steel taps can still rust irrespective of whether they have a metallic coating. Also, note that faucets made of lightweight brass or plastic tend to wear out quickly.
The general time frame for tap replacement is around every ten years. So, look for ways to avoid replacing faulty faucets. Hard water often results in clogged water supply pipes in Australia. Furthermore, it causes taps to malfunction. That is why you should fit in an under-sink water softener.
How To Change Kitchen Mixer Taps
Many people like mixer taps for their ability to change water temperature easily. You may have separate hot and cold water taps and a spout. In this case, you may notice that your kitchen sink has three holes in the sink. However, it is possible to convert this arrangement to a single-hole kitchen mixer.
Alternatively, you may use a single handle to control water temperature and flow. If your kitchen sink mixer tap is broken, you may wish to know how to fix it. Here is a guide on how to change kitchen mixer taps.
- First, have some tools handy. These include adjustable spanners, the new kitchen tap, box spanner, pliers, screwdriver, and plumber's tape.
- If someone told you they removed the old tap as the next step, they would be correct. But doing this would entail the following steps.
- You have to turn off the water supply to the kitchen taps. This may involve shutting off the isolating valves, the hot water supply tank valve, or the mains water supply.
- Clean up the area and place a towel below the sink to catch drips or dirt.
- Next, disconnect the taps. Loosen the nut joining the supply pipe or isolator valves to the tap. Open-ended spanners are used here.
- You may simultaneously use a pair of adjustable pliers to keep the tap stable while turning the spanner.
- Also, you have to unscrew the nuts fully to release the tap from the water connections.
- Similarly, loosen the nut from the mounting surface to remove the existing tap.
How To Fit In The New Mixer Tap
- Confirm that you are using the correct replacement tap. The height, spout height and reach need to correspond. Perhaps, you can take the old one to the store during purchase.
- Start by cleaning the mounting surface.
- Remember to apply several layers of PTFE tape to the lower threads of the water supply mains connections. This is the case if you have individual pillar or bridge combination mixer taps.
- However, if your hose connections are pre-fitted with integral seals, your mixer tap does not need PTFE tape.
- Position the tap. Then refit and tighten the main nut.
- Next, connect the hoses. Note that you do not mix up the hot water hoses with the cold-water hoses. In other words, use the correct hoses for the cold and hot taps.
- Finish by turning on the stops. And voila! Your new mixer tap is set.
When To Call In A Plumber
Sometimes, fixing a tap can be challenging. You have read up on how to change a kitchen tap, faulty faucet, and mixer taps. Furthermore, you are now conversant with some signs of failing kitchen taps, features of kitchen taps, and what type of taps you use. Moreover, you know what to consider when buying a new tap.
However, you may wonder what situation is right to call in a plumber. Here are some clues. Specifically, the law requires a licensed plumber installs mixer taps. Consequently, you may find it worthwhile to check your state's plumbing regulations. Besides, unlicensed plumbing work may be illegal and not covered by insurance.
Sometimes, what you need is an upgrade. Licensed plumbers can advise you better. Besides, they can help out with hot water installation, water softener installation, and other plumbing and drainage issues. You may be swamped by other concerns when you are doing kitchen and bathroom renovations.
Maybe you need to replace shower taps, toilet seats, kitchen sinks, kitchen taps, and much more. Simply get a licensed plumber to give you an extended service. They are equipped with the right power tools and other accessories to do a great job. Think about it. Knowing how to change a kitchen tap may not be enough when dealing with plumbing within walls.