You don’t need to be a plumber, although basic mechanical skills are useful. New, user friendly fittings make the job a lot easier.
New taps are all made to standard dimensions, but check the hole distances of old baths or basins, in case they are not compatible with mixer taps.
Mixer tap holes for baths should be approximately 180mm (7.25in) apart, and 195mm (7.75in) apart for basins. If they aren’t standard, you will need to buy adjustable union taps with swivels.
Check that the spout is long enough to deliver water into the bath or basin.
If the holes in the basin or bath are square, and the new smaller bodied tap doesn’t cover the hole, you will need to purchase some chrome cover plates and put them on first.
Find the stopcock and turn off the water.
If fitting a new basin or bath, it is easier to fit the taps before you put the basin/bath in place.
Tap connectors can be substituted for integral service valves to provide an easy means of shutting off the water.
The top end fits onto the tap and the bottom end is compression fitting for the pipe.
The valve can be turned off for servicing the tap. If access is restricted, use push fit connectors.
The pipe pushes into the end of the fitting once it has been screwed onto the tap.
If you want to fit a bath/shower mixer, make sure that both the existing taps are both fed from an equal pressure system ie both tank fed or both mains fed.
If not, it is recommended to fit a pressure reducing valve to the higher pressure side and a non return valve fitted to the lower pressure side.
Removing Old Taps
Turn off the water and drain the pipes through the taps. If possible, open other taps lower on the system to drain off any water still in the pipes.
Use suitable tools to undo the tap connectors and back-nuts on the underside of the bath or basin.
If the taps begin to turn, ask someone to hold them firmly.
Avoid turning basin taps in their holes while holding the back-nut steady or you might damage the sanitaryware.
Fitting New Taps
Single taps sometimes twist when they are turned off.
They should have anti-rotation washers to hold them steady.
Alternatively, you can bed the taps in silicone sealant and let the whole assembly dry for 24 hours.
Clean the area around the taps.
Fit the new taps by placing them through the hole with the rubber anti-rotation washer on the upper side.
It is easier to reach the far tap under a bath if you unscrew the overflow pipe from the hole in the bath.
Remember to replace it afterwards.
Hand tighten the back-nuts.
Hold the tap steady and tighten the back nuts with a wrench or box spanner.
If the old pipework fits, you can use it, but replace the fibre washers in the tap connectors.
If the old pipes don’t fit, or are awkward, it is easier to cut the pipes back and fit new connectors.
Use 15mm compression fittings or push-fit fittings to join the pipework to the taps.
Two hole mixer taps
They need to be sealed above the bath or basin with the washers provided.
Check the holes are a standard distance apart.
Three hole Basin and Bidet Mixers
Assembling a three-hole mixer is carried out by placing and securing each section into the holes in the basin or bidet and connecting the pipes underneath.
If you get a leak, it is advisable to turn off the water and undo the fitting so you can see exactly where the problem lies.
Examine the surfaces of the metal and look closely at the sealing washers.
Check the pipes are squarely aligned and screw the tap connectors back on. This should alleviate the problem.
See individual products for specific fitting details.